Here's Why You Need to Work for a Startup
Nothing replaces work experience, and there is no better place to learn than working at a startup. I'd even dare to say that spending my early years working at a startup benefited me way more than going back to business school. It's tiring, exciting, and enthralling all together. Sure, you'll forgo some things at first like a 401K, a steady salary, or weekends off. It'll be hard to see some of your friends working at big corporate companies getting all the perks, moving into new homes and, seemingly, getting "ahead" of you. However, the payoff for working at a startup versus going the corporate route is a decision that could change your life forever.
It sure as hell changed mine, so today I'm daring you to work for a startup.
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You'll work all types of jobs
At startups, you have to be a jack-of-all-trades. Knowing one thing isn't enough, and if you only know one thing - it won't be for long. This is the perfect opportunity to learn about different types of jobs from sales, marketing, product development, customer support, etc. You'll get the opportunity to explore what you do/don't like and learn about jobs outside of the vague job descriptions you get out of college.
Working on-on-one with seasoned pros
Whether you're a professional or a new college grad, everyone is the same at a startup. You get the opportunity to learn first-hand from people who may have years of experience over you. They will not only teach you, but also rely on you to do work that they have known for years. This puts you in a unique position to not only learn, but teach new skills, which will help make a lasting impression. While your friends are working in cubicle land with strict defined roles, you'll be at the edge of your seat rolling with people who love the thrill of startups at any age.
There's a reason why people join startups, and that's the payoff. The dream that as a team, you'll build something so wonderful that it will become a profitable company. To be known as part of the original team or employee number 4, 10, 15 is very impressive. It shows that you have dedication to the company and it may off in dividends with stock options, shares and a big boost in salary when the company becomes profitable.
Working at a startup is education you simply can't pay for. It's a lifelong experience that won't leave you. But if you're intent on going back to school for an MBA or another high level degree, it will look phenomenal compared to all the other applications. You'll also have way more to bring to the table when it comes down to classroom discussions because you'll have more experience to draw on from starting a company.
Are you lusting to work for a startup yet? It's an easier decision when you're just starting out for sure. It's difficult to make that decision when you have a family, financial responsibilities and obligations already. Weight out the pros and the cons and the potential pay off. It may surprise you, and you might end up surprising yourself after working for one.