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Startup or corporate job? 5 things to ponder

By Taiki Beaufils

You’ve just graduated from university with a degree in your hand and several job offers in your mail box. Now is the time to make a decision. Big time.

What happens when you’re faced with two job offers: one from a startup, the other a corporate job? It’s riskier to work at a startup, but it guarantees you great career progression, among other things. Meanwhile, a corporate job offers a good pay with plenty of benefits.

So which one will it be?

Here are five reasons why you may want to reconsider your offers and plunge into the startup world instead. Who knows, your said startup could be the next Facebook or Google.

1. You can leave your legacy

Early stage startup job won’t pay you as much as you’d expect. It is one of the reasons why new graduates would choose big corporate over startup. In addition to that, you may think that your degree is worth more than working for a startup.

However, working at a startup offers a different kind of value: you can leave your legacy. Whether you are experienced or inexperienced, it doesn’t matter.  Because everything you will be working on will stay as a core and fundamental part of the business for later. And believe me you will have to do everything. You will be hired as a, let’s say, social media marketing guy.

You’d think you will be in charge of managing Facebook and Twitter and all that. But you will soon realise you will have to do sales, e-mail marketing, DM, customer service, content writing, video editing, basically everything that needs to be done.

You will have to learn them all very fast. That being said, the best part of working at startups is that everyone has the potential to leave their legacy in a big way.

If you worked for a corporate as a new graduate, what kind of impact will you have on this company? Maybe your ideas won’t even be heard by anyone, because there is no opportunity, unless you really push for it. But it’s much harder and time consuming compare to startup.

Also Read: 5 qualities you can start building now to land your first startup job 

2. You will be directly working with the founder

Founders and entrepreneurs have this thing that others don’t possess. Their life is their startup. Because they know if they don’t make it happen, no one will. And you have a chance to work closely with them.

From my experience of working at three startups, every single little thing founders say is inspirational. Being able to work side by side, especially when you have a small team, allows you to learn in an innovative and original way of addressing problem and solution. That is the nature of entrepreneurs.

One thing to note here is that it won’t be easy sometimes, compared to other jobs. Your founders will continually challenge you, which is part of a lesson for you too. Every successful startup has been created by innovators, and when you find the right ones, you’ll learn tons. If you are in the corporate world, chances are the CEO or founder wouldn’t even realise your existence.

Also Read: The new bucket list: Why you should experience life in a startup 

3. Your awesome work environment

These are some common work environment out of three startups that I worked for:

・No need to SUIT UP.

・Yes, you can wear short pants if it’s too hot.  

・New ideas everyday from everyone. Creativity is contagious. Therefore, you will most likely end up being creative. 

・Movie night. Game evening. Pizza Friday and more…

Also Read: Confessions of a startup jobhopper

4. Your sense of self-improvement and self-management skill

There will be no hierarchy like in the corporate world when you work at startups. Team members are horizontal not vertical. This is actually one of the hardest things to deal with if you cannot manage your self. It is nice that there is no manager to tell you what to do.

But some people work better under an instruction. You basically need to self-manage your tasks, especially your time.

Whatever it is I’m working on, I’d figure the amount of time I think I need for doing the specific task and execute it in a timely manner. I recommend the pomodoro techniques for this.

5. Understanding the true meaning of life

It sounds very philosophical but when you work for an early-stage startup, their budget is tight. Your workload and your salary won’t meet your expectation until business starts to grow. You need to think about what you are really trying to achieve at a startup.

Sometimes you will ask yourself, “Why am I working so hard for this amount of money?”. This is just like a marathon. At first you are motivated to run, but eventually when your legs are tired and you are out of breath, your mind starts to wonder exactly the same way. “Just quit! Why are you running?”  

In this kind of situation, you should prepare yourself with a good reason as to why you are there.  Don’t listen to other people, especially those who chose to work for corporate with high-pay. You will quickly lose your initial motivation.

Perhaps one day you want to establish your own startup. Or maybe you want to be one of the early team members of future successful startup. Either way, having an objective will keep you motivated, and this will help you understand the true meaning of life.

What do you think? Are you still deciding which job offer to take?

This article entitled “Startup or corporate job? 5 things to ponder” originally appeared on e27.

Taiki Beaufils is a social media geek from Japan.
Currently working at a UK startup based in Bangkok, Thailand.

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