Top 10 Reasons to Join a Startup

Joining a startup company is a no-brainer. The pros far outweigh the cons. Whether you’re just graduating, or you’ve done your time “working for the man” now is the perfect time to make the jump.

Go work for a startup company.

Here are 10 reasons why:

  1. More influence. With a smaller team, each person at a startup has more say. You should have more opportunity to voice your opinion and influence key decisions. And you want that, right?
  2. More ownership. You might not be the founder, but you’re darn close. You should have some equity (or stock options.) Both a sense of ownership, and actual ownership are wonderful things; they’ll give you one more reason to work better and harder.
  3. More meaning. The best startups are built on top of a strong purpose and vision; a raison d’etre that truly resonates. It’s a startup’s rallying cry and it provides other likeminded people with true meaning in their work.
  4. More comraderie. Startup teams have to gel beautifully to succeed. Doesn’t mean you’ll always get along, but a little Saving Private Ryan never hurt anyone.
  5. More diversity. There shouldn’t be much pigeonholing at a startup; you’re going to do and see a lot of different things. You will be thrown out of your comfort zone. You will get a chance to expand your horizons.
  6. More learning. Startup environments are crash courses in business and life. You’ll learn more in 6 months at a startup than you will in 4 years at university.
  7. More connectivity. With less (or zero) levels of bureaucracy, everyone is closer to one another. You should be well connected to your CEO as well as the network of customers, vendors, VCs, friends, etc. that surround the startup.
  8. More emotion. Working at a startup isn’t a constant high. Far from it. But it is intense, and the emotional charge you’ll get on a regular basis is a worthwhile learning experience.
  9. More future success. I don’t have any statistics to prove this, but I bet you that startup employees go on to bigger and better things. Whether it’s higher paying / more interesting jobs or starting their own companies, your resume and personal story benefit considerably from living the startup experience.
  10. More fun. Startup employees have more fun. It’s just the way it is…

The job market for startup and early-stage companies is very strong. There’s no shortage of opportunity. Top talent can pick and choose amongst a slew of startups eager to hire. The risk is low.

Granted, not all startups are created equally. Not all startups may give you the benefits described above. You can’t dive in eyes closed and expect to find the perfect fit. Make sure you ask the right questions before joining a startup. Plenty of smart people have suggestions on the questions you should ask before joining a startup, so you shouldn’t have a problem being prepared.

But make the leap. Join a startup. It’s worth it.

May 23, 2007 Posted in Startups by

Ben Yoskovitz
I'm VP Product at GoInstant (acq. by Salesforce).

I'm also a Founding Partner at Year One Labs, an early stage accelerator in Montreal. Previously I founded Standout Jobs (and sold it).

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