Once you graduate, as I’m sure you’ve been told, the “real world” finally begins... whatever that means. You’ll be forced to find work and once you find work, you’ll be forced to make a name for yourself.
The next question you have to ask yourself is where do you want to find work, and what kind of name do you want to make for yourself.
The options are endless. In one corner, you’ll have big corporations. They’ll require a diploma, a résumé and probably some intern experience. In the other corner, you’ll have the world of startups.
Startups won’t require a top-tier degree, at least not formally. They’ll look at your résumé, but they won’t study it like a finance firm would.
And as for your experience in the field? You probably don’t have any because a lot of startups are starting their own field entirely; that’s why they call them so.
There are pros and cons to each, and frankly, each person is unique, which means the nature of work should be unique to you.
Personally, I think the startup game has a ton of advantages for the young entrepreneur. And so, I’ve attached the 11 reasons why you should join a startup over corporate America.
You'll grow with the company.
Sure, starting at some lavish Fortune 500 company or one of the “Big 4” audit firms out of college is a great accomplishment, but you also need to ask yourself if you, as a virgin member of the business world, are ready to swim with the big fish.
By starting at a startup, you’ll likely enter the workforce at a company that’s as new as you. After a year or so, just stop and reflect on the progress both you and your team have made.
There's less competition.
There’s less pressure to succeed individually at startups, when compared to big firms, because the goals of the team tame precedence.
There aren’t any real “quotas” outside of growth -- and survival -- in the industry. Most of the time, you’ll feel like you’re working with a team, or family even, as opposed to a dog-eat-dog corporation.
You'll have a closer team.
There’s a certain level of camaraderie, and rapport, built up over time with your start-up coworkers.
At the starting phases of your career, it’s possible that you’ll all slave away together, starve together and work obscene hours together. However, over time, it’s also very possible that you’ll all be reaping the benefits together. That’s team-building.
You can wear casual attire.
While the freedom to wear sweatpants, if you so choose, shouldn’t be your only criterion for joining a startup, it certainly helps. That’s the type of flexibility -- no pun intended -- that startups provide.
And it can really make the difference on certain Mondays when you just can’t seem to get out of bed. Who doesn’t love sweats every now and then?
You'll have more freedom.
Most of the time, at startups, you’ll be given a ton of responsibility right off the bat. This gives you a ton of creative freedom to take certain aspects of the company in directions you, personally, deem fit.
They're more hands-on.
Because you have more freedom to do things within the company, you’ll be able to actually see the impact of what you do much more clearly.
Since start-up teams are generally much smaller than established firms, your role within the company is magnified. When you do a poor job, it’s likely to reflect the startup as a whole. However, if you succeed, you can watch as your entire team progresses with you.
Startups move quickly.
Joining a startup, especially one in the young stages, can feel like “small-time work.” Give it a few months.
After a year, I’m sure it won’t look “small-time” anymore; in fact, it probably won’t resemble the way it did when you started at all. That’s the nature of startups. They move rapidly and unexpectedly.
You’ll instantly feel a sense of importance.
It might very well be your first job out of college, but working at a startup means you’ll still be treated like a veteran in the industry. Why? Because it’ll make you work harder.
A sense of confidence will always present itself in your work and a lot of times at larger corporations, you might feel sheepish to say something or do something regarding a higher up. This isn’t so at a startup.
Watching a company progress is a beautiful thing.
Watching your company grow is like watching your own child grow -- especially when you consider the amount of blood, sweat and tears you put towards the thing you love.
You’ll feel a sense of responsibility in its progression, but you’ll also recognize the importance of the entire team.
The hours are more flexible.
They’re more flexible, but that doesn’t mean they’re easier. While you might not be forced to work a strict 9 to 5, you still might be asked to work obscene hours -- but they're likely to be on your own terms.
Maybe you like to have your mornings free in return for putting hours in at night. It’s really up to you, and your startup won’t discriminate as long as progress is made.
The experience is unparalleled.
The experience of working at a startup really cannot be replicated anywhere else. There’s a sense of hunger, excitement and swagger to pulling the strings behind a company, regardless of its size.
You’ll be able to meet a ton of new people -- and the fun part is then turning these new people into potential partners and connections. It’s really up to you.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It