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16 Reasons You Should Be Working For A Startup

You’ve graduated from college, you’re ready to jump into the working world. But where should you work? A corporate job, or a startup?

#1 Opportunity for self-discovery

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In a startup, you have a unique opportunity to discover your hidden skills. Start-ups - by their flexible structure - are excellent places where you can go beyond your job description and surprise yourself with some results you never knew you could do. So you get to add even more skills to your resumé.

Contributors: Winston C Ikekeonwu from Align Academy Group

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#2 Grows your Network

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One of the biggest things that I enjoyed about working at startups is the fact that I get to work closely with other folks on my team that I may not get the chance otherwise to work with elsewhere. You can see what's going on in marketing, sales, customer support, engineering, etc just by walking to the table across the room. Later on when you part ways (for better or for worse) you suddenly know a few people that have that industry specific knowledge. When other people in your network are looking for such resources you can be the guy who makes those introductions. Goodwill all around plus a nice boost to your social capital.

Contributors: Jared Wolff from Circuit Dojo

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#3 Flexible Hours

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Last summer when I got the opportunity to work at a startup for the first time, the first thing I noticed was just how flexible the hours were. Some people on the team would come into the office bright and early at 6 am only to leave at 2 pm while others worked well into the night. All that the founder of the company asked was that every employee logged their hours using the When I Work app. This level of flexibility was amazing and something you will only ever find in a startup.

Contributors: Eric Steinke from Beyond VR

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#4 Casual Dress Code

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Aside from the flexibility that comes with a startup, one thing I immediately noticed when I walked in for my first interview at a startup (in a suit) was that there was no dress code! I was shocked to see the founder of the company wearing a plain white t-shirt, runners and shorts. The casual dressing was another big plus for me, and one advantage that people always pointed out when coming into the office.

Contributors: Eric Steinke from Beyond VR

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#5 Wear Many Hats

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I think one of the greatest advantages to working for a startup is the ability to wear so many hats. It's true — you will be busy and responsible for a great deal of work, but the payoff is great. You will learn so many new skills, become agile, and receive opportunities to grow in ways you might not in a more corporate environment. No two days are the same for a startup, and that keeps you creative and on your toes.

Contributors: Deborah Sweeney from MyCorporation

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#6 Room To Negotiate

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One of the nicest things about working at a startup is the ability to negotiate about certain aspects of your work experience. In a startup, once you prove that you're reliable and able to carry out the work your responsibilities, there's a lot of potential for discussion. Whether you're looking to work overtime, want to try a work from home setup, or come into the office a little later than 9am, there's room to negotiatein a startup… something that can't be said often in large organizations.

Contributors: Kyle Strong from Tradogram

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#7 Direct Impact

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It can be easy to lose what seems like a single drop of work effort in the sea of a large organization. In a startup, you have to work extra hard to stay afloat, but the work is satisfying. It's great to see the direct impact of the hours you put into a smaller company, and it's also nice to be able to measure how influential your completed projects are on the company. There's nothing more rewarding than seeing a mediocre result, then improving your approach to make it a great one.

Contributors: Kyle Strong from Tradogram

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#8 Be A Big Fish In A Small Pond

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The way a startup and a corporation hires are much different. Startups look to hire individuals that don’t need much training, that have specific skills and abilities, and that they can trust with certain responsibilities. In comparison, large corporations often hire to fill their job vacancies, with less focus on deeply vetting to find the exact candidate they need.

They have budgets to train individuals who don’t already have the specific skills needed, and they can afford to put full teams around an individual to successfully deliver projects. Startups on the other hand, don’t have the financial cushion that these large corporations have and need particular people who can deliver specific skills and fit into the overall culture of the startup. As a result, when you work at a startup, you’re there for a reason - and you’re not just another minnow getting dropped into the ocean. Your skills often feel more meaningful to a startup than it often feels in a big-corp environment.

Contributors: Michael Sims from ThinkLions

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#9 Interesting & Challenging Work

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When you work at a startup, often your position isn’t totally defined. In many cases, you may be the first person to ever fill your position and there may not be any previous example for you to look at for inspiration. It can be challenging to be the first in a position and the first at the company to complete certain tasks, but for some, this challenge is what gets them up in the morning. In comparison, sometimes working at a big-corp can seem like working in a factory. The work you do every day can become monotonous and boring. With a fast growing startup though, you may not know what your exact mission will be from one day to the next!

