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.
Or is it?
Here are 7 reasons why you should take the plunge and enter the startup world instead.
1. 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.
When I joined Germinait Solutions (http://www.germin8.com/), the core team was pretty much already in place. Getting yourself into the transition from a chilled out college graduate to a working man with responsibilities is the only area you need to adapt yourself to and that gradually develops as you work towards the goals and tasks assigned to you.
2. You’ll be given more opportunities to explore.
When I first started at Germinait, all I had to my developer name were a few projects/freelance work here and there. One year on, and I’ve had a host of skill-set involving front end technologies. Other than being only a UI developer, I have had opportunities to work on domain and expertise beyond my scripting knowledge and have added core java programming too to my technology stack.I feel as a complete developer and not only a UI scripter. I know that if I would have sought out a smaller position at a higher-paying and recognizable Fortune 500 company I would still be working on a small piece of code through the slush pile of maintainance work. No thanks.
3. You’ll be able to do a lot of different things and not be stagnant.
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. This is simply not done with a start up.
4. You will get true innovation skills.
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 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.
5. Your work will be noticed.
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. 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.
1. The first is that it’s nearly impossible to slack off to. 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.
2. 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.
6. No Boring office life.
Let me 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.
7. You’ll learn to be cost-conscious.
Working at startup probably means that money is tight. 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 (this does not apply to delicious food or DoNuts).