There we all are, browsing through job postings, looking for that little nugget of gold that will match ME specifically, a place that I will be happy and valued. There it is, a job title that is exactly what I want to do, and so I click on it. It’s a startup company… great. Less pay, and more responsibility than in a bigger corporation, no guarantee of a job five years from now? Eek! Next.

But why shouldn’t we all consider those startup companies? Don’t they have a lot to offer? Startups offer Culture, Opportunity, and Responsibility; whereas many of the corporate companies that might approach you will offer higher pay, benefits, and stability. Haven’t you ever wanted to be part of something big though? Something new that you can make your own? What if your startup takes off and their product is huge? Keep in mind, Facebook is only 10 years old right now, and there are still market niches that need to be claimed, so are the benefits of working at a startup worth taking a small gamble, and accepting a little less pay?

Let’s talk about culture. Working at a startup you will probably be in a small group of individuals that were all hired for a different set of skills that they possess. This means that every conversation that takes place in the office will be something that might not have ever occurred before… a new mixture of different people that are thrown together will unknown results, and you have a chance to shape that culture too. In such a small environment you can make jokes, and enjoy the company of everybody in the office, not just sit in a cubicle or tackle projects with the other new hires in your corporate position. Go out and start traditions with your quirky new coworkers! Not to mention the laid back atmosphere. Want to wear jeans to work? No problem. Do you want to cut that down to shorts and sandals in the summer? Sure! As long as you are getting your work done, there’s no reason you should have to worry about it in your startup job.

But even better than the culture is your opportunities and versatility that is offered by startups. You might find yourself being pulled into projects that you never expected to end up in. You can really show your stuff and take on as much responsibility as you want— volunteer to run your companies blog— show how you have a talent for designing websites or brochures. Take ownership of all those skills and talents that you have accumulated over the years, and the next thing you know you will be renown in your little community for what you can do. And as soon as the company starts to grow, you might end up in charge of some people, or a whole department, all because you were able to demonstrate your skills, and received those opportunities. To be realistic, you can’t find any opportunities like that in a big corporate company.

Even if the startup doesn’t work out, you have just earned yourself 6 months, or maybe a year worth of good experience to put down on your resume, and that made you that much more desirable and valuable to the next company that takes a look at you. You are still young, so take some adventure with you in your life.

by Richard Thomas, Career Assistant

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