Contributors: Michael Sims from ThinkLions

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#10 Really Cool Perks

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Obviously it’s nice to have some of the perks that large corporations offer - more money, a retirement plan and etc.; but startups are changing the culture of the workplace, and that’s an awesome perk in itself. Many fast growing startups want you to enjoy being at work - they may have a ping pong table or even may bring in a masseuse on a random Tuesday to help their employees alleviate stress. Some allow you to work remotely so you can perform your tasks wherever you find most inspiring. Want a giant slide in the middle of your office? There’s a startup for that. Want to work for a place that allows you to bring your dog to the office with you every day? There’s a startup for that too. While startups may offer less financial perks, there is a “coolness” factor that you just won’t get working in big-corp.

Contributors: Michael Sims from ThinkLions

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#11 More Exposure

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In a start up you usually get more exposure to the work that other teams around you do, and to higher management and often the CEO. In a large company, marketing may never meet the software engineers, and a sales associate will likely not travel to sales meetings with the CEO. In a start up, you will probably share a small office with all the company departments, getting visibility to the ins and outs of how the organization works as a whole. Your cubicle may be right outside theCEO's office and your CEO may also be in charge of sales.

Contributors: Miki Feldman Simon from IamBackatWork

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#12 Equity

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When you're working for a start up you're more likely to get equity in the company. At first this may not seem like much, but if you choose a start up you believe in, and manage their growth, this can turn into a very profitable investment.

Contributors: Nate Masterson from Maple Holistics

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#13 Room for Growth

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Many employees at a start up will have a number of positions. This means you are not only gaining experience in your field, but could be gaining valuable experience in other areas as well. Future employers know that if you worked at a start up you probably wore many hats. On it's own this information is valuable, it shows flexibility, team spirit and dynamic capabilities.

Contributors: Nate Masterson from Maple Holistics

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#14 Company culture

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One advantage of working at a startup is that you get to experience a more freeing and intimate company culture. You are actually recognized and acknowledged by your co-workers and your employers. Basically, you will most likely have a better work relationship with everyone that works at your startup than you would have if you worked at a major corporation. The relationships you build at a startup can lead to lasting network relationships.

Contributors: Alayna Pehrson from BestCompany

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#15 High energy environments

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Startups tend to be high energy environments with more young people, less hierarchy, and more flexible offices.  If you are looking for a support staff, set job title, career path for promotion, a steady work schedule, a quiet office to work in, etc. then a startup is not for you.  In a startup you may be putting labels on boxes for shipment, making a speech at an industry conference or presentation to investors, answering phones and ordering dinner for the group all within the same week.

Everyone has to pitch in when it is busy from the newest intern to the CEO.  If that sounds like fun then you will enjoy the ride.  The dress code is casual but thework is intense and there is nowhere to hide.  High risk and potentially a high return too.  Be careful though it can be addictive!

Contributors: Paige Arnof-Fenn from Mavens & Moguls

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#16 Things happen fast at startups

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There are not a lot of processes in place or systems to do things so you rarely have to wait once someone gets the idea how to move forward.  In big companies, it can take months of meetings and memos to get approval to even do the research to test the idea or make a change.

In startups, the category can be moving so fast that if you do not jump in to test the market it can change before you know it. Internet businesses are always on so fasten your seat belt. If you like to have certainty and lots of data before making a decision then a startup is not a good fit.  Startups are constantly pivoting and course correcting as they grow so if that sounds fun then you will enjoy the environment.

Contributors: Paige Arnof-Fenn from Mavens & Moguls

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Written by Zak Parker

Article Writer, Pianist, Internet Marketing Enthusiast; I delve into a variety of creative mediums and take advantage of what they have to offer. With experience in SEO, Dropshipping, Affiliate Marketing and Advertising, I'm a plethora of general marketing knowledge and enjoy helping those new to the game get their foot through the door. I'm always excited to hear of the latest method, or if the chance presents itself, create my own.

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