Why work for a startup? inploi Team | 16.11.2016
Why work for a startup? inploi's Business Development Manager, Alex Hillgarth offers advice and insights on his experience joining an early-stage startup.
Leaving university is always an interesting period of one’s life. The bubble of the past few years has finally burst – drama – what to do now? Depending on how organised, lucky or persistent you might have been in your final year of university, you may have already lined yourself up with a graduate scheme in the corporate world. You may be joining an established organisation, doing a Masters degree to extend your student life; or you could simply be found panicking at home desperately firing away CV’s and applications at anything that hints at employment. There is another route, however, the world of startups.
A big company or organisation offers job security, a stable, decent income, regimented training and a clearly defined path. It’s a safe bet, but it’s a tame one. There are scores of tiny, fast moving, exciting companies fighting to succeed that are after talented people to help them get off the ground. So why not live a little more on the edge and embrace the more exciting option? After all, we only live once. Personally I would not want to be on my death bed, whenever that may be, and realise that I spent my entire life working away as a small part of a big machine.
Working at a startup is different. In the early stages the pay is low and the risk is huge. You’re working in a small team, you see your efforts immediately having an impact on the company and you will be given a lot of responsibility very quickly. Perhaps most importantly you are given freedom. You are given a target and told to achieve it - how you go about that is usually up to you. See an opportunity, develop a strategy; execute it. Shakespeare’s phrase, ‘The world is your oyster’ really rings true. That does not often happen in larger companies. The status quo is their preferred, safe, regimented route. In a startup there is no status quo, and problems are solved innovatively - you can be as experimental and creative as you need to be to get something done.
Your efforts will have a tremendous impact on the company, its trajectory, and its fortunes. And in the longer term the potential benefits are immense. However, success is by no means certain, and it is a risky game. According to a 2015 Forbes article, 90% of startups will fail. Hopefully you’ll be lucky enough to join one of the 10%. But even in the event of a failure, the journey will have been worth it. Failure teaches us things that set you up for future success. And better to have tried and failed than to have failed to try. In the early stages of working life there are few other places in which you will learn so much, hands firmly on the wheel. This is the time in life to give it a go.
So there you go, stop panicking, find a startup that you believe in and give it 100%. You’ll enter an exciting environment working alongside intelligent and ambitious people. Take the opportunity to prove yourself. And if it all goes wrong? Well you’ll have learnt a lot more in the process than your contemporaries in the corporate world.
Have we convinced you to work for a startup? If so, check this out: Come along for the ride: Getting a job at a startup
About the author: Alex Hillgarth is Head of Business Development and Operations at inploi.