When casting around for the best opportunities, either in an internship or a full-time job, it’s easy to get pulled into the tractor beam of the biggest brands around. Surely, the more recognisable the logo, the better time you’ll have, right? Not so much. Experience in start-ups is, in my opinion, absolutely invaluable for young people branching out into the world of work, and I can prove it. Ten times.
10. The Passion
Now, no-one is saying that sitting in a brown chair and waiting for photocopying to get shoved your way isn’t an exciting way to spend your first couple of years out of university. No-one is saying that. But the thing about working in a start-up is that there isn’t anyone there who’s not Paying Their Dues. Everyone in the team is there because they genuinely love what they’re doing, they’re excited by what the company is creating and they’re far too impatient to wait a few years watching the office clock tick by before they can start actually enjoying their job. The mad fools.
9. The Responsibility
Why bother doing an internship? I mean sure, partly it’s to get out of the house and the infectious pull of Jeremy Kyle, but surely at the heart of it is the desire to get some pretty impressive stuff whacked on your CV. Nowhere are you going to be given more responsibility than in a start-up. It’s an all-hands-on-deck culture that sees you making tea for the office one minute and spear-heading a digital marketing strategy the next, and it’s more than likely that your responsibilities will be varied, fluid and at times vaguely ridiculous. To be sure, it’s not for the faint of heart. But if you’re looking for adventure, here be it.
8. The Culture
The thing about start-up companies is that the people in them are the people who have decided that NOT enjoying work is unacceptable. They’re not in it for the cash (well, not mostly), they are in this because they absolutely love it. Sure, it might not be that every day is a glittering whirl-wind of ice-cream ponies and relentless email lolz, but it means that at the core of every company is the knowledge that people should play as they work, and work as they play.
7. The Dress Code
It might not sound like a lot, but the fact that you don’t have to throw on ‘a uniform’ to become your work self is extremely refreshing. Mostly, start-ups like people to dress smart, but to be themselves. No more ties, no more pin-stripes – whatever you work best in is what you should wear. Especially if it involves a cape and a long-sword. Creativity starts with a long-sword, as they say.
6. The Prospects
Big companies don’t like to let great people leave. Small companies HATE to let great people leave. Bigger companies might not really feel the loss of a splendid intern, whereas a start-up will do everything they can to keep a core member of the team on. Prove yourself indispensable in a start-up and, more often than not, you will become exactly that. For those hoping for full-time employment after a stint learning on the job, start-ups are the clear way to go.
5. The Network
Feeding back into the idea of ‘playing as you work, working as you play’, the community around the start-up culture is a marvellous thing – inclusive, innovative, excitable and always looking for ways in which to collaborate and celebrate. Where bigger companies often build gated communities in order to protect their secrets, the start-up world delights in the sharing of contacts, information and ideas – perfect for a budding young entrepreneur hoping to build up a reputation.
4. The Satisfaction
Are you someone who likes to see your own ideas realised? You need to work somewhere that gives you the freedom to make it happen. Unlike traditional companies, where red-tape, responsibility and an existing hierarchy can be massive blockers to trying anything new, start-ups thrive on brilliant, fresh ideas, and are – generally speaking – far more open to trying new things out. If you can prove you can deliver, chances are you’ll get the chance to implement your own ideas.
3. The Originality
Start-ups are, by their very nature, trying to do something new. Whether it be figuring out a new way to share music, fixing the transportation problems of the cityscape or manufacturing a new kind of cheese toastie so delicious it’ll make your nose run – the whole point is innovation. And, whether you’re in the company for 3 months, 6 months or a few years – trying to do things better than anyone else can get pretty addictive.
2. The People
You’ll be spending every day with people who decided the corporate 9-5 wasn’t for them. Enough said.
1. The Challenge
The thing about working in a start-up is that it’s not easy. The increased responsibility, the pressure that comes with being thrown into the inner workings of a company from day one, the autonomy of having people trust that you’ll get your work done, and not only that, but go above and beyond the call of duty – it’s not for anyone who wants to keep their head down and do their time. But hey, where’s the fun in that?
Editor: Plus, you get the chance to try something new all the time. In a startup, no one is assigned to only one task. You goal is to know everything about everything. It is a good occasion for you to share your expertise but you will also need to have a better understanding of the full aspect of the business and the long term goals of the start-up. So why not take some online classes? There are good online programs, like the master’s in Business intelligence course that will give you the tools you need to be the ideal partner. Also, online classes are the easiest and fastest way to earn a degree and gain valuable skills, which will only be a plus in your career.