Starting a business from scratch is one of the most exhilarating experiences life can offer. It is simultaneously exciting and terrifying, and for many it is an intensely personal and meaningful pursuit. The path of entrepreneurship is regarded by many as a heroic undertaking, and as more new businesses are incorporated in this country year after year, starting a business is rapidly becoming a symbol of modern times and a statement of intent to divorce from the traditional world of wage labour.
Starting a business is considered by many to be an escape; an escape from mediocrity, predictability and all-round lack of purpose. In a world of work where the meaning has run dry, it seems as if more and more of us are out with our shovels, digging new wells and hoping to strike it lucky.
But this guide isn’t about starting your own business. Entrepreneurship is a wonderful way to find meaning and fulfilment in the work that you do, but it’s not the only way.
You don’t have to start your own business to experience the thrill of startup life. Here are 6 reasons why joining a startup is an AWESOME career decision, and maybe even a better idea than starting one.
Follow The Leader
If you work in a startup you’ll most probably be working very close to the person, or people, who founded the company. This is a subtle but significant difference between startups and non-startups, because it’s easy to overlook the motivational impact that working for a passionate leader can have on your overall experience. Think about it, does it inspire you to work for a boss who is only in the job for the money? Or would you rather bust a gut working to realise the vision of somebody who has put their heart and soul on the line for their business?
Working For Somebody Else
Following a passionate leader gives a whole new meaning to working for somebody else. A common war-cry from many corporate defectors is the burning desire to be free from their boss and to work for themselves. But whilst this attitude may well be applicable to many situations, it risks neglecting the massive benefits we get from working for somebody who we actually want to do well for and see succeed. If we care about why a company exists, there is a high chance that we will care about the mission of its founder by extension. Starting your own company is an incredible experience, but it’s not the only way to make an impact with an innovative and disruptive idea.
Intrapreneurship is the art of behaving like an entrepreneur, but within an existing company. An intrapreneur is somebody who continuously takes risks, experiments and innovates in order to grow a company from the inside. Startups, nimble and agile as they are, understand that in order to succeed they have to fuel continuous innovation from within. There’s no red tape, and a new idea doesn’t require clearance from three tiers of management before you can pull the trigger. Intrapreneurship is the opposite of repetitive process-driven work, and has become increasingly popular as a means of increasing employee engagement and project ownership. It’s also a great way to cut your entrepreneurial teeth and experiment with new skills and ideas.
Experience From The Inside
There’s no substitute for experience. If your vision is to start a company from scratch and grow it into a world-beater, then there’s no better way to accelerate your education than to incubate yourself in a startup. Once you’re on the inside, you’ll learn exactly what it feels like to be part of the fast-moving, ever-changing, roller coaster ride of startup life.
Access To Network
If you’re at the beginning of your career, joining a startup is a great way to kickstart growing your network. You’ll be rubbing shoulders with people whose networks have been years in the making, and who will no doubt know people that they’d be happy to connect you with personally.
Experience Growth Of Company Culture
Once a company grows to more than just a founder or two and becomes a group of people, it needs to cultivate a culture. By joining an early stage startup that’s continuing to grow, you will experience first hand how the company is going about the tricky job of maintaining a dynamic and exciting working environment. This is invaluable knowledge as you grow into your startup career, and your understanding of team dynamics will only be strengthened by being part of a high-growth company.
Convinced? As if you needed to be, right?
This article is an extract from our upcoming guide The Startup Graduate, your ultimate handbook to getting a job in a startup even if you have no experience. Subscribe to our newsletter or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be the first to get your hands on it, and kickstart your startup career.