Why should you join a start up?

If you don’t know where you’re going, you may not get there.

Start-ups are the new talk of the town these days, and many new companies are being formed aiming to imitate the success of Facebook, Twitter and Zynga, making headlines and millions overnight. But many wonder, should you join one?

Until you’ve been around the block a few times and have been exposed to all sorts of companies, it’s a big mistake to listen to what people say, conventional wisdom, or even your own predisposition to join a start-up. Hopefully following reasons will give those who want to join startups some good points to bring back to the skeptics as to why it’s a good idea to join a startup early in your career:

Wearing Many Hats

At any small and rapidly growing company, your experience is subject to greater variance. Startups offer fantastic opportunities to handle various departments and really get to know what it’s like to run an organization. At a big company, your role is usually restricted. By their very nature, high growth startups always have more tasks at hand than people to do them. This necessarily results in a lot of “employee stretching.”  This is the best learning method an employee could ever ask for!

Big Career Opportunities

Working at a startup can present big opportunities to step up and lead. As a startup grows, your scope of responsibility and experience grows simultaneously. For a young and experience hungry employee, startups provide the best possible opportunity to accelerate your career. Startup years are like dog years – One year at a startup is like seven anywhere else. Instead of working at a low intensity for 40 years, you work as hard as you possibly can in four!

Learn by doing

In startups, learning takes place by simply rolling up your sleeves and doing, with fast feedback on how well you’re doing. Startups tend to encourage a culture of learning by experimentation, and small projects have the potential to become future game-changing projects.

Paramount Passion

Startups are invariably made up of passionate, excited people who are working there because they truly want to! The energy and passion in small teams reflect their belief in their respective ideology. Getting up each morning, raring to go at a new project is possibly the best work related feeling for any employee!

Being an Asset Rather Than an Expense

Would you like being a big fish in a small pond OR a small fish in a big pond?
It is always better to shoulder responsibility and be recognized for your work rather than being another nobody in a big MNC. There is no bigger satisfaction than being valued for your work in your work-o-sphere!

Standing Out Counts

If the idea of going to a business school appeals to you, then working for a start up will move your CV several higher notches up in the pecking order! You already will have a much more compelling story to tell than other consulting cohorts. Business schools always prefer people who have a clear idea about how a business is to be run and working in a start up provides you with exactly that.

The Bigger Picture

If you are avoiding startup, because of relatively low income, there is one more thing to expect from startup which is very valuable and rarely available with a MNC – ESOP (employee stock options). Startups get a lot of brownie points here. Also, your direct efforts could potentially lead to something much greater in the future…and that’s better than slaving away for a big company with no potential upside, eh?

Last words

I am sure there are benefits to join a big company. But, if you are someone who wants to join a startup but just needs an extra nudge, hopefully the above points will give you some ammunition to take back to your friends and family who tell you that you are an idiot for turning down a job at a brand name company for the chance to work at a startup. Startups come in all sizes and shapes, and your experience can vary depending on the team and business you choose. It’s similar to find a shoe that fits!

As some final piece of advice, make sure you understand your career goals, what you hope to get out of the experience and how it all fits together.  Good luck on your startup adventures!

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