Working at a startup is different than working at a traditional large corporate company but different doesn’t have to bad. Different might be exactly what you need or want to take that next step in your career.
While most startups won’t be able to pay you top salary, they often offer equity. Equity gives you feeling of ownership as well as giving you motivation to do well, after all its your company too.
If the company does well and goes public the financial upside could be large, in some cases life changing. So, it’s definitely something to take into account, but also important to remember that not every startup makes it big.
A startup company will be smaller and more intimate than your average company, you will therefore have a bigger say in how things are done. There is a reason most startups are looking for a someone that’s an autonomous self-starters, as you are likely to have more responsibility and more autonomy, which for some people is perfect but might not be for everyone.
The startup culture is fast paced and always trying to move forward. You’ll work closely with your co-workers and get to know them well. You’ll most likely be surrounded by highly motivated people working towards a common goal. A larger corporate company is likely to have lots of rules and procedures that often slow down the work, at a startup its less about that and more about embracing change and moving quickly
Working at a startup will force you to learn, and usually means you’ll have a lot more responsibility than you might do at a larger corporation. You’ll be encouraged to think outside the box and be experimental. The upside of this being part of a smaller team will make sure your efforts are noticed. It will also likely mean you take on more than what your initial role intended, for example a front-end developer might have to take part in the marketing. While the marketer will work so closely with the front-end developer he will gain better understanding of the process.
A side effect of that is you will likely develop your interpersonal and teaching skills, both of which are transferable skills that can be valuable further down the road in your career.
Chances are an early startup might require you to get creative when it comes to solutions. This can be due lack of expertise in a given subject, or simply that the company doesn’t have the funding to use more traditional solutions.
You are also most likely working on something new that hasn’t been done before, so thinking outside of the box to solve a problem might be necessary. So, if you have a creative mind and want to be able to input your own ideas, a startup could give you the opportunity to do so.
Working on the product from the beginning automatically makes you an expert on it. With that, and in combination with the extra responsibilities you are likely to pick up along the way makes you an ideal candidate for a management position when that time comes. Being involved early on in a startup is likely to result in a faster career trajectory than in a traditional larger corporation.
The extra responsibilities will also look great on your CV when the time comes to move onto the next chapter in your career.