As the co-founder of a cybersecurity talent community, I\u2019ve heard just about every piece of career advice out there. And ever since I left a large financial institution to become chief strategy officer at Flashpoint last year, I\u2019ve received no shortage of questions from other cybersecurity professionals considering similar career moves. Making the jump from the operational side to the vendor side can be a big decision, which is why I\u2019d like to reflect on my own experience and share some of my lessons learned and advice picked up along the way.Be adaptable\u00a0When joining a startup, things tend to move quickly. The environment is typically less structured and with few formal workflows or processes. But as the company grows, captures more market share, raises capital, increases its headcount, and develops new products, the structure, order, and processes that were once lacking will emerge and become more prominent\u2014and often very quickly.Case in point: when I joined Flashpoint roughly 18 months ago, the company had just closed its Series B round of funding. We\u2019ve since more than doubled our headcount, opened a new corporate headquarters, launched multiple new offerings, and closed our Series C round of funding. Having so many milestones and developments in such a short period of time not only gave us no choice but to keep up with the fast pace, it also required us to adapt and embrace the numerous new processes and structures that were implemented as a result of our rapid growth.But as someone who spent many years working for a large and highly structured enterprise, I\u2019ve actually found a sense of comfort and familiarity in many of the new processes and organized workflows Flashpoint continues to adopt. If upon joining a startup you struggle to adapt to the pace, structure, (or lack thereof), keep in mind that these aspects of the company will likely become more developed, organized, and sustainable over time.Be a team player\u00a0\u00a0Starting a new role at a new company means joining a team of individuals who might have different backgrounds, skill sets, and perspectives. Recognize they might also use different tools, have different workflows and processes, and operate under a different dynamic than what you\u2019re used to. Especially during your first few months at a new company, go out of your way to be open-minded, willing to learning from and collaborate with your new team, and above all else, listen!Even though you might have done something one way at a previous company, what worked for you in the past might not be best for your new team and company. While bringing fresh ideas to your new role is certainly encouraged, don\u2019t come in trying to rock the boat right away. Seeking to change well-established processes without first learning about the company, establishing yourself in your new role, and considering whether any changes you want to make will add value can be counterproductive and even detrimental in many cases.Understand work-life balance is what you make of itAs I mentioned, most startups are fast-paced. But while we move quickly, we have to make sure we\u2019re doing things correctly. At Flashpoint, we refer to this as GSDR: getting stuff done right. Mastering this combination of speed and precision can be tricky and may require longer work days at first. Keep in mind that until a company reaches its growth phase and can afford to expand its headcount, you might be required to wear more hats than you\u2019re used to. For some people, this could mean supporting sales efforts, developing marketing collateral, or addressing customer inquiries. If certain components of your role are unfamiliar or challenging to you, then naturally, you might need to put in more time to accomplish the desired outcome.I always tell myself that if I work 12-hour days, then I\u2019m going to earn the visibility of a company that puts in 12-hour days. While this type of schedule and commitment can take some adjusting among those of us who came from large enterprises, it\u2019s important to remember that because startups tend to grow faster, they also create new positions and hire new employees faster. As such, it\u2019s likely that your role, responsibilities, and work-life-balance will become more manageable over time.Be willing to take risksGoing from a large enterprise to a budding startup is neither a decision to be taken lightly nor is it one without risk. This might seem scary or daunting, but recognize that any big career move\u2014regardless of company, industry, or role\u2014will always carry a certain degree of risk. While you can minimize it, you can\u2019t avoid it entirely\u2014which is why it\u2019s best to embrace it.The worst thing you can do in a new role is be hesitant or anxious about the countless \u201cwhat-ifs\u201d you\u2019re worried you might face. Having this type of mindset not only prevents you from excelling, it can hinder the morale, progress, and productivity of those around you. If you aren\u2019t fully committed to your role and company, how can you expect your teammates to be? Rather than get bogged down by your hesitations, fears, or uncertainties, focus instead on the new culture, opportunities, or whatever else excites you about this new step in your career.In my experience, being successful\u2014especially if you\u2019re moving from a large enterprise to a startup\u2014requires going \u201call-in\u201d and not being afraid to embrace all of the new risks and challenges you\u2019re likely to encounter along the way.Find the right companyThis is by far the most important piece of career advice I\u2019ve ever received. Especially today, you see so many people jumping from enterprises to startups because they think it\u2019s very buzzy or cool. While it may very well be buzzy and cool, if you don\u2019t love the company and what it stands for, you\u2019re neither going to be happy, nor successful. If you\u2019re unsure whether a company is right for you, it might help to ask yourself the following questions:Do you believe in the company\u2019s mission?How will your experience and skills support the company\u2019s mission?Will joining the company enable you to develop new skills and progress in your career?Have you ever been a consumer of the company\u2019s offerings? How was that experience?Is the company\u2019s culture a good fit for you?As one of Flashpoint\u2019s first customers, I had been following the company since its earliest days. This perspective enabled me to gain invaluable insight into numerous aspects of the company long before I become an employee. I recognize not everyone has the opportunity to become so well-acquainted with their prospective employer, but it\u2019s crucial to do your due diligence and make sure you\u2019re honest with yourself about why you want to work there. Everyone has their reasons, but for me at Flashpoint, it was the company\u2019s collaborative approach with customers, the real-world problems it was (and still is) committed to solving, and the incredibly smart and welcoming people.