I was telling my friend earlier today that I am no longer on a student
schedule (waking up late, staying up late) but rather on a regular work
schedule (waking up early, going to bed early).
And here I am, almost 1:30am on a Thursday night, still awake - but swearing to go to bed soon!
I realize is that I'm not on a regular work schedule, I'm on a startup
schedule. That means getting up early... but also staying up late. I
don't consider myself a workaholic, but I'm probably in denial. After
all, I was working until about 1am.
Yes, that's a ridiculous
number of work hours, and no, I'm not getting paid overtime (I wish).
It's just that there's a lot of work for me to do, and, well, I pretty
much love my job.
Around the time when I first started my job
(about a month ago), I wrote a blog article on "Why I Love Working for
a Startup - and Why You Might Too." It was at a time when I was
incredibly in love with my job and feeling oh-so-mushy. I never
actually posted the article, and I'm somewhat glad because it was
BEYOND mushy. But, one month into my job, I stand by the five points I
outlined and I thought I would finally share them with the world.
So here is why I love working for a startup, and why you might too:
1. A startup can be a huge investment of time and effort because of the lack of resources. But the positive side of this is the depth and range of experiences that
comes with that. There are only two people in this marketing
"department" - me and my boss. That translates into getting much
greater responsibility. I get to work on tons of projects, and exciting
projects at that. I could never get to do this in any other entry level
marketing position and the level of knowledge I have gained in this
time could not have been met in any other job.
2. One thing I didn't actually expect is that I would get to see how a company works.
When the group is small, you end up sitting amongst sales people,
product developers, and even the CEO and co-founders. And you hear
their conversations and you engage them in conversations and you see
how people interact to bring together one functioning whole. For
someone like me, with little business experience, this is incredibly
3. And that leads me to my next point - you are surrounded by smart, accomplished people.
At least at this company, there are numerous people who have started a
number of businesses and have extensive entrepreneurial experience and
frankly are just really, really smart about what they do. They know a
lot and, because there isn't really anyone between you and them, you
get direct access to some incredible resources.
4. As a slight bonus, especially for people who aren't really into the cookie-cutter office lifestyle, a startup offers a fun, relaxed atmosphere with great interactions.
Yes, I work hard, but I can show up at noon if I feel like it (of
course, tomorrow I have a meeting at 10am, so I need to be in to the
office in about 8 hours). And - eliminating one of my pet peeves -
there isn't huge bureaucracy slowing you down. You get incredibly
efficient processes. For example, we run a marketing campaign and
generate a bunch of leads. We pass them on to the sales people right
next to us, and hear how the sales call goes. We can get immediate
feedback on the quality of those leads to understand the effectiveness
of our marketing programs. Pretty cool.
5. My last point: my mom says I have potential, and I believe it.
The greatest advice I got when making my job decision was to always
surround myself with smart people. There are definitely plenty of those
around my office, and they, plus the high level of work I get to do,
truly challenge me. And challenges are the key, in my opinion, to
really succeeding. You can't get very far if you're always playing it
safe. You need to take some risks, take a leap, work your ass off, and
then you can really start experiencing success.
So there's my
little shpiel about how great it is to work at a startup. At first I
was definitely very hesitant about taking this job. But I can't even
imagine what my life would be like if I had done anything different.
OK, I can imagine it, but it's not nearly as awesome.