Benefits of Working for a Startup


The graduation season is bearing down. Soon, the job boards will burst to life with eager graduates with all of the skills, and next to none of the experience. Competition for working in big name companies is steep because who wouldn’t want to be aligned with a group that comes with stocks, a cushy paycheck, and prestige? The reality is, there are so many reasons to seek employment with startup groups instead!

1. You’ll have more opportunities and responsibility. While a smaller startup company won’t have the budget to pay you as well as a long-established firm, what you’ll get back in experience will be worth gold in the long run. On a smaller team, everyone has to wear several hats and perform all sorts of necessary tasks to keep costs down and make sure everyone is pulling their weight. As time goes by, you will perform fewer tasks, but be held accountable for excelling at the ones you still do.

2. That said, your successes (and shortcomings) will be amplified. With fewer people in your workplace, everyone just knows everyone else’s business. That’s what happens and there’s no avoiding it. In a larger corporation, a mistake is easily overlooked or credit can be passed down or snatched up at a given moment. In a smaller group, when you succeed, you will be lavished with praise and recognition. However, that also means that if an error comes back to you, you WILL be held accountable. On the other side of that same coin, that means that you will be more motivated to pay attention to small details and making sure the job gets done right the first time. You won’t dare grown complacent and will actually learn to work harder and hold yourself to a higher standard.

3. You’ll learn from and be mentored by real pioneers and innovators! The person who started the company did so because they have a vision and a drive. Imagine picking their brain! They are natural leaders, problem solvers, they think in the abstract and aren’t afraid to take risks! Can you imagine just being in the presence of that sort of greatness every day? And eventually, some of that greatness may rub off on you.

4. You’ll learn valuable financial tips and tricks. When you have to tighten your belt and cut back on personal expenses (that $50 a month gym membership can wait), you become more responsible with your finances. Special occasions where you actually go out on the town or treat yourself feel even better. You’ll learn to recognize the monetary but also intrinsic value of hard work because every day, you’ll see your efforts reflect in your bank account. It’ll be slow at first, but you’ll have some insight into what true pride of ownership feels like. You’ll appreciate others who are self-sustainable like you and you’ll forge better relationships from that.

5. You’ll be a part of a dynamic atmosphere. Startup companies feel like small, professional families. You will grow incredibly close to the people you work with because you are all driven by one common goal and one common vision: to see the mission of the company come to life. And to do that together feels incredibly empowering! In this kind of a work culture, you never have to struggle with bureaucracy, red tape, or the feeling that someone is constantly looking over your shoulder.

6. Your strengths will be valued in a way they might not be in a big company. The skills and talents that only YOU can contribute will be put to the test, practiced, improved and valued for their impact.

Later down the line, sure your pay might increase, and you’ll soon be managing others instead of being managed. But we have to talk before we fly. Getting in on the ground floor of a startup company is the way of the future!


Friday Reads: What’s on Your Shelf?

No office is complete without a bookshelf bursting with…well, books. A good eclectic mix is essential. Every manager is different and finds different genres and authors more useful or relevant than others, but every office needs a good mix of reference texts, fiction and non-fiction, and biographies.

So today we decided to peruse the bookshelves in our office and find a couple random titles. Each title is followed by a synopsis from the book jacket to give you just a taste of what our shelves have to dish out! Here’s our Friday Read mini-haul:

9780061232978Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win by William C. Taylor and Polly LaBarre

Inside the cover:

“Meet the innovators and upstarts who are inventing the future of business. Their unconventional ideas and groundbreaking strategies can become your business plan for the twenty-first century–a better way to lead, compete, and succeed…

Organizations that were once dismissed as upstarts, as wildcards– or mavericks– are making waves and growing fast. There is a reason: In an age of hypercompetition and nonstop innovation, the only way to stand out from the crowd is to stand for something truly original…

Their success demonstrates that:

* Being different makes all the difference

* Sharing values beats selling value…

* Great leaders are insatiable learners”




The Road Ahead by Bill Gates

“In this optimistic and refreshingly realistic book, Gates looks ahead to show how the emerging technologies of the digital age will transform all our lives. As he says, we are on the brink of a new revolution, and crossing a technology threshold that will forever change the way we buy, work, learn, and communicate with each other…

Just as the personal computer revolutionized the way we work, the tools of the information age…will transform the way we make choices about almost everything.”






The Click Moment: Seizing Opportunity in an Unpredictable World by Frans Johansson

“Today’s business environments are far too random and complicated…When you dig deep into the actions of successful people and organizations, you’ll find one common theme. A turning point occurs– a major client signs on, a new competitor redefines the market, an unlikely idea surfaces– and they take advantage of that serendipity to change their fate.

Microsoft Windows was on the brink of being shut down until two individuals met unexpectedly at a party and altered the fate of the world’s dominant computer operating system.

Starbucks sold high-end brewing equipment and coffee by the pound until Howard Schultz experienced his first latte in a cafe in Milan.

Nike was stumped on how to invent a spikeless trainer when a legendary running coach poured latex on a waffle iron.”



Friday Read: “Superbosses” by Sydney Finkelstein

In Sydney Finkelstein’s book, “Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent,” highly successful entrepreneurs share their stories of finding and helping develop promising employees. The difference, Finkelstein shows, between a good boss and a “super” boss is that while a good boss hires and leads a team to success, a super boss will nurture the talent inherent in the team they have and eventually watch that talent expand.

That means letting go of employees. I know, I hear you screaming, “IF YOU LOVE SOMETHING, LET IT GO!” That’s the same idea. When you discover a mountain spring, you dig around the source, widening the opening and letting more and more fresh, cool water come forward. But you won’t share that life-giving force with anyone by keeping it dammed up. You have to let go and watch it flow and spread and carry on on its own.

In a way, a superboss doesn’t just stop at having a team: a superboss builds an empire. They are not out for themselves. They find individuals who stand out and take them under their wing in a three step process.

1. The Master and Apprentice relationship. Apprentices were originally young boys or girls who were sent to study a trade with a mentor. They lived with the master, almost adopted in a way into their family. The master provided wisdom, discipline, and helped the apprentice every step of the way until the apprentice could one day be a master on their own.

2. The “Cohort Effect.” Rather than making employees treat each other as stepping stones, a superboss encourages people to challenge and push each other to succeed. They act more like a human pyramid than a ladder and in that way, some shine especially bright, but they owe their success to everyone else.

3. Saying Goodbye. Really, it should be “Saying See You Soon” and not “Goodbye,” since the later implies that you’ll never see the employee again. This part of the relationship is where the employee and the superboss part ways. But a true superboss remains in touch with the former employee, building on that relationship and forming a stronger and longer lasting bond. The success flows from one group to another and on and on.

The stories in the book come from individuals like Lorne Michaels, Julian Petersan, Cay Chiat and Alice Walters and provide everyone’s unique perspective on the same super-being: The SuperBoss!