Working at a startup is something pretty special. It may not provide the security of a corporate but risk-taking is all part of the attraction. So what are the perks? A small team, inspirational founders, a young, non-hierarchical set-up and an energizing spirit are what first come to mind. We’ve put together a list of the five reasons why startup life can be so rewarding and why as either employee or founder, the startup world is an exciting and challenging place to be. Are you ready to take a risk and join a startup?
1 – You have the opportunity to work for a product you can really get behind.
In corporate, you can’t always control what you’re going to be working on. In firms full of thousands of products and individual projects you are rarely left with a choice of what you would like to work on. Instead people tend to be distributed. At a startup you have the opportunity to look for the products, ideals and team that you want to work for and throw everything you have into it. With so many startups you are bound to find a company doing something you are really passionate about, and if you don’t find one, perhaps it’s time you started up on your own!
2 – You can take ownership
By ownership I don’t mean equity, I mean the feeling of ownership when you become one of a few people to help something real get made and used. While in corporate you are often structured to a career path timed to the beat of its own drum, at a startup your enthusiasm is more easily remarked upon and rewarded. It may not be your company, but being able to have a say – and to know that your ideas are being taken onboard – makes for a great day at the office. Not only that but having the chance to make an impact on the future of the company, not to mention your own and your colleagues’ working lives is something unique to the startup culture.
3 – The chance to learn, and learn a lot
A good job in any context is often marked by its opportunities to learn and grow as an individual. Being in a small startup will often afford you more opportunities to learn than most given its lack of restrictions. While in corporate you’re generally encouraged to know your role as well as you can, at a startup it’s to everyone’s advantage that its team members are as diversely educated and informed about the company’s actions as possible. It’s easier to advocate this in a small team, and it’s quickly becoming part of the startup culture to focus on employees even more than customers. As one of my colleagues remarked the other day:
“In what corporate job do you teach yourself how to be a salesperson, coder, video editor, designer, manager, copy writer and accountant all at the same time?”
4 – The flexibility
This isn’t always true, but it should be. Startups are dynamic, and so must its employees be, both up and down the chain of command. If you’re a good employee you have every right to take the time you need to continue being a good employee. Every individual has individual needs in this regard, and a good startup will recognize and accommodate this rather than fix everyone to a firm set of time-allowance guidelines. You could work from anywhere in the world, so long as you can get on Google hangout to ping your colleagues. There’s a lot of trust and flexibility, which makes you as an employee only want to work harder!
5 – The network
What is more valuable? A network of people who stay generally in the same position for long periods of time, working on the same projects with mostly the same people for years on end. Or a network of people who are constantly developing new ideas, researching and building on new opportunities on a mission to reach and respond to as vast a variety of professionals in their field as possible? At a startup you will meet so many different people with all sorts of skills and expertise. Exchanging these skills and learning from your network is what makes the environment so fertile for growth and change, creating a workplace that is constantly evolving and improving. Your network’s enthusiasm for what you’re doing is also infectious.
Rosie Allabarton is a writer who lives in Berlin. She works as Content Manager for CareerFoundry, an online educational platform that provides training in Web Development and UX & UI Design, providing career changers with the skills they need to launch themselves onto the tech scene.
Image credit: Tim Dorr