Intrigued by the idea of working for a hot, young company with millions in funding and cool perks like a fully-stocked kitchen and flexible hours? Working for a startup can be a great career choice — and for more than just the obvious reasons.
Ever wanted to work for a startup?
You’ve probably heard the benefits of doing so — you’ll have more responsibility as an entry-level employee and a close-knit company culture, among other reasons.
Yes, the opportunities for career development at a startup are great. But we both know your college decision narrowed down to which school had the best campus food and intramural sports, and now you’re looking for a job and company that has those small yet incredibly important perks that make you tick.
Startups won’t have a dining hall or an IM league, but they do have breakfast tacos and ping pong tables, along with many other unconventional benefits that make working for one a blast.
So commence networking with the creative crowd and prepping for those unusual interview questions because you’ll want to work for a startup after reading these five reasons. (Click here to tweet this list.)
1. You can watch it grow
Your grandma always gushes about how big you are when it’s only been five months since your last visit, and that’s exactly how you’ll feel about your startup after working there for half a year. Progress happens quickly in the startup world. You may be working out of your boss’s basement in January, find yourself in an office come June, and then find yourself in a bigger office with twice as many employees the following January.
If change excites you and the nomadic life calls your name, the rapid growth that occurs within a startup can be one of the most stimulating aspects of working for one. Pretty soon you’ll be the proud grandparent.
2. You’ll probably move to a new city
While the rest of your college chums are heading to Wall Street, you can start looking for apartments in Denver, Austin, Seattle or any other city rampant with local coffee shops. It may seem cliche, but startups actually congregate in areas that receive large shares of funding from venture capitalists (the guys who invest in small businesses).
The best part about relocating to one of these cities — besides moving far from your parents’ house in suburban Connecticut — is that you’ll gain a lot of connections and mentorship through the heavily concentrated startup environment. In places like these, you’ll find successful professionals who are more than willing to offer career advice. Plus, if you move to Oregon, you can forever be known as the cool, hipster friend.
3. You can get comfortable
Does the thought of neckties make you cringe? No such wardrobe constriction will be found in the office of a startup because your CEO likely doesn’t know what a Windsor knot is. In the new generation of business, casual dress is commonplace and bean bags have replaced cubicles.
And if you’re worried about being too comfortable, there’s probably several standing desks available because everyone knows office chairs decrease your lifespan. In other words, you’ll likely find that startups have flexible office environments, which means you can work in the conditions that help you to be the most proactive.
4. You’ll probably have an office dog
It’s cruel to keep a dog in your tiny, starter apartment, but that won’t matter because you can hang out with a puppy at the office every day. Many businesses realize the benefits of canine companions, and in the casual office atmosphere of a startup, a dog usually makes the perfect addition to the team.
If cuddling with a fluffball sounds fun, but not reason enough to sign an employment contract, know that research has shown that office dogs can foster trust and more collaboration among employees and even lower absentee rates in the workplace. That close-knit startup culture everyone talks about is definitely the result of dogs.
5. Your job title is only limited by your creativity
Remember as a kid when you wanted to grow up to be a space ranger? Clearly that didn’t happen, but you can still grow up and be whatever you want (within reason) if you work at a startup. Let’s say you get hired by a startup as a social media manager, then one day you realize the customer’s account could be more interactive. Suddenly you’ve taken on the demands of product development.
As long as you see a need within the company you can create a new position or department. The possibilities for what you can do at a startup are endless. To infinity… and beyond!
Avery Shackelford is a blogger and social media manager for MyTennisLessons.com, a startup that helps tennis players find qualified coaches in their area. Follow her on Twitter at @mytennislessons.