Lisbon is a renowned European city known for its ‘free-spirited’, ‘laid-back’ and ‘hipstery’ attitude. A city that promotes freedom and accepts diversity, its start-up scene is not any different. I heard from many people, how traditional big European companies are rigidly structured. I was never up for such big corporation and its lifeless rigidity. I always wanted to work for an organization where cultural diversity, individuality and finally youthful energy will be appreciated. What better place is there to find all that at once than a Lisbon start-up!
And yes, my experience is way too unique than I expected! Since the beginning of 2017, I have been working as an intern at Fábrica de Startups, an accelerator company that aims to create new startups in Portugal, targeting the global market, to help them grow quickly and become successful examples.
The first day I came to work, I was not happy about the open-office arrangement of Fábrica workplace, though it has all the open office requirements implemented- a big open room filled with natural sunlight, fresh air and a reasonable distance (2 feet) from colleagues. I asked myself like any other serious professional with strong work ethics would do, how I could use Facebook here if one of the manager is sitting right behind me and could look at my screen anytime! Same things apply for my new colleagues, sitting on a distance of 2 feet from each other.
I can proudly say, I am an old fashioned person, and I believe in working in peace, serenity and under discipline. In my opinion, an open workspace is something opposite of all those things and you spend time chatting and laughing with your colleagues. I am glad that I could not be more wrong. I went through a week of personal training for my work, but I learned the most from my colleagues sitting next to me. I’ll credit this to the open office arrangement.
Let the discipline work for itself
As per as discipline, my boss never take a look at whether I am facebooking, chatting or working. We have two weekly meetings, where I and my team present what we did the whole week. And trust me, you don’t want to be the one doing the least work in your team and be embarrassed! So I work for my own performance and discipline myself on own.
Diversity is the new genius
Another perk of working here is getting to know people of different countries. Even in my team, there are colleagues from different nationalities- Indian, Dutch, Polish & many more. I meet really talented people who are fun to hang out with even outside work. I see how people claim working in a start-up is a lot of fun, for me it’s the colleagues who make the work interesting and enjoyable.
Perks is the new culture
Few other nice things that make other company’s employees jealous (because I brag about these so much): free coke, juice, pasta or pizza (I know! right?). If you are a non-portuguese speaker, No Problem! Everyone speaks English here. The company hosts and participate in many events such as networking events, conferences, workshop and pitching competitions that anyone can join.
When all that glitters in not gold
For me, start-up is young people’s game. The average employee age range is 20 to 27 years. In my team, the eldest person is 27 years old, and she is my boss running a team of 9 people. If you are a 40+ year old person and consider yourself 20 something by your heart, then maybe you can give the start-up a try. In reality, every one of my colleague works themselves into the ground, with highest efficiency and quality wise work.
Well, have I caught your attention? Then, you can contact Fábrica de Startups team and find out more! We are currently based in Oeiras, near to the beautiful beach. Who knows? You can even take one of our summer internships as a first step towards becoming an entrepreneur yourself.