Listen to this article now

Whether you have just graduated from college, or are looking for a new career direction, there are many excellent reasons that selecting a startup makes sense. It isn’t just the excitement of being in at the start of the next potential big thing either. Career-wise, working for a startup can propel you upwards much faster than climbing the highly structured ladder of an established company. If you see a startup hiring, then this could be the boost or perfect start that your career is looking for.

This article lists the top ten reasons that working for a startup could be the best career move of your life!

1) Freedom to Think Outside of the Box

Woman sitting in box of light

Large and established corporations can be set in their ways, procedures are laid down that each employee must adhere to. With a startup there is more flexibility to be your own person and think outside of the box.

Being able to take initiatives is a factor that might only be available to the upper management tiers in a large corporation. In larger structures any decision or initiative you try to get the go-ahead for will come against a wall of procedures that must be followed and impersonal management layers that can be blind to change.

2) It’s Exciting

Don’t underestimate this as a perk of working for a startup. If you have already worked for a large or multi-national company, you will already appreciate that much of your working life is a blur of repetitive tasks that only maintain an established status-quo.

With a startup, you are building the foundations of something that is yet undiscovered. The dream behind the company is as yet unrealized and the path isn’t set in stone. Having the opportunity to lay those foundations and help guide the fledgling business is an amazing opportunity.

3) Become a Jack of all Trades

At some point in your career, you will want to become a master of one particular trade. To achieve this, it is incredibly beneficial to understand how all aspects of a business function and how they merge to form the “whole”.

In an existing firm it is likely you will have a fairly rigid job description that lists in great detail what your responsibilities are. In a startup, the boundaries are blurred, you are likely to be wearing a different hat each day of the week.

4) Help with Your Future Startup

Sign that says design your future

Not everyone sees their entire career path as working for someone else. Many entrepreneurs have started their own careers working for smaller startups.

If you see your future as running your own business, then there is no finer apprenticeship than being in at the start of a similar venture. To work for a startup can give you a fantastic grounding on the dos and don’ts of starting your own venture.

Watching and learning as the process unfolds is going to teach you far more than all the theoretical information learned from coursework and books.

5) Learn to Innovate

Innovation flourishes in startup environments. With established corporations innovation is often stifled by their rigid structure. With a startup innovation isn’t just encouraged, it is likely to be at the very core of the business ethos.

We are creatures of habit; our learned behaviors can be exceedingly difficult to unlearn! If you are just starting out in your career, then being stifled by procedures that are designed to play it safe, can lead to an ingrained mindset that could be difficult to shake. Learning to innovate early in a career path is a skill that is likely to stay with you always.

6) Work at the Cutting Edge

By their very definition startups operate at the cutting edge of what’s new and up-and-coming. Getting in at the ground-floor of the latest technology or ideas is something that will benefit an employee in numerous ways. Within a startup you will learn new skills that the marketplace isn’t yet flooded with, understand emerging technologies, and gain a grounding in a niche that has potential to become the next big thing.

Building a skillset that is still rare in the marketplace could turn you into a valuable commodity overnight.

7) Learn to Work Under Pressure

We often think of startups as being relaxed and informal places to work (to some extent this is true, see the next point), but the pressure to succeed can be all encompassing. Established companies have their own unique pressures, you will likely have a job description that burdens you with a set of responsibilities that bring their own set of pressures.

With a startup the pressure is more immediate, the stress of trying to succeed in an untested market is different from the pressure of trying to plough through an ever-growing workload that ultimately won’t shape the future of the business. With a startup you will be juggling many tasks and some of them may have a great bearing on whether the startup is successful or not.

8) Informal Working Conditions

Two employees sitting in bubble shaped chairs at startup

Not every startup is going to boast a working environment scattered with beanbags and threaded with model train tracks. But most startups by their very nature offer informal environments in which to flourish.

Being in at the start of a company can offer many benefits as far as working conditions go. Frequently working from home, more casual attire, and bringing your young children with you to work are some of the features that working for a startup can offer.

9) Climb the Promotion Ladder Quickly

As the company grows, so will your career. Being in at the very start of an enterprise gives you the opportunity to grow your career in conjunction with the company’s growth. In large corporations it is easy for your skills to get overlooked, with a startup the work that you have done and the hours you put in will be more likely noticed. And, of course, the fact that you wore all those hats, means you are in the unique position of understanding the workings of the business inside-out.

10) Job Satisfaction

Perhaps this is the most important of them all. The feeling of achievement that is gained from being part of a startup and watching it flourish and knowing that its success is in no small part due to you gives you a feeling of achievement that is hard to match in any other field or career path.

If you are at the beginning of a career path, or are young enough that ambition and risk-taking are what drives you on and the energy is still there to match it, then a startup could be that perfect career move.

What other reasons do you have for working at a startup? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.