The 9 worst things about working at a startup no one tells you before you join

Working at a startup and taking it to the next level can be a rewarding job.

With some luck, you might even be able to build the next Facebook or Google.

But startups are hard — and it could be a brutal experience if you’re not prepared for the grind.

We went through some Quora threads to find out all the worst things about working at a startup.

There's so much work but only few people to do it.

'One thing I learnt very early on is that there's a lot of work to go around and very few people to do it. From something as menial as fixing (lots of) peoples' computers and printers to rushing off to make a corporate presentation (with no background whatsoever) because some sales executive got stuck up somewhere and the entire technical team of the client is waiting. One more thing, no matter how much work you take up, there's always more to follow. At times, it gets really tiring and distracting but then that's what you signed up for. No boundaries, no job descriptions.' -- Arnab Mitra, Director & Partner at

You're probably not going to make a lot of money.

When do you say 'enough is enough'?

'It's consistent hard work, and it's not really about the money at the end of the day. There may be a thousand other ways to make money, but if you seek a thrill ride with accelerated learning, a startup is what you are looking for.' -- Jeevan Betigeri, CEO of Fathom Ideaware

'40 hours a week is for sissies. Overtime pay is usually out of the question. Reduced salary due to equity stake (most of the time).' -- David Graham, Founder of Coder Camps

Work is very disorganized and the founder can have too much power.

'Processes are next to non-existent - work is very disorganized, sometimes inefficient. Everything relies on the whims of the founder(s) - having launched a successful, well funded start-up boosts self confidence tremendously; no amount of facts and arguments will help you win an argument and you can easily find yourself out the door, or significantly sidelined at least, if you disagree often.' -- Stefan Kiryazov, founder of

Can you handle the fear of failing?

'Having too much fun building your dream for tomorrow, you sometimes forget to live today. Trying to convince everyone you are sure about the future, when you silently wonder what the future holds for you.' -- Tony Kattukaran, CEO of Tagalys

'When the company stops stocking Odwalla in the kitchen, it's a sign of bad times ahead.' -- Tom Maxwell, software engineer

There's very little guidance and you can easily get lost.

'Having the best ideas in mind but you don't know how to execute them properly.' -- Christian Teece, aspiring software guru

'Paperwork. Legal and financial paperwork. No one tells you about it when you start on your dream, but that takes up most of your time. And it sucks.' -- Anonymous

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