10 Reasons Why Working for a Startup Could be a Great Career Move

There were 5.4 million micro businesses (10 or less employees) in the UK last year¹ accounting for a dizzying 96% of all private sector business.

According to The Office of National Statistics report on Small and medium enterprise births and deaths² during 2017 there were 371,595 micro businesses created and 346,125 closed their doors for good.

With figures like these its easy to see why many people are still, understandably, cautious when considering employment through a startup business. With many actively avoiding companies that haven’t yet passed the dreaded 5-year mark.

Many, however, do succeed; 5.4 million is no small number. So, are you missing out on what could be a truly successful and rewarding career move?

Below we look at why working for a startup could be just what you’re looking for:

  1. Variety is the spice of life – When you work for a startup the small team means you’re all in it together. Being flexible and open minded around your changing workload means there is little chance to be bored in this fast growing and evolving environment. If you embrace daily challenges and role variety then a startup is just the place for you.
  2. New skills – This small but fast paced environment opens up the chance to learn new skills every day. This will not only help to grow the company, but help to improve and grow you for future opportunities. It is very likely that you will become deeply knowledgeable in many aspects of running and growing a business – this knowledge may even help you with your own startup one day.
  3. Opportunities galore! – You may end up being involved in parts of the business you never expected. The opportunities really are endless within startup’s. With your varied job role you could move up or sideways within the business. The constant learning and utilising of new skills means exciting new doors will open to you that you might otherwise have walked past.
  4. With great power comes great responsibility – Working for a startup is not only exciting it also puts a lot of trust in its employees. Working in a small team means everyone is vitally important and everyone must pull their weight. With everyone else being so busy, it is unlikely that you will have the burden of someone breathing down your neck watching your every move (nobody likes micromanagement). You must be responsible for your own workload and your own performance. This level of trust can be incredibly freeing but also requires a high level of self-motivation. Be responsible and reliable and it will be recognised and rewarded.
  5. Being valued – In larger companies’ employees can often feel overlooked and undervalued, just another face in the crowd. In a small company you will be seen and respected, you are there because they need you. Speak up and be heard, have your opinions respected, and ideas recognised and implemented. Feel and be a valued and important member of the team.
  6. Creating a company culture – There is nothing set in stone with a startup, anything and everything can be shaped and changed; this includes the company culture. You could shape the way the company feels now and for the future. Putting forward ideas such as; monthly staff outings, gym membership for all employees, regular team bonding events, even the way the office is arranged and employee dress code. You are helping to build a legacy for future employees.
  7. Working within a small and dynamic team – There is a lot of truth in excitement being infectious. You will be working alongside people who have created this company who now want nothing more than to see it succeed. They will be bursting with ideas. This dynamic and visionary environment will in turn encourage you to create new ideas and innovations – and the best part? They will actually want to hear them!
  8. They are chance takers – Another great aspect about working for a start up is they are much more open minded about the people they employ. They don’t have to jump through HR hoops or have a set list of essential and unyielding employee requirements set in place from head office. They are open to interviewing all potential candidates. You may not have the experience, but they may like the fact you can learn and grow with them, they may find the fact you haven’t been moulded by another company attractive. Don’t have the qualifications? You may create enough of an impression with your willingness to learn and your ability to fit into their company culture that they will organise training for you.
  9. A supportive environment – working within a small team it is likely that you will begin to know each other very well. This can be extremely advantageous. Having people around you that know and understand your personal circumstances can make requesting time off or flexible working much easier. You will also have a greater understanding of the needs of your co-workers. Working within a close and supportive environment makes for a much happier workplace and employees.
  10. Being part of something your proud of – OK so this isn’t your own company but being there at the birth of a company, being part of its growth and success can give you a great sense of pride in what you’ve achieved together. Seeing your hard work pay off and your ideas succeeding will be very rewarding. It may not be your ‘baby’ but you’ll certainly feel like a proud Aunt or Uncle!

Keeli MacMillan