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The 6 Reasons Working In A Startup Will Jump Start Your Career

David Law

Mon, 6 Jan, 2020


David Law

  • Reading Time:
    ~ 4 minutes

What do world-famous, lucrative companies like Uber, Airbnb, Apple, and Canva have in common? They all began as innovative, idea-driven startups that could either fail spectacularly or, as they did, thrive. It’s a known fact that Steve Jobs started his project in his parents’ garage.

Every successful business has to start from ground zero— and that can be scary for some people. But the world (and specifically Australia, as the fifth-most startup-friendly country in the world) is witnessing an ongoing explosion of new small businesses with a vision. 

What does this mean for you? Are you willing to work in a startup instead of an already established company? On the one hand, the latter gives you a security net, set protocols for how to do things, and a fixed position. 

Getting a job in a startup, though, can offer something else: progression, responsibility, money prospects, a possibly accelerated rise in your career.

Sounds good? Let’s take a closer look. 

6 Reasons to give startups a go.

Of course, becoming part of a startup has its risks as well as its benefits. It’s true that 90% of all startups fail. But even a fall can teach you something, and giving up is the only sure way to fail.

Whatever the outcome, what will you get out of the experience?

1. It’s exciting.

Whoever tells you startup life is smooth sailing is lying to you. Yes, long hours can be a thing. The whole affair is driven by passion and a vision, so you’ll probably be expected to give it your all.

If fast-paced, exciting work is what you’re after, then the startup life is for you. You’ll be surrounded by a bunch of motivated, ambitious people and you’ll feel the impact of your actions on the success of the business.

Startups are all about innovation— working to fill a perceived gap in the market. That means there are no set ways of doing things, no proven best practices. You’ll be forging them as you go. 

2. More freedom, more responsibility.

In a large, established company, you’re just one spot in a sea of people, a necessary but small mechanism in a well-greased engine. 

In a startup, however, you’re one of the ‘chosen few’— at the beginning at least. Meaning: you’ll be in charge of a lot, perhaps even in different areas of the business. You’ll likely be asked to learn and try new things you hadn’t even thought about before. You’ll get room to spread your wings.

But it’s like that Spiderman quote goes— ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. Which isn’t a bad thing! Working in a startup, you’ll work alongside the founders to make big decisions that affect the future of the project. Even if the startup fails, this exercise in responsibility is bound to be a great teacher (and yes, also look pretty good on your CV).

3. Progression projection.

If a startup wants to succeed, it needs to grow fast, attracting investors and winning over the competition. A team that consisted of 10 people at the start of the year could double by the end of the year, or expand even more.  

When you got in early and know the business from the start, you’re likely to end up leading a team, hiring new employees, and making the big decisions. Where else can you fast track your development like that?

4. Fast learning.

In a close-knit team, you’re right next to the founders— likely talented experts in the field. This type of business needs you to learn fast, adapting to the flow to keep up with the competition and the developing market needs. 

You’ll grow new skills and explore new areas. As opposed to what happens in an established company, there’ll be no structured onboarding or training, but you’ll be learning directly from the people and the full-tilt action around you. 

If you’re a development-driven, hands-on type of person, this is an opportunity you can’t pass up.

5. You’re close to the action.

As we’ve mentioned, you’ll be close to the founders and senior levels. As a consequence, you will get the opportunity to contribute to the decisions that shape the business. 

This closeness offers you the chance to access experience-based knowledge and industry savvy. This high level of exposure is unique to this type of business.

Plus, how exhilarating is it to make your own pivotal decisions and own up to them? 

6. Money, money, money.

Of course, the beginning of a startup isn’t a goldmine. Far from it— investment is funnelled towards the growth of the company instead of big fat salaries. This is necessary for the ultimate success of the venture.

But you are very valuable to the company as a quality, early employee that knows the business well. So the financial rewards will start coming later, as the company progresses.

And they can be pretty great— many startups offer employees pre-IPO stock options (the right to buy shares before they’re made available to the public) as a reward. If you buy a small portion of shares before the company booms, you’re in for incredible returns on that investment.

The key concept here is that, if the company grows, you’ll succeed as well. Motivation as well as profit.

Want to get that startup job?

If these 6 reasons to work in a startup have enticed you, you might want to start looking. Getting a startup job might seem like a bit of a gamble, we get it— but the risk grows proportionally to the rewards. And the rewards, in terms of the learning curve, the responsibility that looks good on your CV, and the potential money rewards, are looking pretty good.

Ready for your next job? Wanna get started in a startup and jumpstart your career? Send us your CV and we’ll connect you with the best opportunities in Australia.

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