Career Advice

A Million Reasons to Work for a Startup

posted on January 21, 2015 | by Amanda Holstein

A Million Reasons to Work for a Startup

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If you couldn’t tell simply by the title of this post, I’m a huge fan of startups and highly recommend working for one in your twenties. Generally, the open-minded and passionate environment tends to foster immense growth, personally and professionally, and can really boost your career at a young age. Here are just a few reasons why I love working at a startup and why you may want to consider it for yourself.

They’re Flexible in the Best Way

My problem with corporate culture is that often times they have a ton of rules and processes in place that can sometimes be unnecessary or counterproductive. Usually these guidelines have been around for so long and are too difficult to change in such a large corporation. If you work for a startup, you’ll get a sense of how flexible they tend to be with these kinds of procedures. The goal is to do great work and get the job done, in whatever way makes the most sense (even if this way is new).

One example is the hiring process. You may look at a startup’s career page and not see a position that fits your qualifications. Well, you can email a startup, tell them what you can offer them, and they can create a position (if they feel they need it) without the hassle of a larger corporation.

You Learn A Ton in a Short Amount of Time

Because startups tend to have less employees and thus smaller teams, you get to wear multiple hats and interact with just about every part of the business. Getting exposure to all parts of a business, especially in its early stages, can teach you so much. Everything you do is important and you can actually see the impact your actions make on the business. You get to take ownership of truly important projects, even as an entry-level employee, which allows you to learn a ton quickly.

The Collaborative Culture

Working at a startup is all about working together to create something you all believe in. You can offer your own insight to other team’s projects and vice versa. Company meetings encourage everyone, no matter your level of expertise, to voice your opinion and truly work together. Even if you’re on the marketing team, you may have some insight to offer the tech team just by using the product and voicing your experience as a customer. Everyone wants to improve the business, no matter where the advice comes from.

The People

After only a few years in the job circuit, one of the biggest things I’ve learned is that people truly make or break your experience at a job. What I love about startups are the open-minded, down-to-earth, intelligent, passionate, and driven people you tend to find. These people seriously love what they’re doing and that passion trickles down into all parts of the business. Plus, they are open to new ideas and new ways of doing things. They understand that you cannot succeed without failure and they’re up for trying something and learning from it, even if it doesn’t work. This type of environment, in my opinion, fosters major growth – personally and professionally.

The Connections

While this shouldn’t be the only reason you take a job, the connections you make at a startup can really help your career in the long run. Because the companies are smaller and more collaborative, you’ll interact with people of all levels and professional backgrounds – even the CEO. You’ll get to know these people well and work with them daily (not just once in a blue moon), creating strong relationships that will certainly come in handy down the line.

So, did I convince you? If you’re feeling inspired to work for a startup, here are a handful of San Francisco based companies below (and I promise there are more than you think in your city, too – search “startup” on Refinery29 and you’ll find a ton!).

SF Startups: NousDecorLiftopiaPoshmarkCollectivelyThredUp,
TruliaSF’s Coolest Startup Offices, Revealed