Working at a Startup

Working for a startup company can be the most adrenaline packed experience of your life. Opportunities for advancement abound. You might create the next household name. Nothing is set in stone, which means that the sky’s the limit. Here are ten reasons to work for a startup.

1. Family – In a startup, you share bonds with people that go far beyond the work arena. These people are your friends, they become your family. You depend on these people. You become concerned with their family and health. All of you are working toward a common goal and you will all share in the rewards.

2. Pride – Your company might be recognized as the best in the world. Even if it doesn’t, you can have pride in taking that risk, in pushing the envelope, in doing something over nothing. You are producing your best work, taking risks and bursting through both mental and physical barriers.

3. Compensation – You are building the foundation for success. Startups are about the future, rather than the present. They do not (generally) have huge coffers to pay you the big bucks. You may receive stock options or other considerations instead of the money. The future has not yet been written.

4. Setting the standard – You set the standards. You set the policies. Was there something at your past job which made you pull out your hair? This startup is the chance to correct the mistakes that your previous employers made. You are creating your corporate culture piece by piece.

5. Variety – There are very few people working within your company, so everyone has to wear multiple hats. One day, you might be in charge of the accounting, the next day you might be designing something revolutionary. At a startup, everybody does everything necessary to help the company grow.

6. Creativity – Startup companies attract risk takers and creativity. All of you have a common goal, but you determine the direction taken to get there. The people around you are also risk takers. This environment brings out the best ideas since it offers the collaboration of people from different fields.

7. Growth – You can rapidly rise in the ranks at a startup company. Since you were there at the beginning, you choose whether you want to be the mailroom guy or the director of operations. You know the strengths and weaknesses of your startup and can place yourself in the best growth position.

8. Challenges – Larger companies have challenges, but rely on senior authority to solve them. At a startup company, you are the senior authority. You and your coworkers are setting the precedent by which others will abide. You need to be better than the competition. You must push your own limits every single day.

9. Learning – New things are learned every day. You are creating new processes. You are researching the competition. You are discovering new accounting software. You are starting from the ground, and you are developing the best practices. Each small change brings new learning opportunities.

10. Empowerment – Larger companies take the attitude that everything should be in its place. When you have an accounting problem, you go to the accounting department. When you have a service problem, you go to the service department. At a startup, since everybody does everything, you are empowered to make the decisions which you think are best for the success of the company.

While startups offer great opportunities for advancement and growth, do your research before jumping in with both feet. Ask questions of the owner, know the field and pursue your gut feeling.

This post was written by James Adams and originally posted on YSN here.

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