The Pay-Off of Joining a Start-Up.
The digitization and globalization of everything has made the career seeking process quite a daunting one. Of course, it’s a positive dilemma to have a world of options; however, the paradox of choice would tell us that we could become stuck by too many options. I can attest to this.
Before settling into my current role at Left, I felt nervous about the seeking process. Not because I was nervous about interviews, but because there were various paths I could choose to go down and how was I to know which one was right for me? It’s a big commitment to decide which path will bring you the greatest pay-off, whether you dedicate your life to getting a job at one of the big players like Google, finding a job abroad, taking a chance on a small start-up, and the list could go on.
Where things get interesting is the pay-off I mentioned. Everyone thinks they’ve got us millennials all figured out, and don’t get me wrong: many of their claims I can completely relate to, but realistically we’re all very different. Naturally, as you are discussing your job hunt experiences with other fellow job hunters, you realize everyone is seeking a different pay off. Some people want the resume enrichment a big player brings, others want the experience of travelling, others want autonomous responsibility, and again the list could go on.
Truthfully, I was conflicted by the benefits of all three, and I wish I had someone to steer me in the ‘right’ direction.
Luckily for me, I was introduced to the start up scene that is gaining traction out in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. I feel very lucky and compelled to share with you the immense benefits of working with a start-up. With the right attitude the opportunity to work in a start-up is like a regular job on steroids. The growth potential is so big it’s almost scary.
Here are just a few of the offerings that can lead to immense learning and development if you are prepared to take responsibility for getting yourself involved:
- You can be involved in the day-to-day processes and practices of the entire business that you might not see in departmentalized businesses elsewhere
- You have a larger impact on the company as a whole
- You’re joining a family, not just a group of co-workers
- You get an insider perspective of each department, because sometimes it’s just one person
- You can probably help in every area of the business because you are a family and if something needs done, it’s all hands on deck
- You’re learning many important life and business lessons that textbooks often can’t teach you because you are in arms’ reach of your CEO, CMO, CFO, etc.
- The like-minded individuals around you are passionate about making a disruption and that’s why bumps in the road are really just an opportunity to prove your team’s strength and ability
- These like-minded individuals that you are constantly surrounded with are extremely talented and it’s an inspiration to be your ‘best self’ as well
- As long as you aren’t afraid to speak up, your opinion will be heard
- You’ve got to act quick because the flat structure and the time pressures for output mean a lot happens in a short period of time. This means a plethora of opportunities to gain experiences and expand your abilities
- If you want to learn something, you just have to ask
- You’re trusted to be a responsible adult and get your work done in a way that best suits your productivity style
- Because budgets can be tight, it’s everyone’s job to consider financials, embrace your entrepreneurial spirit, and do what you can to do more with less
So as you hunt for your next job, consider what you really want to get out of the next chapter of your life. The potential for continuous learning and the opportunity to expand your pool of knowledge, skills and abilities is invaluable.
So particularly, if you’re looking for a co-op position, why not take a chance on a small start-up so that moving forward in your life you can pipe up about your ability to take initiative for your learning and capitalize on every opportunity. To quote Sheryl Sandberg’s favourite piece of career advice she received from Eric Schmidt, “if you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, get on, don’t ask which seat. Look for growth, look for teams that are growing quickly, and look for companies that are doing well.”
I am four months (what already!) into my yearlong contract and the payoff has already been immense. I feel grateful I have found a position that meets all my expectations of a job: it brings me joy, challenges me and in turn provides opportunities for continuous growth both personally and professionally. I am a firm believer of the old saying, ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life’-Confucius.
Photography by Alan Bailward Photography – http://bailwardphotography.com