Fear not, grad! You are coming into the world at a great time as unemployment rates are down and companies ARE HIRING! So the question is- what now? Many graduates will pack a briefcase and hit the interview trail for the steady paycheck and generic cubical. It is pretty parallel to taking a lion out of Africa and sticking him in the zoo. Why have we let this be our norm?
The good news is there is an alternative option for you braver, bolder souls. If you want fast track learning, unlimited potential success, flexibility, and hard work (if you don’t want to work hard, you can stop reading) – think startups! If “risky” was the first word that jumped into your mind, you aren’t wrong, but the benefit of working for a startup may be just what you are looking for whether you know it yet or not.
Despite always having the ‘entrepreneurial bug’, I had initially gone to work for an old school Fortune 100 corporation after graduating from college. Within my first year of work, the slower pace of decision-making and innovation left me bored and hungry for a new opportunity.
I’m now in my second role with a startup and loving every second of it. Every hiring decision that a startup makes is critical for their success – knowing that gives me a greater sense of purpose. I learn more and more each day I’m here and can’t imagine working anywhere else! -Parker Saunders, WorkN
Working for a startup means more responsibility.
And with great responsibility, comes incredible opportunity: opportunity to fail and succeed. If the fail part just scared you, it shouldn’t, but it will be more public and obvious. Failure and success are very obvious when working on a small team yet it grows you so much more than if you worked on a 200 person team and were able to slink by. You may even sharpen your skill set as you will be more aware of your role and how it directly affects your teammate. Failure will still happen but you will professionally improve tenfold.
Your work won’t be confined, when working for a startup.
You will wear many hats and it is a wonderful thing. When working with a 5-10 person team, you are saying no to a cyclic job and yes to trying a little bit of everything. The startup environment is invaluable. You may be working harder than you ever thought in many different areas, but you are able to do so in a very different way: think jeans, beer, coffee, community and creative work space. The work days may be longer and the learning curve steeper but working for a startup will change the trajectory of your career and life. Now, as you write your resume and start to apply to different jobs, keep in mind:
- Your work MATTERS, every bit of it, as it all makes a difference in the company.
- You will gain invaluable experience as a professional, making you very desirable.
- You get to cultivate a culture for the future of your company.
- You matter A LOT. And you will be empowered to GO and to DO.
Sounds pretty great, right? We’re hiring.
This post was written by Kelly Anne O’Neill, Community Development Manager.