Start your career right: the benefits and downsides of working in a startup

Kirstin White
3 min
July 27, 2018
Career paths for young people have changed. Employment is no longer guaranteed, a Bachelor’s degree is no longer enough, and competition is fiercer than ever.

In this ambitious environment, every young professional is hoping to make themselves stand out in any way possible. One effective approach to standing out is acquiring the right and adequate work experience, and one of the most well-known accelerators of learning is startups. 

Beginning your career in a startup has several benefits, including maximising your learning, and therefore, is an ideal way to set yourself apart. Speaking as someone who started work in a startup, I would like to share why I feel that this was the best option for me, and really worth considering for you.

A constant stream of learning opportunities

One indisputable benefit to working in a startup is the endless learning opportunities. With only a few people running an entire business, every single employee is granted significant responsibilities much faster than in a corporate establishment.

With short communication lines, change can be implemented quickly and each employee can feel their own impact on a growing business. This level of responsibility not only allows you to optimize your potential, but also opens up countless opportunities to explore new skills. 

Learning by doing is the best way to gain experience, and starting a career in that kind of atmosphere is priceless.

A low-stress environment

Another startup selling point is the nurturing, low-stress environment. Corporate businesses are often known for their stressful atmosphere, with concrete hierarchies and strict rules for behaviour and appearance.

Startups on the other hand focus less on technicalities and rigid power structures, and more on encouraging every individual to maximise their potential, because the successful outcomes can be felt immediately. With this warm encouragement from other innovative individuals that share your drive for creation, you are less afraid to make mistakes, which in turn, encourages your creativity and exploration. Being able to work in jeans and a t-shirt is also a plus!

Exposure to other industries

Another highlight to working in a startup is the exposure to a variety of different tasks and projects outside of your specific job title. With a limited company size, all employees are integrated with every role, rather than being restricted to one department. 

The exposure to other industries not only increases general business awareness, but also offers the chance to explore areas that may have a greater appeal to you. 

This is something that I can personally vouch for, as any intern at Dashmote is always fully immersed in the ongoings of all the data scientists, digital marketers and business developers around them, regardless of their role.

What are the downsides?

It is important to also address some of the downsides to starting a career in a startup. Firstly, this limits your ability to use the company as a reference, as not many people or future employers will be familiar with the company’s name. Additionally, smaller companies are limited in the salaries and bonuses that they can offer their employees, resulting in lower wages than corporate companies.

If you are seeking a career in a specific industry that you have already decided, then the corporate route may be the best choice for you, due to the very specific, predefined learning directions. However, if you are not certain about your future, or you’re still trying to figure out what you love, then working at a startup could be worth a shot!

Jumpstart your career in a startup!

In weighing up the benefits and limitations of a career path, it is important to consider what a first job ought to provide. As a young person starting out their career, I am looking to soak up as much knowledge as possible and explore all the available career directions, rather than becoming a cog in a wheel with no knowledge of other opportunities.

With the business industry constantly changing, young people need to know how to adapt, and this is not a skill that can be easily learned in a one dimensional job. It is for all these reasons that I feel startups are the best possible career-launcher for any young professional that hopes to make their mark on the world.

If you’re looking to break into the startup world to launch your career, check out Dashmote’s vacancies at

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