Why recent grads should consider joining the startup world

(Guest post by Roby Miller) Startups are hard work, and most startups fail. Some people compare startups to rollercoasters because of the highs and lows you will inevitably experience. I can tell you firsthand that the lows will keep you from sleeping and the highs will keep you working through the night. Either way, you

Founder Friday is a weekly guest post written by a founder who is based in or hails from the Silicon Prairie. Each month, a topic relevant to startups is presented and founders share lessons learned or best practices utilized on that topic. March’s topic is why you should work for a startup. 

About the authors: Roby Miller is the founder of Iowa City-based startup TelePharm.


Startups are hard work, and most startups fail. Some people compare startups to rollercoasters because of the highs and lows you will inevitably experience. I can tell you firsthand that the lows will keep you from sleeping and the highs will keep you working through the night. Either way, you won’t get enough sleep.

Once you dive into a startup, you’ll realize that your resume is irrelevant. In a startup environment, your peers, customers and co-workers only care about what you can deliver. And if you’re right for this environment, you find that it’s less about the financial reward and more about the mission and personal growth.

Here are my top reasons why you should consider becoming part of the startup world:

Passion 

Anyone who has had a glimpse into the startup world will tell you it’s a drug and it’s addicting. You’ll find yourself realizing that you can do so much more than you’ve ever expected and that life is far too short to not be challenged. If you’re in a job where you’re waiting for 5 p.m. everyday, you’re doing it (life) wrong.

Human Capital 

I try to spend time mentoring university students about entrepreneurship and I’m often asked, “What do you recommend I do to accelerate my growth and success as an entrepreneur?” It’s a good question and the same question I asked myself during my college years. My best advice is to focus on your human capital and personal growth, not an immediate financial reward.

You could find a job with a great starting salary, but little responsibility. Startups are, by definition, dynamic. You will take responsibility for your own learning and will find unlimited opportunities to learn if you have the right attitude and drive. Willingness to take on complex challenges and the personal growth that follows is the biggest contributor to upward mobility.

Culture

It doesn’t matter if you’re the entrepreneur starting the business or the company’s eighth employee, you will have a critical role in building and shaping the culture within a startup. The company culture brings the team together, defines the work environment and ultimately drives the company’s success or failure.

Startups are risky and there’s a lot of work involved, but in exchange, there is a tremendous upside that’s hard to find in a first job in a traditional corporate setting. I’m hooked on the entrepreneurial lifestyle so I’m definitely biased, but if you’re ready to attack challenging problems, be in control of your own learning and avoid mindless bureaucracy, then you should consider finding a startup near you. If you’re stuck, Startup Genome is a good place to look.

 

Credits: Roby Miller photo from Google+

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