As if life isn’t stressful enough, choosing a job just adds to the headache. Whether you have just earned your degree and entered the work force or you are looking to change jobs, comparing the pros and cons of one company to another becomes overwhelming. Factors such as company culture, location, work life balance, responsibility, salary, career growth, happiness, expected travel time per year, and the list goes on and on, all come into play during this tense time.
Considering that the growth of startup companies continues to rise in the UK, an additional internal struggle one may face in regard to accepting or finding a job is why would I choose a startup over an established corporation? Although the answer may vary based on personal preference, the rise from 608,000 startup companies in 2015, to 660,000 in 2017, must mean that there are definite benefits of working at a startup. Let’s find out what they are.
Unique Work Environment
One of the best parts about working at a startup company is that the work environment is so different than a typical corporate office. The “dress code” is much more relaxed, and you can be yourself. The physical work space is decorated to spark creativity and allow innovation to skyrocket!
According to BBC, a recent study of 2,000 adults in the UK showed results that 61% of those surveyed claimed that the dress code they are required to follow at work has no positive impact on their productivity. In addition, 45% of the adults said that they would be more productive if they were in an outfit that they felt comfortable in and weren’t forced to wear. Believe it or not, the study also resulted in 12% stating that they have considered quitting their jobs because of the dress code they have no choice but to abide by!
Dress codes cause complications. What is considered “business professional” or “business casual” today? For males, is it good enough to wear a suit without a tie? For females, how long can their skirt be? Can they even wear a skirt? Do they have to wear their hair a certain way? What about shoes? Instead of focusing on pointless things like what to wear, focusing on work, productivity, and success is much more important.
The physical working area of the space enhances vital focal points. Typically, startups are decorated with colorful, modern, and abstract pieces. Whether it be a unique piece of furniture, vibrant colored walls, or unique lamp shades, it is rare to find a startup with a standard business set up. Desk chairs can be replaced with items like sofas, bean bags, or recliners. Walls are covered with dry-erase boards or chalk board materials so that you can constantly brainstorm new ideas. This design concept opposes the stereotypical white, boring, cubical office space to provide a happy mindset and inventive atmosphere.
With the comfortable and unconventional startup work environment, it is easier to focus on the mission and vision of the company. You can typically wear whatever you feel most confident, comfortable, and productive in, and there is no judgement, consequence, or stress involved. It is important to say that this doesn’t mean showing up to work in pajamas and that smart casual attire is most appropriate, but nobody will be forced to wear heels or a tie. Simply dress for success, but there is no rulebook. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Feel Purposeful, Be Important
I compare this vital aspect of working at a startup company to choosing a university to attend. In the United States where I am from, there are universities that have 30,000 students enrolled and others like the one I attend where there are 2,700 students enrolled.
I decided to choose a smaller university so I didn’t feel like just a number amongst my classmates. I wanted a strong relationship with all of my professors and wanted to be remembered.
The same goes for a startup company. Instead of being one out of hundreds of thousands of employees, you are one out of a handful of other employees. In this case, the work you produce is much more important and you feel a strong sense of purpose because without you, the company endures a much bigger loss than that of a large corporation.
A recent global survey of 26,000 LinkedIn members, conducted by Imperative, revealed that 74% of the candidates surveyed want a job where they feel like their work matters. This means that the company needs to focus its attention on assigning meaningful work to its employees. When a project is heavily weighted on an employee, that employee understands that the company is strongly relying on them, and therefore they feel there is a point to their work.
It’s All About Wellbeing
At a startup company, you will never get bored. You are constantly learning, innovating, and working on different tasks. All work is managed and completed at a fast pace because startups need to capitalize on trends quickly to beat their competitors and impress investors. Amongst the hustle and bustle, employee wellbeing is highly valued.
Each day is different at a startup company due to the design of the job. Since there are minimal employees, one person may have multiple responsibilities. This changes up the daily activities of an employee and motivates them to look forward to a new task each day. It allows an employee to utilize all of their skills, develop new ones, perform various projects, and find their niche in life.
Many startup companies allow employees to work from home when need be to increase employee comfort and utilize the concept of flexible work hours. Startups value work-life balance and although there may be nights of long hours just like any job, startups understand that the employees are humans and they have other priorities than their job, like family.
What are the pros of working at a startup company?(Words from our Project Manager at sync.money, Henry Qi)
This is how I think about it…in a corporate environment, you are one piece of a machine, but in a startup environment you are the missing piece. In a startup, there is always something to be working on and feeling bored is not possible. Everything done in a startup company is done for the good of the company as a whole. The environment of a startup is much more open minded and everyone has the ability to make a difference and speak their voice. In a startup, you do have a lot of responsibility, but it gives you more of a purpose. You own something in this type of environment. It is really something special.
Did Someone Say Something Special?
When it comes to finding a job, stress levels can rise to an all-time high. Don’t let deciding between a corporation or a startup add to this. Just like anything, there are pros and cons to working at a startup company, but just some of the pros mentioned in this article, and the list goes on and on, just show how enjoyable this type of job can be. Your coworkers become your family, your passion creates results, and happiness leads to success. Be a part of something special and join the team!
By Tess Korinko
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