Whether you are on the hunt for a summer internship or a full-time position, job searching can be taunting to students and recent graduates. Some of you may be seeking to build your own business or join a multinational organization. But regardless, gaining hands-on experience while learning about various functions within a company early on in your career will certainly go a long way. With so many companies and career paths to explore, choosing from medium to large organizations can be more comfortable and potentially higher paying. On the contrary, starting your career at a small and scaling startup offers more responsibility and countless opportunities to learn about different functions and grasp a holistic understanding of how a business effectively operates. Here are 6 reasons why you should work for a startup:
1 – Your work makes a difference
Most startups have the goal of solving a problem in society and improving the daily lives of others. If the companies are not constantly evolving to solve problems, they might not last very long. With this in mind, there is very likely to be a venture that is aligned with your passions and values, geared towards specific causes or industries. As an employee at a smaller and scaling company, your contribution matters and makes an impact daily. Everything you do as an intern or new employee helps contribute to the success or failure of the startup. This will certainly influence you to focus on what is most important and challenge you to creatively approach different projects. With this in mind, you will often witness the results of your contributions first-hand.
2 – Learning opportunities
With increased responsibilities, comes endless learning opportunities. As a student or recent graduate, there are many skills that you will have to learn on the job. All employees who work in a startup are expected to wear multiple hats. Ultimately, this will push you to learn new skills fast. Being a self-starter and fast-learner will increase your responsibilities and opportunities, giving you the ability to expand your talents and experiences. These skills are invaluable as they can be easily transferred to different positions as you become a valuable asset to your team, which will be beneficial if you ever choose to take on a role at a different company or begin your own venture.
3 – Get to know the ins-and-outs of a business
Are you interested in a specific project or department, and eager to self-start while learning from your peers? As an intern or new full-time employee, there are so many opportunities to get involved on various responsibilities and projects. Since the company may be a lot smaller, your role will not be distinctly defined and you will be working on various projects or tasks outside of your scope. Although this may be require on-the-job skills training, you will get to gain hands-on experience with various departments and grasp a holistic view of how the company operates. Additionally, if there was a specific project or team you would like to get on board with, it would certainly be easier to voice your interest to the right people within a smaller company to get involved.
4 – Say goodbye to the classic 9 to 5 schedule, and hello to flexibility
If you are not interested in working the classic 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. schedule, then a startup company is the place for you. Your contributions are not measured by the number of hours clocked in, but rather by the performance and effectiveness of it. Although, you may likely be working longer hours overall, you will have more flexibility with your schedule. With the convenience of technology, you can sometimes work and have conference calls virtually from the comfort of your home or Airbnb as you travel. You complete independent tasks at times you feel most productive as long as you get things done in a timely and effective manner. Working at a startup is measured by performance, not the hours you are at the office.
5 – Variability of work to do
As many startup employees often say, “There are no two days that are the same.” For those who enjoy working on new initiatives and projects, and may get bored with repetitive tasks over a long period, the variability in the work that startups have to offer will certainly suit you. It is without a doubt that technology has influenced and changed every company and industry globally. As an employee at a scaling tech startup, it is inevitable that your industry will constantly change and keep you on your toes. This means that your role and responsibilities will constantly change, in which you will be pushed to adapt to your external environment while adopting new skills for your work.
6 – You’re young, take risks
Working at a startup will certainly pay less than a comfy, corporate job at a multinational organization. Sometimes, it may even be uncertain that the company will be around in the next five to ten years. If you are a student or recent graduate with student loans, paying off your debt may be on your mind. Although the debt may be significant, remember that you are still young and this amount will be marginal in comparison to what you will be making over the span of your lifelong career. So, why not take the risk when you are still young and fresh out of school? You are young, and very hungry to learn and gain professional experience. So this is the time to take risks, commit longer hours, and channel your energy into a smaller company that you are truly passionate about while making a meaningful difference within your community.