What is a scale-up?

Company growth rates are measured according to their compound annual growth rate. A scale-up is a young company that is growing at a rate of at least 20% per year, putting it into the rapid growth bracket.

Whether you are at the start of your career or ready to move on and you’ve identified some appealing openings, it’s difficult to know how to decide which opportunity to go for. If you’re thinking seriously about your prospects for career development then it may be that the attractions of working for a large company seem irresistible. But it’s worth reflecting for a moment on the conundrum of the small fish in the big pond. Although Huge Company Inc. may have a global presence and seemingly infinite resources, isn’t there a risk that you get lost in the machinery? Sure, you’re contributing, but it can be hard to make your mark. Scale-ups can provide a great alternative and here are five of the most compelling reasons why.

Why work with companies that are scaling fast? One benefit is that you can make a much bigger impact on the success of the enterprise and see the tangible results of your efforts. There may be many things apart from the simply financial reward that motivate you to deliver your best but feeling you have a personal stake has got to be one of the most empowering.

In a large company, one of the attractions is the career ladder. On paper at least, your prospects for career development are considerable. Many people manage to carve out rewarding careers by staying within the same organization for decades. The drawback inherent in this is that your advancement is limited by the command and employment structures of the company, which, having reached maturity, are unlikely to yield to much change.

In a scale-up or hypergrowth company, you are in at the start which puts you in the perfect position to take advantage of its development, fitting into or even creating new roles, climbing the ranks as an employee who has performed a key function from the early days. Your future is symbiotically entwined with that of the business. Promotion becomes an organic process in which you have plenty of influence.

Another of the advantages of working in a scale-up is the breadth of experience it can give you. In a small but dynamic company that’s going places, it’s very likely that you will be called upon to fulfill all kinds of diverse roles under your job description. In a large company, jobs are far more narrowly defined whereas in a scale-up you will have the opportunity to write your own job description as you go, defining your role as widely as possible. A marketing post, for example, can expand to cover a huge range of creative and managerial functions. You’re not stepping into a readymade box: you’re inventing your own future.

If you value freedom and the chance to use your initiative then a scale-up is an environment that will suit you. By its very nature, a scale-up is changing quickly and writing its own rules. As part of that enterprise, your input will count. Not only will your energies be rewarded but your ideas will be welcomed as part of the culture of innovation that is so vital to the success of any scale-up.

Never forget the importance of colleagues. You could find yourself working with great people in any company, big or small, but scale-ups attract some of the brightest talent around – individuals whose unique or unconventional approach chimes perfectly with an environment of adventure and experiment. Working in that kind of team can be an invaluable experience, not just for the time you spend in their company but for the priceless networking opportunity it provides for your future. Moving with the cream of young talent puts you in a privileged position among tomorrow’s elite.

Let Coltech help you find great opportunities with some of today’s most promising scale-ups. Visit our careers page or get in touch today. Call (+1) 512 333 1732 or email