When it comes to choosing a company, choosing between a startup and a corporate would be the hardest decisions of your life, considering you'd basically asses the pay, benefits and the location. I know this may sound one-sided but I just had to write something that would clear off stereotypes. I've been through both sides of the coin and so far, working in a startup is the best work place I've been through.
If your a student or a person that just graduated from college, your parents would had probably told you that you should work for a corporate company, likely because they got used to the traditional lifecycle of the old era , wherein everyone has the mentality of "We must work for big companies in order to survive" (Probably you would have thought yourself working in a cubicle answering phone calls the whole day). Remember that your parents don't dictate your career.
Apparently, the reason for that is people are too afraid to take risks when in fact, a lot of entrepreneurs are born nowadays and startups are widely spreading. Factors that include those decisions would be career talks, seminars, or job fairs from your universities. Since it's going to be your first job (Full-time job to be clear), your not sure of what's coming your way. Here are some reasons why should you choose a startup over a corporate company:
1.) Everything You Do is a Big Part of the Company's Growth
Everything starts from humble beginnings. We all start from something small then eventually grows big. In corporate companies, you work in your workspace, doing the same thing all over again and feels like it doesn't even help to the project. Kinda boring if you ask me. The status-quo of corporate companies is high, so high that the objective is to maintain its growth spurt. In startups, even the slightest navbar on your website serves as a big contribution. Since it's still on it's growing period, you feel like everything you do counts. Whenever growth digits are mentioned during meetings, it feels great knowing that your monthly growth reaches around 110% and it's fulfilling knowing that your part of the growth.
2.) Career Growth Outweighs the Cost
Having a good pay is better but having an awesome career growth can be priceless. Remember, not everything is settled through based on your salary and is not the sole reason why you'd join a company. In corporate companies, things you learn are limited to your job description. In startups, you learn to be a jack-of-all-trades.
The challenging part is that you get to experience dealing investors, stakeholders, and all other aspects of the company even if your not specialized to do so. Those are some opportunities that you'd only experience from a startup. The best part is this makes you a well-rounded person. In corporate companies, before you could do all those, you need to have a high-level position first so there's a low-to-no chance you'd experience it at an early level.
Normally, startups don't conduct job fairs so if ever you get recruited by a startup, consider yourself lucky because they are very wise in picking their candidates considering your getting recruited in a small group plus, the fast-paced environment in order to advance. Then again, startups may not pay as good as corporate companies but its culture and environment are unparalleled.
3.) Everything is Processed a Lot Faster
During the interview process and job offers, it takes weeks, or even months to get results. This also implies certain documents like certificates of employment. Corporate companies usually follow a certain hierarchy of approval before you get what you want. It's a risky domino-effect process wherein person A must sign the document before proceeding to person B and to person C, so on up to the highest upper-level management. If one does not approve, then all efforts are wasted.
In startups, everything is pretty much straightforward. You get results within the week (or even the day after your interview) and necessary documents (such as a certificate of employment) can be done even within the day. Nothing fancy. No hierarchy of upper-level management. Just immediate results.
In addition, there's no monkey business involved. In a corporate setting, your job description can vary from what you're doing. Consider this case:
Assuming you have a position of Software Engineer and stated in your job description that you should build the system following the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle). Instead of building software, your real task was to support software wherein somebody issues you a ticket, solves the issue, and get's another ticket. The thing is, you're not engineering anything. Your just supporting which was never part of building software and doesn't follow the practice of SDLC. Before you can get out of that, it takes months, even years to transition a role/project. I've seen cases like these and it doesn't sound transparent.
Then again in startups, they're pretty much straightforward. What you do is stated clearly without a hidden agenda and doing things to sustain the company (such as negotiating to clients and presenting reports) can be an added bonus! Transitioning is better too. Assuming you are a software engineer and you wanted to transition into a project manager, It's easy as 1-2-3.
4.) You Have Flexible Work Hours
This is one of my favorite parts of working on a startup. In corporate companies, your pay is based on the number of hours you worked meaning, even if you have no task, in order to get paid you have to stay in the office. For me, it gets boring by the hour especially on near weekends due to Friday's excitement. Getting stuck in a cage shouldn't be the basis of pay. I can say its kinda like a burnout scheme and makes it's a waste of time especially if you have a mean boss who doesn't want you to leave early.
It sucks more if you had a bond deal of X years. Not only you lost your free autonomy but you have no choice but to be in their palms for X years. It's like climbing a mountain together getting slaps of latigos for every step. In startups, your output is what matters regardless of how many hours you've worked. If you can finish everything in an hour (or even less), leaving early is an option plus you have the free autonomy on your career. If your enthusiastic to voluntarily take more tasks, why not?
5.) There is No Feeling of Intimidation From One Another
Your officemates are your best friends regardless of what level. They will be with you for the rest of your stay in the company. As much as we want to be comfortable in the workplace, we wouldn't want to feel anxiety whenever you pass by a senior. In my experience, it's unlikely your CEO telling you "Thanks and hope you can kick some ass doing your tasks". The feeling is very exciting and it's cool that formality is not an issue. You can even reply to emails as straightforward as possible as if you're only talking to your friend but do remember to know and feel the situation. Though this doesn't mean there's no practice of professionalism. Formality is adherence to etiquette but it's not necessarily consistent to everything. Then again, cultures are very different. In corporate companies, you feel anxious whenever you see your boss so it doesn't feel at ease knowing that a single mistake can cost your job.
Usually, addressing them should always be in a formal matter. Making mistakes is taken heavily wherein everyone gets mad at you and the only thing left is your boss screaming at you and says "YOUR FIRED!". Whenever going to work on big companies, you'd rather think your excuses why did you make mistakes rather than being happy and getting excited to work. This results in an option not to fail. Yes, it's bad to fail but failure is always part of success. How can you learn if you didn't experience failing? (Though I'm not saying that you should) Remember that experience is the greatest way to learn so take it as a learning curve to improve yourself.
6.) No Fancy Dress Codes
No long sleeves. No blazers. No slacks. Civilian attire is always welcome.
7.) You get Recognized on Everything You Do
As a result, the promotion is faster. In a corporate setting, it usually takes years to get promoted. In case you had a good invention, it's not appointed to your name but rather it's claimed by the company. Your idea's and effort not getting recognized just doesn't feel right. In line with my first bullet, the slightest thing you do can be tomorrow's next big thing. Let your idea get recognized by the world with you as the creator. It feels fulfilling whenever you get appraised by your own hard work especially if your boss sees your effort, you can get extra credit. This makes you motivated and drives you to excel at your work.
It's really inspiring whenever you see your company grow. From the point of work, you learn things on how to be an entrepreneur. These are things only a startup can give and start from a small group is the greatest experience you'll ever have.
Have any ideas? Want to share some more facts? Just let me know in the comments section.