A few weeks ago, as we hit the magic milestone of 100 employees, I stood in front of my coworkers to try to recap my journey over the soon-to-be-four years at TrackTik. We were gathered around the new kitchen section which was once the size of our office when I first started. There were roughly 13 of us back then and that space used to fit us perfectly. On Friday, I was staring at some 113 colleagues – about a 100 more employees than when I started – struggling to cram into that same space and I felt almost overwhelmed.
We’re renovating our office currently to find more space for our rapid expansion, but we try our best to document our growth. Thus when a few more weeks prior, we had been clicking photos to document our phenomenal employee growth rate, I sat on a lonely couch with one other colleague for the “2015 hires” photo. But, the subsequent photos that were clicked after us: the “2016, 2017 and 2018 hires” kept getting more and more populated.
Very recently, with all these incredible changes in mind, I decided to reflect on my time at the scaleup success story that is TrackTik and round up some words of advice to anyone looking to join startups.
Buy into the culture and the vision
The opportunity to innovate an age-old industry, the physical security space, with a comprehensive product turned out to be more challenging and enriching than I imagined. At first, I wasn’t convinced whether I wanted to join a B2B company, let alone a niche one. I ultimately joined the company because I believed in the team.
The team assembled at TrackTik consists of some of the most passionate people in the world of business. Most of us were not familiar with the security space before we came in, but each of us dove in and immersed ourselves as soon as we came in. We invested time getting to know our clients’ pain points and identifying industry trends, and we’re constantly pushing the envelope as one of the most disruptive SaaS companies out there.
Recognizing the need in a niche industry and then extending tech innovation in the security space, I realized that even though I didn’t know what to expect at first when I joined, our product’s and our team’s abilities have far exceeded my expectations. I surely didn’t expect the exponential growth that we’ve encountered recently.
Don’t expect any dull moments
No two days have ever been the same at TrackTik. You’ll always have dozens of challenges thrown in your direction at startups, which is why you have to learn how to be nimble on your feet and resolve problems on-the-go.
Then, rather weirdly a very strange thing happens: chaos becomes the norm. The rush of resolving problems head-on, the rush of the mystery and the intrigue of what’s next keeps me going. When I take a moment’s break out of this energized environment, I almost miss it. My point being that time will fly by and the pace will never let you settle down and ease into a pattern.
Challenge organizational and personal inertia
In a dynamic environment with many moving parts, you are presented with multiple opportunities to grow and develop your career path. Your company has its own growth tangent and then you have your own course to charter; but if you can align your growth with that of your company’s trajectory, then not only is this an opportunity for you personally but it’s also beneficial for your company. This organic growth is what leads companies to success.
Throughout the years I’ve developed my role to grow in the digital sphere, I seized the opportunity to enhance my knowledge and skills in that area and make my next career move. I’ve seen many colleagues do the same, change department, step up their careers by taking courses and learning constantly. Thus, startups are exciting and accept jeans every day, but it also presents you with opportunities to achieve more than you can hope for in other environments.
What am I expecting next?
I am now taking on new challenges as I’m moving to London to lay the foundation for TrackTik’s UK office. I’m looking forward to the next phase in this startup journey. For the next 100, 200 or more employees as we grow across the globe and help make places safer.
If you’re looking for an exciting opportunity of a lifetime either in Canada, USA, Netherlands or in the UK, then please come and join our team.