Joining a startup was perhaps the best career decision I ever made.
The common reasons why you should join a startup are obvious -- startups are a great place to learn new skills, they often provide a lot of flexibility in your work, you get to work on cool new technologies, and so on.
As I continue to reflect on why you should join a startup, I have come up with a few reasons that I think are worth considering aside from the obvious ones.
One thing I have noticed about working in startups is that they are very loyal to their employees. Even amongst the current crisis we are facing, the company for which I am working has taken steps to ensure that everyone will still be working in a number of cases. It would take a lot more to happen for us to hit a position where people would have to leave.
The reason this is important to startups is that, in order to retain the best talent, they need to cultivate good relationships with their employees. If a startup is known for laying people off often, and doing so at the slightest sign of economic distress, they’ll always be seen by talented people as an uncertain place to work. As a result, startups are a great place to be.
In addition, startups are also loyal to employees because of how uncertain the nature of starting a company is. When you’re building a startup, you need to be open to accepting bold ideas, because in order to innovate, you need to think outside of the box. So, if you go work at a startup, you can bet that there will be people willing to entertain all the ideas you have. It’s the way that startups stay competitive.
Venture-backed startups also -- paradoxically -- provide a level of income security that you may not expect.
If you join a venture-backed company, you should command a good salary. I have also noticed that many VC-backed companies are willing to pay international workers higher salaries than they would otherwise expect (which allows them to attract the best talent).
In addition, as long as you are performing some key role in the business, you should be around for a long time, because unless your business is failing, it is growing. Growing companies need good talent to support them.
Working at a startup is not perfect, though. There’s still a high degree of risk involved in working at one: namely, if the startup fails, you may find it difficult to explain in future job interviews your role at the company. But that’s not too big of a deal, because nobody will blame you for a startup failing as long as you did your job.
If you’re young and ambitious, joining a startup is a great investment. You can acquire real-world operational experience. You can build your network. And, as I mentioned earlier, you should be able to command a good salary, work with loyal people, and join a tight-knit community of people who are all in pursuit of one vision. What's not to love?