WHY JOINING A START-UP MAKES SENSE

WHY JOINING A START-UP MAKES SENSE

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I’m a 22-year-old graduate. Some of my friends have spent large proportions of their waking lives thinking and broadcasting those thoughts about the importance of getting on the right grad scheme. My parents pushed me in the same direction, even trying to persuade me when I got my current job at Movemeon that it should just be a temporary measure until the big hiring window comes back around. Of course, they did. They’re both successful professionals and they want success for their children. Interestingly, they think they know the way to achieve success; and are slow to accept that there are multiple routes to success, as well as multiple visions of success.

While I would love to be Harvey Spector (if you’re not a Suits fan you should really be questioning what you’ve been doing with your life) and some of my friends going into consulting and banking jobs have starting salaries that make it relatively easy for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, working in a start-up isn’t badly paid. Competition for top talent and generous funding, along with the possibility of equity for those not fresh out of university (*sob*) can make for an incredibly lucrative opportunity should you choose to jump on board the right bandwagon. Clearly, not every small company is the next Google, but there are more than a couple of aspiring game changers out there!

Being at a start-up is also a massive education. A small company means that you can have a fantastic overview of how everything works and be involved in several different functions. Irfan, our Head of Freelance, has been able to indulge himself and steal the mantle of (self-proclaimed) Head of Creative by taking on responsibility for our video content. I’m tasked with marketing and developing partnerships in NYC as well as tracking Movemeon’s progress by drawing up our KPIs. This means I have to develop a diverse skill set and, importantly, my work is extremely varied. Variety is the spice of life after all. What’s best is that in a small company no one has the time to micromanage. Sure I check in with Nick, our co-founder, when we’ve both got time but largely I’m given a problem or a target and then sent off to tackle it myself. Having that level of freedom makes work a pleasure.

For me, what’s most exciting is getting to see my own footprint. At Movemeon I handle my own clients right from first contact all the way through to hiring. I can’t explain how rewarding it is to have control of what I’m working on the right the way to success nor to have a role that means I can sit back at the end of each day and see how I’ve solved a problem to drive us forward. Talking to friends who have made the opposite choice and gone into big name companies tell me how frustrating it can be; one has resorted to lowering his boss’ chair by an inch every time she leaves the room for the last 6 months in one of the more petulant shows I’ve heard!

The final thing of note is the flexibility afforded, the atmosphere and the culture. In the office we have a ‘no work after 6’ policy and one of my colleagues has been in trouble for taking work home on the weekend. Apparently this isn’t something that happens in consulting? In the start-up world there’s room for traditional visions of success but there’s also an emphasis on work-life balance that the corporate world doesn’t seem to have caught up to yet.

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