Those who remain flexible are ready for tomorrow

5 things learned from moving from a corporate to a start-up job


Everyone is talking about the start-up mentality. But what is different when working in a start-up job? I talked to Klaudia Hinkelmann, my colleague from Vorwerk Temial, because she ought to know:

After completing her marketing studies and already working for Thermomix for four years, she was given the opportunity to become part of the new marketing team at the in-house start-up Vorwerk Temial. Temial is the newest product innovation by Vorwerk. The motto: Experience authentic tea culture a new way. In the modern tea maker, technical innovation meets a millennia-old culture. Participating in the development of a new business sector doesn’t only present her with completely new challenges, but also allows her learning curve to evolve consistently. Here are her five most important things that she learned during her first year at a start-up:


Just give it a go – it might turn out all right!

During my time at the Temial start-up, I learned to see the positive side in making mistakes! We’re currently in a phase in which we’re trying out a lot in order to identify the right path to take – and it isn’t always plain sailing! But the most important thing is to use the experience gained and do a better job next time.


Sometimes a bicycle is enough to reach the desired destination!

With us, things have to be fast and simple – and there aren’t any obstacles in the process, only challenges that need to be met! Due to the limited resources available, we always have to try to find a pragmatic solution in everything we do, one which still takes our customers to where they want to be. At the beginning this might well be with a bicycle, which then slowly develops to become a car and later maybe even a jetliner.


Those who stay flexible are good to go the next day!

Compared to my work at Thermomix, which followed a very regular schedule, I sometimes don’t know what’s in store for me the next day at Temial. This has taught me to work very flexibly and to react quickly to new circumstances. It can happen that a set plan is completely overthrown or redesigned from one day to the next.


The cross-functionality helps me in my personal development.

The work here at Temial proves to be quite cross-functional and I often have to think outside the box and deal with other function areas. I’ve been able to participate in completely new and to date unfamiliar subject matters – in fields from online marketing to direct sales – and have thereby also been able to learn a lot for my own personal growth.


At a start-up company, everybody learns to think in entrepreneurial terms.

Luckily for me, I was able to accompany and help shape Temial’s business set-up right from the start. Due to the moderate size of our team, I learned to think entrepreneurially, go beyond my actual field of responsibility and add to Temial’s success with my very own personal contribution.