When you think of working in a startup, do you think of a fast-paced environment with long-term instability and long hours? That could be true, but it’s important to not overlook the benefits of working at a startup. Don’t rule out working at a startup without considering these benefits:

1. Work that matters.

Working in a corporate office, especially in the beginning stages of your career, means you’ll probably be stuck doing some type of job that doesn’t really make an impact on the company’s mission or bottom line. Not with a startup. Each startup employee is crucial to the success of the company, so the work you do will matter.

In corporate offices, sometimes your work can go unnoticed because you’re just one worker in a sea of others, but not at a startup, which can be both a positive and negative aspect of startup life. Have a big win? Everyone in the office will know. Miss a client deadline? Yep, everyone in the office will know. If you’re into recognition and having a job where you can immediately see the impact on the company, consider working at a startup.

2. Wear many hats.

It’s no surprise that the budget for new hires at startups is small. Although this means you may not be paid as much money as you would working in a corporate office, it also means you’ll get invaluable experience. As a startup employee, you’ll be asked to take on many different tasks and roles outside of your job description. Although this could mean extra stress and long hours, it also means you’re adding skills to enhance your resume in the long-term.

Because the nature of startups is to evolve and change quickly as the business grows, do a great job when you start with the company, and you’ll probably see your role evolve into a promotion before you know it.

3. Experience the startup culture.

If you’d rather be wearing blue jeans than khakis or dress pants, a startup could have the perfect culture for you. The startup atmosphere is typically much more laid back than corporate offices in terms of dress code, employee hierarchy and employee rules.

Because startup teams are much smaller in size than corporate offices, expect to work within a close-knit group of people who quickly become more like family than co-workers. Have a problem you would like resolved? At a corporate office, you may have had to go to your boss, who would go to his boss, and so on, in order to get an answer or decision. At a startup, open communication and exchanging ideas and problems is the norm, so you can skip these pointless steps of going through the middleman.

4. Learn how to be an entrepreneur.

Do you hope to start your own company someday? Working at a startup could be just the experience you need to get you one step closer to your goal. Because startup employees work so closely together, you’ll be able to watch to learn how decisions are made at the top, client relationships are grown, and day-to-day business matters are handled. Not only that, but the drive and energy you’ll feel everyday in the office will become infectious, and give you the extra push you need to step out on your own.

5. Networking.

At corporate offices, the business is usually established with a reliable customer base and presence in the community. This is definitely not so with a startup. Startup employees will be a part of the growing phase of the business, and will be expected to branch out and meet new clients and contacts on behalf of the business.

What does this mean for you? You will be helping the company grow, while also adding to your network of contacts in the industry. Is your startup attempting to launch a new product in the marketplace? You may be tasked with meeting potential distributors which would be a great add to your contacts for the future.

What do you think about working at a startup company? How does it compare to the corporate world? Tell us in the comments below!

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