Sure, a corporate gig might (initially) pay more than a startup and come with cushy benefits, but there are real, career-defining reasons to heed the siren song of a startup.Landing your first job can be both exciting and a bit nerve-wracking. While the benefits, stability and structure, a corporate job offers may be ideal for new graduates, more and more startups are competing for your attention these days. They realize you might not be attracted to the stuffy corporate culture.A larger, more established company will likely offer you better pay and health benefits. But, it may be five or 10 years before you see a significant salary increase or position in the company. Startups typically have a flat organizational structure, offering the opportunity to make a significant impact in a shorter time span.
You’ve graduated from college, diploma in hand (or in the mail), and you have a couple of job offers on the table. Other than being one of the lucky graduates in a weak economy, you have a choice to make. On one hand is a high-paying entry level position at a reputable brand in your field. On the other hand is a job offer from a small startup that is just kicking off. You’ve seen their product, believe in their mission, and like their approach, but aren’t sure you want to take on the risk of working at a startup. You’re leaning toward that corporate job and good pay with nice benefits. The smart choice as said by some diligences.
Or is it actually not so ?
Here are 8 reasons why you should take the plunge and enter the startup world instead.
You’ll have more responsibility.
Working at a startup probably means you’re part of a small team, most likely in the single digits. Because of the nature of having such a small team, there is probably nobody else in the company who has the same skillset as you, approaches problems in the same way you do, or even thinks the same way you do.
You’ll be given more opportunities.
You probably don’t need to be told that most startup jobs won’t pay as well as some of the bigger corporate and business jobs. You or better to be referred, your degree may be worth more than a startup is able to pay. But working at a startup offers a different type of reward: an incentive-based system that isn’t based on dollars, but rather in skills attained and opportunities seized. The experience will outweigh the pay cut.
You’ll be able to do a lot of different things.
One of the biggest complaints generally heard from peers who have entered into a more-structured, corporate position is that they are generally stuck with their main task and don’t get to branch out into other areas. Whether it’s writing, designing, filling out spreadsheets, or any other task, it’s usually a one-person-fits-one-task kind of position. If that sounds like your startup job, then sorry to say, but you’re doing something wrong. Working at a startup will allow you to try on a lot of different hats, even that weird one that you didn’t think you would ever like, but find out that you did.
You will learn from true innovators.
People who start their own business have a different mental and professional makeup than those who have never gone off to create something of their own. Entrepreneurs are defined by seeing a problem and thinking of an innovative and original way of addressing it. Because of this innovative nature, entrepreneurs are some of the best people to learn from. They approach problems differently, are constantly finding solutions, and are driven to make the most out of their time and work. Innovation is more than creativity. It’s action and reaction, solving problems in a new, enlightening way. Every successful startup has true innovators, and if you find the right ones, you’ll learn plenty.
Your work will be recognized (as will your failures).
As per TV shows and movies, it generally seen that if you work at a big company, chances are that all of your hard work is going to be ignored by the boss or someone else is going to snag the credit. But at a startup, it’s nearly impossible not to notice a job well done or to give credit where credit is due. If you succeed, the small team will recognize it instantly, and the praise and glory is yours to bask in. Spread your arms in glory, my friend, your work has been recognized. On the flip side of that coin is that it’s also really easy to see when you’ve screwed up. For two reasons, this is a good thing. The first is that it’s nearly impossible to slack off too. Within a few days, your coasting and slacking will be noticed and the rest of the team will wonder why they are working harder than they have to. That keeps you focused and on your game. The second reason is that because failure is easier to notice, you’ll make sure to eliminate mistakes in order to avoid disappointing your colleagues. Stay focused, startup employee, and your successes will be recognized and your failures minimized. And when the rest of the team says “We couldn’t have done it without you,” you can be confident that they mean it.
You’ll work in an awesome atmosphere.
Let us count the ways:
- I wear jeans to work. In the summer, I wear shorts and sandals.
- If there isn’t at least one really good joke in an hour, it’s probably a slow day.
- Everyone else who works at a startup has the same drive and excitement for creation as you do.
- The startup community is a great, close-knit group. All around you, people are coming up with innovative solutions to age-old problems or making that new tool that simplifies or enhances your life in some way. That entrepreneurial spirit is contagious, and if you don’t feel it or catch it, then you’re actively avoiding it.
You’ll learn to be frugal.
Working for a startup probably means that money is tight. Whether you’ve been showered with investor love or the founder has a really wealthy uncle, the company will still be thinking of ways to do more with less. No extravagance, no frills, no extraneous booze cruises (heartbreaking, I know). Instead, the business development intern will learn how to design and code the blog, the writer will sometimes do the dishes, and at the start, you’ll find a way to fit nine people around an eight-person table . This frugality and monetary responsibility will undoubtedly bleed into your own life as well, and you’ll end up finding new ways to find fulfillment other than burning the money you earn. Instead, you’ll probably discover a joy in creating and doing, rather than consuming. You’ll find happiness in being part of a team that is trying to make other people’s lives easier, more fun, and more manageable. Your entire life will take on a meaning of creation, and you’ll be more energized, both physically and mentally, to take on new hobbies and start your own personal projects. In the startup world, it’s all about creating more and consuming less.
You’ll be instilled with the value of hard work, ownership, and self-sustainability.
Maybe more important than any other benefit of working at a startup is the realization that hard work, creative thinking, and tenacity are worth a whole lot. Once you’ve created something of your own, something tangible and whole, something you can touch, feel, or use, you really begin to appreciate personal ownership. Working at a startup and spreading the news of your team’s product, a product that you helped bring into existence, instills the value of that ownership and gives you pride in your work. It is this pride, in your team’s hard work and ability, that teaches you the importance of protecting those who do create innovative solutions and take risks.
Working at a startup also means that you and your small team are the only people responsible for your success. No matter where you go after your stint at a startup, and especially if it is to go off and create a company on your own, that need to be self-sustainable, and the skills you picked up to make that possible, will power everything that you do.
You are good to go. Have courage and do make use of your entrepreneurship skills.