Before I worked in startup land, I did normal office jobs. You know the drill: Thank god it’s Friday, everyone talking about getting a new job but never leaving, maniacal bosses in glass rooms, constantly feeling like you’re in “The Office” but without the funny parts, feeling a bit embarrassed when you tell your friends what you do for a living, the need to escape lending itself to binge drinking at weekends.
Every year more startups are created and get funded in the UK, and every year there are more opportunities for you to escape. Here’s five reasons you should consider making the jump:
Dedicated and passionate employees in niche areas are in short supply for startups right now, so wages are at a premium, let alone that rising in the ranks of a small company is far easier than at a legacy company with hundreds of employees. There’s a real opportunity in the jobs market for employees to get in at the ground level at some really exciting companies right now.
Kristina Narusk, Product Manager at Memrise, told me: “Constantly learning new things means that ‘promotion’ is programmed into every role. In a large established organization it would take years before you get the same responsibility that in startups can happen almost every 6 months.”
Many startups allow you to take a small slice of equity in return for staying at the company for 1-4 years or more. This could literally be worth millions if the company grows to the levels of UK success stories like King or Moshi Monsters.
It’s a lottery, sure, but you have to work anyway, so why not try and attach yourself to a rocketship?
Death to red tape
An end to bureaucracy. Getting results is all that matters in a startup. There’s no “passing it up the chain” or “waiting to hear back from procurement”, things move fast and lots can happen in a very small amount of time.
You might actually enjoy going to work
Working in startups normally involves a specialist skill that you’re passionate about doing. You can make things happen which have instant results, whether that’s finding new users, designing a new layout, or building a new feature: Your work actually matters!
Aaron O’Hearn, Co-Founder at Startup Institute, told me: “Owning your career is one of the huge draws of startup work. You get to be creative and really see your impact. You also aren’t held to a single career trajectory– there’s freedom to move in whichever direction excites you most.”
Working in startups may have been lampooned brilliantly by Nathan Barley over a decade ago with the “Sugerape” office, but many startup workspaces really are that fun – beanbags, table tennis, foosball, popcorn, some even have craft beer on tap. It’s a long way away from “You should iron your shirt in the morning”.
It’s 2015 now, the choice is yours.