Saturday, November 27th, 2021

Start Up Your Career With a Startup

By Guest Blogger on May 17 2012 • Filed under Business

Start up YOUR career with a starup (photo)Are you a person with an entrepreneurial spirit but no startup money? Do you crave being a part of something new but don’t have the specific idea to get going? If so, a startup could be the perfect place for you to work. Startups offer the same do-it-all opportunity as small companies, but they also come with plenty of passion, amazing potential and a shot at a lifelong career. Best of all, they’re hiring! Working for a startup can mold the rest of your career in some very meaningful and powerful ways.

Little Fish, Little Pond

Even if you’ve been out of the workforce for a while or are venturing into a new field, everything you think and do is important at a startup. That’s because teams tend to be small, agile and innovative – often with payrolls of 10 people or less. Because everyone is generally expected to do almost everything, you will have ample opportunity to prove yourself. Play your cards right, and your input and contributions will be taken seriously and valued. It’s a great opportunity to make your mark in an industry.

Passionate People

Hopefully it goes without saying that you shouldn’t want to work at a startup just because it’s a startup. First and foremost, you need to follow your passion.People are rarely good at anything they don’t like to do, and as a startup employee, just plain “good” isn’t going to cut it. To fit in with the workplace culture, you have to be fired up – willing and able to break new ground.

Your coworkers are also likely to be driven, ambitious people who believe in what they’re doing. These are great people to learn from, and working in the trenches with them is a good way to network yourself and build lasting friendships.

Building Strong Networks

Sure, if you choose to work for a large, high-profile corporation, you can establish a great network of industry-specific professional contacts. However, if you play your cards right in the startup culture, you can build a dedicated, dynamic and, most importantly, diverse support network that can sustain your career regardless of the twists and turns it’s bound to take. Today’s startup could be tomorrow’s Fortune 500 company, so networking is really important.

Attend conferences and workshops. Get out and meet other entrepreneurs in your community. Passionate, change-oriented workaholics tend to flock together. Don’t stop there. Get to know your consumer advocates, who are the people out there who use and love your product and are rooting for your startup to succeed. Social media is a great place to get people on your bandwagon.

On-the-Job Learning

At a startup, you won’t be relegated to making copies and filing papers, patiently waiting for the chance to prove yourself. Instead, you’ll be expected to hit the ground running as fast as everyone else. It’s a race to execute the business plan; get this big, new idea up and running and make it profitable.

You will need to step out of your comfort zone and possibly do things you’ve never tried before. Yes, you can plan on making plenty of mistakes, but failure is fine, as long as you and your colleagues learn from it. Remember, you’ll be surrounded by smart people all working toward a common goal. What better learning environment is there?

Obviously, startups aren’t for everyone. The hours can be grueling, and there is a certain level of risk involved. If you have major family obligations and need the stability of a 401(k), it may be a good idea to look elsewhere. But if you’re a passionate, capable person in love with the idea of creating the next big thing, a startup may be the perfect choice. You can learn a tonne, make significant contributions to the team, and build a loyal support network.

Erin Palmer works for University Alliance and writes about HR programs offered by partner universities. Some of the HR courses help professionals with industry credentials such as the PHR certification.



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