You’re a grad: classes are finished, and you survived to tell the tale. Now what? You can’t live off KD and cheap beer forever, and you think you’re ready to grow up and get a real job . You’ve already begun your job search and, If you’re one of the lucky ones, you have a couple of offers on the table. On the one hand, you a have a standard position at a reputable corporation offering solid benefits and job security. wdwdwdwdwdwdwdwdwdwd
On the other, you have an opportunity at an exciting start up with big ideas, a fun atmosphere, cool people and maybe even a couple of friends. You’re not crazy about being a corporate cog; you’re no stiff, and you’ve hated Monsanto since you were smoking pot in high school behind the bleachers. You look down at your graduation dress, and can’t imagine wearing a suit. You love the idea of contributing to society and working at a startup, but is it worth the risk?
Here’s 6 reasons why we think you should grab life by the balls, follow your heart and accept a job with a startup.
1. You’ll have more responsibility.
Working at a startup probably means you’re part of a small team, often in the single digits. Due 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. Moreover, a non-corporate environment gives you a better chance to be yourself, rather than conform to corporate norms and accepted practices (boring). After all, you’re no robot.
2. You’ll be given more opportunities.
I probably don’t need to tell you that most startup jobs won’t pay as well as some of the bigger corporate and business jobs. You (or 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. Companies like Google are hiring more and more high-level employees from startups because of the rich skill-sets they develop. Furthermore, if your startup can’t pay you, they may compensate you using stock options or other securities. If you believe in your startup, you probably believe that such securities will be worth a lot more than cash one day.
3. You’ll be able to do a lot of different things.
One of the biggest complaints I hear 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, I hate to tell you, 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 don’t think you’ll ever like.
4. 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. As Michael Dell said, “Never be the smartest person in the room.”
5. Your work will be recognized (as will your failures).
If I’ve learned anything from watching TV shows and movies, it’s 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. On the flip side of that coin, it’s also really easy to see when you’ve screwed up. That keeps you focused and on your game.
6. You’ll work in an awesome atmosphere.
Startups are fun. Small teams tend to be closer and more familiar than much larger ones, and working toward a common goal builds trust and cohesiveness. It’s an environment that is equal parts exciting and warm, an extremely rare recipe in the corporate world. Most startups allow business casual, if not completely relaxed attire, and work in trendy spaces and offices. If and when a startup does find itself with a bad apple, it won’t be long before that person is out. Fast. Lazy or sub-par workers will be noticed very quickly, and startups don’t need to go through as much bureaucracy in getting rid of them.