An entry-level startup job is better than a fancier job at a more traditional business. Praxis
COO Mitchell Earl
calls it a cheat code for accelerating your career:
Would you rather have been making coffee and running errands at Spotify when it had ten employees, or working as one of thousands of tellers at Bank of America? Thinking about your career in terms of jobs and titles is dangerous. Thinking in terms of skills and trends is powerful.
Startups need all kinds of employees, not just programmers
A common misconception is that startups just need developers to build their tech. Of course, engineering is HUGE in the tech startup world. But there are many other departments outside of Code Land.
Most startup jobs fall into these categories:
and more depending on the specifics of the company. But, regardless of the job description, what startups really need are problem solvers; hustlers; creative thinkers; go-getters.
Startups are very progressive workplaces
Building an enduring, inviting culture is almost always one of a startup’s top priorities. Since COVID-19, startups hire remotely more than ever before. And they pay equity, in many cases.
A piece of ownership in the company itself, often offered as stock options
In early-stage startups, equity isn’t worth much until the company exits—meaning sells to a bigger company, or goes public. That’s when the real upside kicks in: At a $10 million exit, 0.25% equity converts to $25,000. At a $1 billion exit, 0.25% equity converts to $2.5 million.
Startups give you a wide variety of hands-on experience
In a startup, you’ve got easy access to every department. This means you gain exposure to the world of business while building your skills alongside teams that are dedicated to solving problems with innovative solutions. You learn about the industry, products, competitors, and customers.
Because startup life is scrappy, priorities change, and you have the chance to learn new skills simply by working in those areas.
For example, you might start in a sales position, but have the opportunity to cover live chat customer support sometimes. Or schedule social media content. Or redesign a landing page. It all depends on your interests, your attitude, and your desire to make yourself more valuable.
Startups help you “break in” and build your professional network
When you work at one startup, you’re immersed in the world of other startups, employees, founders, and investors. You discover competing startups as well as startups that are working on something different yet complementary to yours.
You build relationships with other talented, ambitious people in your company—not to mention the founders & leadership team—and you get to network with anyone else you find interesting in the startup world.
As a startup grows, you grow
The great thing about growth-focused companies is that they have no choice but to demand growth from team members. Each new phase of the company is different, and you’ll be exposed to different challenges, tasks, and types of work.
You can’t spend a few years at a startup without leveling up yourself!
Startups put you at the bleeding edge of innovation
By definition, startups innovate. When you join one, you get to experience the future of an entire industry. You’re exposed to how the industry is evolving, and get a peek into what it could look like in 5-10 years. You are literally building the future.