Inside the Startup Life

People working in the startup life


Are you curious about what it’s like working at a startup? You may be at a turning point in your career or perhaps at the beginning of your adventure. There can certainly be varying opinions about startup life and culture. It can be hard to decide if it’s right for you. So, we want to give you an inside perspective of what it’s like. We want to share what makes it different and help you determine if you’d like working at a startup.

We have great responsibilities

Our UI/UX Designer, Skylar Richard shares what he thinks is different about working at a startup. Here’s what he had to say: “It’s the simple fact that you’re usually in a sink-or-swim mentality. You feel the pressure of your responsibilities immediately. The teams are usually small and therefore sharing responsibilities becomes a luxury.  With larger and established companies you often have other people to help bear the weight of your job; with startups you are often bearing all the weight of your position.”

We certainly do have a lot of responsibility as a small team and it certainly can be challenging at times. It’s also greatly rewarding. Skylar notes that “There’s a thrill in seeing your work tangibly, and how it shapes and contributes to the company’s success story. If you’re working for a startup it’s usually because you have skills that they need, and you constantly have the feeling that your role truly matters.”

We learn and contribute

“Working in a startup is a whole different ball-game; when the team is small, there are so many opportunities to learn and grow beyond your skill set”, said our Community Manager, Nora Cottrill. She also outlined that “There’s many ways to contribute to the greater product, beyond your ‘role’ from group discussions to collaboration on various projects. Bootstrapping on it’s own is great for learning many new skills, because there’s no one else to do it so you have to! Someone trained in marketing, for example, may find themselves working with software development, sales and lead generation, and contributing to website design”.

Our Web Developer, Kate Johnson also agrees that being part of a smaller team leads to constant improvement. She also loves that there are no closed doors, “In most startups you’re working in the same room as the founder(s)”. We all work together as a team. All learning from one another and shaping our success as a company.

         Get lots more great content from us!  {{cta(‘0d0e70fd-bca1-44ed-8069-1e6e7f2463b1’)}}

We shape our success

Nora believes that “It’s important to choose the right team with the right values and work to maintain them. If everyone is excited about coming to work and believe in the company, anything is possible!”

This is exactly the way it is for Mike Bastarache, our Senior Web Developer. For him, working in a startup environment has allowed him to be a “product architect” within the company, responsible for building a product that he is passionate about which he describes as “a wonderful privilege and experience”.

Every one of us is responsible for shaping the success of the company. In a startup, your role truly matters. Before working at Alongside (formerly Qimple), I was a consultant for a marketing and public relations agency. I felt fulfillment when my clients were happy and when their goals were met. Now, I get joy out of shaping Alongside’s success. It’s very rewarding and makes me feel like I’m a part of something really great.  Our User Acquisition Manager, Jason Chang says it well, “With a startup you get to build something from the ground up and see something through from start to finish.”

We give back

Here at Alongside, we have a solid team with strong values and social responsibilities. We make all of our decisions with our customer and community top-of-mind. The Yu Tech Bursary program we spearheaded is a perfect example. We believe in giving our New Brunswick youth the opportunity to have the education needed to work in the growing tech industry. The bursary covers full tuition for two deserving Grade 12 New Brunswick students who demonstrate a financial need, a personal interest in a sales career in the local tech industry and a plan to enrol in Oulton College’s Business Marketing and Sales Diploma program starting in September 2016.

Alongside’s contribution doesn’t stop there, we are offering practicum option for those awarded with the bursary and are working with Oulton College to expand the curriculum for their Business Marketing and Sales diploma program.

We’re always looking at ways we can contribute to the greater good of the community and our customers. We want our users to have a delightful experience using our platform. More than that, we want the result of connecting great talent with great companies to be super rewarding.

Here are some parting words from Benoit Bourque, our Co-founder and CTO, “Go into working with a startup with an open mind, know that you can truly make a difference”.


Startup team enjoying the startup life
The Alongside Team and Pauly Ting – Team Building Canadian Style