I began working with a Shanghai based startup at the beginning of this year. The company, called Bundshop, was founded by two amazing women and an incredibly talented creative director.
Before Bundshop, I had no idea that I would end up working for a startup. When I initially began to scout around for job opportunities, I was chasing after an aura of glamour and exclusivity, dead set on working for a big name brand in the luxury goods industry. After a conversation with a friend that opened my eyes to the benefits of working for a startup, I changed my course and pursued a job at Bundshop. This has been one of the greatest decisions I have made in my life, and everyday I learn something new and feel rewarded in some way.
Here are five reasons why working for a startup beats working for an established company any day.
Startups are always trying to find out what they are good at, how they can work most effectively, and what customers appreciate about their services. In this risk taking environment, creativity, boldness and innovative thinking are strongly encouraged. If you propose an idea, startups are likely to listen to what you have to say and may actually put it into practice. In an established company, the trial and error period is already over and you will have more existing barriers to have your ideas heard.
It takes a certain type of person to take huge risks and dedicate their lives to start a company. Entrepreneurs can be optimistic to the point of foolishness, but they are also creative and full of ideas about how they are going to change the world; they are people you can learn and derive inspiration from. Get infected by the enthusiastic atmosphere and feel the palpable drive and ambition in the air. Feel your fears and mental barriers evaporate away as you are motivated, forced out of your comfort zone, and encouraged to go after your dreams.
Since an endless workload is the norm for startups, your daily responsibilities will be fast paced and cover a diverse range of tasks. While working in a startup can be initially overwhelming, once you get into the swing of things you begin to enjoy the static nature of the work. Another benefit is the ability to dabble in many different areas and really find out what you are good at.
Because you are working with a relatively small number of people every day, start-ups can become like a family. If all goes well, there is potential to become very close with your co-workers, and you may end up enjoying your work despite putting in long hours. If all goes well, you may even venture out (and party) together.
Working for a startup means emotional involvement with your work. In a large company, your contribution is only a small component of the larger whole. In a startup, your actions often directly affect the outcomes. Because of this, you feel the disappointment of every failure along with your bosses. On the other hand, you also experience the pure joy of progress, and celebrate every client acquired, every small victory and all the steps moving forward.
Of course, there are cons to working for a startup, including long hours, a lower salary and fewer benefits. Sometimes, you have to trade full financial stability for a close knit company culture, at least for the short-term. Ultimately, you have to assess whether or not you are willing to take a risk and make sacrifices for a vision you believe in. Like me, you may be surprised at how much you grow and learn from the experience.