Startup culture has developed a reputation within the business world. Rumors of endless snacks and suitless offices would entice any millennial and it’s no wonder why. Startups give this generation what they want. To feel like they have a hand in making a difference in where they work. This piece of fulfillment isn’t the only deciding factor for our modern day worker. There are other benefits to consider, time commitment, lifestyle, and growth opportunities play a huge part. Compared to the corporate world things may seem shiny and new but it all depends on what you need in a career. Where do you think you lie?
The Essence Of Time Commitment.
One of the first things people bring up if you’re working for a young startup is the time commitment. The games and free beer come at a cost around the clock. If you’re looking into working for a startup, be ready for working at least 16 hour days and constant contact with your peers for those “just in case” moments. Building a business is hard and in today’s competitive world sleep can put you behind. Passion is the most important quality when being in a startup environment as it’s the fuel that keeps you up during those late nights.
If you’re someone who likes a structured lifestyle and you like knowing when you’ll be home then corporate may work better for you. Sure it doesn’t sound as exciting but it all depends on your preferences. A 9-5 workday is pretty good if you have kids or night class. They offer great opportunities that we’ll get to later on. Aside from the sporadic late meeting or out-of-state trips you can expect to have a set schedule to work around your personal life.
Receiving The Benefits.
The work hard play hard mentality is alive and well within startups. Free lunches every day and unlimited PTO is a dream for the nomadic employee. Startup benefits are great for the younger demographic without the weight of a mortgage or getting their regular checkups on time. Speaking of payments, don’t expect to be paid top dollar in the early stages of a startup. This won’t happen until you climb up the ranks or your startup is actually gaining traction. Of course, you’ll get by but it’s most definitely not on a wage that will take you around the world.
We’ve talked about the snacks and ping pong tables that startups offer and that’s great but what about that 401(k) or insurance? These are the necessities that keep a family healthy and comfortable. Team lunches may be an easy switch for some with a different set of needs. The ultimate difference is the security a corporate job offers. Startups have a 90% fail rate while working in an established corporation lets you know that you’ll have a job for as long as you need.
Gaining Real World Experience.
If you’re down to deal with the long hours and missing retirement options you may find your gold with the experience gained at a startup. With smaller teams, you get to work closely with others that may be more experienced than you. A seasoned manager can come from years of background experience in your department looking for new opportunities. Normally these figures are cooped up on the top floors in their offices and you’re never able to speak a word to them. Startups allow you to work closely with these people and gain insights on their strategy. The knowledge you gain will be much greater than any same amount of time in a corporate setting.
Corporate positions are as stratified as the buildings they are formed in. With large corporations, everyone knows exactly what they’re supposed to do and the pump works out like a well-oiled machine. The problem is that if you are a young, eager beaver you may not be getting what you expect out of that experience. Most projects you work on will stay within your department and you will not be collaborating much with any other teams. If you are like doing what you do in your field and good at it this may be a great option for you.
Related: A Formula For Innovation
Playing Different Roles.
After getting hired you’re most likely going to have to hit the ground running in a startup. Say you’re hired to be a marketing associate, don’t be surprised if a sales team member asks you to help with their pitches. Startups will make you put on many different hats which can be exciting for a certain type of person. In the end, you’re going to be able to share that you’ve gained a wide range of skills from one position.
When you’re hired by a corporation you tend to go through extensive training to make sure you get the hang of all the new programs and products before you’re sent to your desk. Projects will remain within your department and you won’t really meet people outside of your team. In the cutthroat world of corporations climbing up the ladder isn’t easy.
Instead of gaining a diverse amount of skills like the startups, you’ll become a master of one in your department. Another point is that if you’re out sick in corporations, people pick up the slack whereas it’s a bit messier in startups.
While both schools of business have their pros or cons, it’s really what suits yourself best. If you’re a highly structured person, corporates are for you. The go with the flow and energetic individual would fare well in a startup setting. Are you someone who’s been through both worlds? Let us know in the comments!