Picture yourself just finishing school or uni in today’s economy.
You’ve got two options. Do you head for a job at an established business, perhaps one of the large firms that have a well-known and rewarding graduate program?
Sure, the work might be a little routine, but you’ll have a good salary and some stability – and definitely some career progression.
Or do you take a risk and head to the startup, which may be less stable and pay next to nothing, but give you the type of excitement and thrill you just can’t get at a bigger business?
With the chance of succeeding in a business that could be a global phenomenon?
The truth is that both have their benefits.
At a startup, you’re much closer to the actual work. Without layers of middle management, you’re able to get access to the bigger decision makers. Even better, you actually get to be a decision-maker yourself and have a say in how the entire business is built.
If the startup becomes a success, your decisions will have an impact for years.
The lack of an established hierarchy means your views hold as much weight as everyone else.
Now, let’s compare that startup environment to a traditional larger corporate setup.
Working with a big name on your resume opens doors that other businesses can’t – especially startups that haven’t established a track record yet.
But the sheer amount of bureaucracy involved in a larger business stops you from getting things done. When you’re dealing with a few layers of management above you, it’s hard to move the needle.
At a startup, you’re likely working in an agile methodology that doesn’t just allow you to fix problems on your own but actively encourages it. And that methodology works its way into your core product as well.
Take my own business, for instance. We’re a startup focused on giving people faster access to money. We’re not dealing with layers upon layers of management, so our product reflects that strategy.
There’s no weeks-long application process for some extra cash – just an online service that lets you apply instantly if you need a loan. The product is lean, because we’re lean.
Here’s something else to consider: just as a larger business prepares for your future career, startups can do the same – just in different ways.
Working at a fast-growing company essentially prepares you to be a founder of your own.
There have been countless employees at successful startups who have gone on to start their own businesses. Uber’s CTO, for instance, recently created his own startup in the transport space – Ride.
Being at a startup may be a dream job, but it’s also a crash course, giving aspiring entrepreneurs the ability to develop the skills necessarily to succeed on their own.
As we move to an economy ruled by startups, this is important to consider. People who want to join a business are eager to learn, but they can’t learn much if they’re bogged down by unproductive roles. Being handed relevant challenges that help them grow is what startups need.
It’s not right to say startups have a monopoly on good jobs. But if I was a uni student, I’d know where I’d be applying.