Why working in a FinTech start-up is not all fun and games, but pretty awesome for the right talents

- A commentary by René Pomassl, Co-Founder and CEO at SALAMANTEX

When thinking about start-up life, we imagine friends working together in home- or campus-like work environments with foosball tables and beanbags. The media has coined this image with movies like ‘The Internship’, in which Owen Wilson scooters as noogler from meeting to meeting, enjoys free snacks, and has to get used to colleagues taking power naps in sleeping pods between meetings. The movie, however, also depicts some of the not so nice aspects of working in a tech company. Everyone is super competitive and under pressure to actively contribute to the company’s success and innovations. Openings are extremely rare so that even top talents must fight to score one of the entrance roles. In the start-up world seniority doesn’t come with age, as we can witness in ‘The Intern’, in which Robert de Niro plays a senior staff member who has to get used to working for a boss who is half his age, played by Anne Hathaway.

Let’s examine this Hollywood-ized picture and determine the real characteristics of working in a tech start-up. Most of the typical start-up attributes can be interpreted as pros and cons, depending on the viewer’s personality:

  • Culture of innovation: The concept of innovation is fully embedded in the company philosophy.
    + A dream come true for creative people — thinking outside the box is standard procedure.
    - Some people struggle with the high pressure to come up with fresh ideas and not stick to a comfortable routine.

These common traits of the industry split job hunters into two groups, those who think this sounds like an amazing work opportunity and those who are deterred by this forecast. What is more, both the pandemic and the unstable political and economical situations have generated a lot of anxiety, especially in the younger generations. With this increase of uncertainty, a shift in priorities was witnessed. Even those that loved the idea of ultimate flexibility and fast career growth, now fear the aspect of job insecurity. A recent survey by job platform Monster in the US showed that people value job security over pay increase, with 40% choosing job security, while only 15% answered in favor of a higher pay, given the choice between these two options[1].

Many people automatically connect a job in a start-up with low job security. Is a job in the start-up world indeed less secure than in a big corporation? “With the recent wide-spread job cuts in Wall Street banks, the answer is not quite so clear cut. […] In 2015, Wall Street banks cut more than 20,000 jobs.”[2] That being said, start-ups are more susceptible to sudden shut-down by nature. The top three reasons for failed start-up ventures are ‘no market need’ with 42%, ‘ran out of cash’ with 29% and ‘not the right team’ with 23%, as an analysis by CB Insights found.[2]

Now that we have defined that start-ups are the ideal place to work for some, while others rightly shy away, let’s take a closer look at the FinTech industry specifically. “FinTech has proven to be highly transformational for the financial industry”[3]. In an ever-evolving global industry, job opportunities seem never-ending and should be a great fit especially for entrance level candidates, who are hungry to learn and grow but value flexibility above all. Millenials and Gen Z will soon be the dominating force in the office[4] (well home office or wherever they may work from). With younger generations often being accused of being unsatisfiable job-hoppers, start-ups should be the ideal environment to try on different hats and find one’s true passion. René Pomassl, CEO at SALAMANTEX, sees it this way: “At a start-up, we need talented self-starters, that are passionate about what they are doing and aren’t scared to tackle tasks as they come. We are all giving our best to build something revolutionary together. We pride ourselves in being highly inclusive, celebrating different genders, ages and cultural or work backgrounds.”

[1] Definition Of Job Security | Monster.com

[2] Who has more job security: a banker or a startup employee? | by Lindsay Boyajian | ThinkGrowth.org

[3] Why Work in FinTech? | Why Pursue a Career in FinTech? | CPQi

[4] What Gen Z wants from their employers | Fortune

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
SALAMANTEX

User-friendly software solutions for payments with digital assets — from cryptocurrencies to loyalty points: www.salamantex.com