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Should you join a start-up or an established company? It’s the classic job search duel! Whether you start your job search at 21 or 35, you must have come across this question surprisingly often.
You may have asked yourself at some point:
- How can I leverage my skills working for a start-up?
- How will working for a start-up be different
- Will this career path provide the financial stability that I want?
There’s no doubt that working in a corporate environment seems fancy with growth potentials to high-paying salaries, as well as added benefits. Most of us would be inclined to take such a position and think it’s a smart move. But is it always the case? I would advise you to reconsider your position. You might just be sacrificing your freedom and growth opportunities for the comfort and safety of a 9-5 routine corporate job. Let’s look at the top 8 reasons why a choosing to work in a start-up might be the best move for your career.
1. You’ll handle more responsibilities
When you work at a start-up, you become a crucial part of a small team. Since it’s a small group, your skillset, problem-solving abilities, and work style would provide a unique perspective and will be crucial to decision-making. Remember this: everyone’s opinion in a start-up is important. This means that your role would be more prominent and you get more responsibilities and authority to take decisions. The path to your professional growth within a start-up is much quicker, if that is something you value. For example, in a corporate environment it may take you years to grow to a position that you’re striving for. Since start-ups operate on a more accelerated pace, that goal will be achieved in much lesser time.
2. The ability to try different things
Unlike a corporate set-up where one person is responsible for a single task, start-ups give you the flexibility to try out new areas. So let’s say you work in an advertising start-up. While your job is to deal with clients, if you have an interest in the creative side (such as copywriting), you can give that a shot as well. You have the opportunity to wear as many different hats as you like! Well, kind of … it’ll also depend on what the founders will trust you with. This not-so-rigid structure of a start-up gives you the chance to experience different roles and makes you versatile. And this also benefits you career growth wise because in the current job market, recruiters want candidates who can do multiple tasks.
3. You’ll get to learn from innovative people
There is a solid reason why entrepreneurs are one of the best teachers. People who start their own businesses are not only risk-takers but also have a creative mind. They address the same old problem with new and original strategies. Even if you have a crazy idea, the founder would appreciate the novelty of your plan and teach you how to approach things in a different way.
4. Your work, as well as your mistakes, will be recognized
We all have once in our life felt that sting when we were not given enough credit for completing a job. Feels horrible, doesn’t it? Fortunately, a start-up is a place that recognizes your contributions. Since it consists of a small team, your efforts are visible to everyone. So if you succeed, get ready to hear praise from your teammates and bask in the glory.
It’s not the end of the world if you make mistakes
But hold your horses, there is a flipside too! If you make a mistake that would seem to be deal-breaking to your boss, it may not be! Chances are, in the process of starting the company, founders may have themselves committed a mistake, or two. But those mistakes didn’t bring them down. They’ve learned, they’ve grown from it and adjusted to make sure not to make them again. That being said, rest assured you will not be fired (unless it’s something completely out of line) and founders would value your honesty in admitting the mistake.
But above all, they’ll want to know how you’ve grown from it and how you can avoid it in the future. Again, start-ups operate as a small team, so everyone’s participation is crucial. So before they fire you and have a gap in their operations, they’ll see your mistake as a growth opportunity rather than failure.
5. How about a chilled-out workplace? Heck, yeah!
How does working for a start-up sound so far? If you’re ready to transition into a start-up mindset, then pack your boring suits and put on some comfy jeans to work! A start-up is a close-knit group where the majority of the crowd is young. You’ll get to workin a lively environment where you tackle complex challenges in a creative way. Who knows, you might even get lucky and make valuable friends for life.
6. You’ll learn money management
The best way to learn about managing finance is by working at a start-up. Corporate jobs come with higher salaries and added incentives. But in the case of start-ups, the money may be a little bit tighter due to you carrying the weight of all the benefit expenses (healthcare, 401K, etc). However, this will help you learn how to manage your money better.
Learn what it takes to operate a start-up
Additionally, you’ll learn what it takes to operate a start-up, from a financial standpoint. Start-up founders have to make do from what you have at your disposal as far as capital. They need to make sure they have enough money to make sure they have enough to pay their employees, office expenses, lease, and other expenses. Sure, there might be wealthy investors who would help you out, but they still need to be more responsible in spending the limited capital you have. If you are also considering starting your own company, working for a start-up will give you the experience of what it takes to operate one! So, this necessary money management lesson will lay the foundation of your future endeavors.
7. Enjoy the benefits of stock options
There is no denying that a cushy corporate job pays more than a start-up. But, you can invest in the stock options i.e equity if you get in the door early. If the organization does well, then this might turn out to be a life-changing decision for you. Think Apple. Steve Jobs started the company out of his garage and made it a multi-billion dollar company. The founding members were all given stock options to buy at a price based on what the company was valued at the time. Given how much Apple is worth today, founding member’s dollar (or whatever have you) investments literally turned into millions.
8. You’ll have an experience of a lifetime
Once you’ve created something of your own, you get a taste of ownership. Creating something from scratch, putting in all the hard work, facing failure, learning from your mistakes, and pushing your limits – working for a start-up has its own set of challenges. You also understand the value of hard work, start taking more risks, become a team player, and develop self-sufficiency. From contacting suppliers and meeting clients to promoting your product, you find immense joy and satisfaction for the work you do. At a start-up, no work is big or small. If you look at the flipside, sure, having a high-paying job at a top-notch company is amazing. But learning about the vital life lessons that are greater than money will lead you to new opportunities. An experience that helps in your overall growth is worth taking.
Whether you switch to another company or start a company of your own, after working at a start-up, you become more determined and equipped with skills that empower you to get what you want. It’ll help you build on your experiences quickly and learn other skills (you may not have authorized been exposed to in a corporate environment). So, take the plunge already and let’s begin the most exciting phase of your career by working for a startup!
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