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Here are the pros and cons to starting up a start-up.

4 minute read

Whether you are just out of college or have worked in the corporate environment already, it’s exciting when an opportunity comes along to work for a brand-new company.

There’s opportunity for growth and advancement, but there’s also a lot of risk. Before deciding to grab that job offer from a startup; consider these pros and cons that come with taking a job with a brand-new company.

Pros of working at a startup

Here are some positive points for taking that startup job…

  • You’ll be able to dabble in a variety of tasks and maybe even master a different skill set.  Because it’s a small team, everyone is going to wear more than one hat. This gives you a chance to have more responsibility; and expand your skill set at a faster rate than you would in an established company; Where you have a hard and fast set of responsibilities. Being able to work in other areas of responsibility in a company makes you more flexible. You will have greater understanding of other responsibilities in a company when you are willing to take on a little bit of everything. Additionally, you get a better sense of how every role helps an organization to accomplish its goals. This will grow your experience in a completely different way. Sometimes routine jobs become monotonous at times; but in working for a startup, it will rarely be boring because every day will mean different tasks to be accomplished.
  • You’ll be learning from innovative leaders. Entrepreneurs definitely see and do things differently than the traditional corporate leader. This experience will give you a fresh and unique perspective to learn from in terms of how to identify and address a business or life problem. Startups and entrepreneurs present a challenging, yet creative and stimulating, work environment that will expand your knowledge. Whether you stay there, go elsewhere, or even gain the courage and know-how to start your own business, this education will serve you well.
  • You’ll be able to watch and be part of growing something from an idea to a full-fledged successful business. Getting in on the ground floor is an exciting prospect that also can become quite lucrative should the startup take off. Nowhere else but in a startup will you have the chance to watch and help develop a company from an idea to a flourishing business. Just think about how well those first employees at Facebook, Instagram, Uber and others have done. You could be riding that same wave.
  • You’ll do more with less.

    While some may put this example on the con list; becoming frugal actually is one of the best skills you could get. This is an age where lean companies are recognizing the biggest profits in the long term and achieving a higher rate of sustainability over those that burn through their budgets. You can carry over these fiscal lessons to your personal life; and realize the same benefits that could help you save money for a rainy day, emergencies, and retirement.

Cons of taking a job at a young company

There is always another side of the coin to consider in any situation. Some cons that may seriously impact your decision to work for a brand-new company…

  • You may not get paid or you will have to accept a much lower salary.This doesn’t always happen, but a startup doesn’t have much in the way of money to provide you. It’s mostly sweat equity for the first couple of years until the startup launches and can pay you properly. If the startup fails, those shares you are working for could be worth nothing. You will need to decide if the risk of not getting paid works for you and if you can survive on less pay than you could be making right now in the corporate world.
  • You may be part of something that is bound to fail.

    There is an extremely great probability that the brand-new company could fail and shut its doors, leaving you with no job and no money. The Wall Street Journal reported that three out of four startups fail, based on research, which looked at 2,000 companies that had received at least $1 million in funding between 2004 and 2010.

  • You will work harder than you ever have before. A new company will expect you to work a ridiculous amount of hours; to help them meet their deadline to get a product or service ready to take to market in order to start making money. Though it is a lot of fun, it can also be a lot of pressure that you may not be willing to take.
  • You will experience continual change. Because a new company is still figuring out who they are, there will be pivoting on a frequent basis – so much so that it can feel chaotic, confusing, and uncomfortable. There are so many unknowns that a startup has to face that you may not know if you are coming or going. This type of work environment doesn’t suit everyone.

As you can see, there are a lot of benefits and risks to weigh when considering a job with a startup. You need to look at your personal and financial situation to determine which of these pros and cons most likely impact you and anyone else that depends on you like a spouse or family.

Although a corporate job provides more stability, there is still no guarantee that you will have a job forever nor does it provide the excitement or growth opportunities of a brand-new company.

Take your time and put a lot of thought into it before you make the decision.

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About the Author

John Rampton

John Rampton

Best known as an entrepreneur and connector, John was recently named No. 3 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine as well as a blogging expert by Forbes. Awarded Top 10 Most Influential PPC Experts in the World for the past three years. He currently advises several companies in the Bay Area.

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