For all the creative types who want to go the atypical route, I invite you to jump in and join the buzzing startup scene! Problem solvers, designers, advertisers (and beyond) unite! Your options aren't limited to corporate internships or graduate schemes. Whether you're newly graduated, or looking for more than a 9–5, make sure the startup world is on your radar. Here's why:
1. YOU'LL LEARN NEW SKILLS
In a startup you're likely to be thrown into different tasks, especially in the early stages. Today you're working on graphic design. Tomorrow, a pitch for the founder to present to investors, and the next day you could be working on a business development strategy. This requires you to be proactive in finding opportunities for yourself outside of your job description.
2. YOU'LL BUILD YOUR NETWORK
The startup scene is filled with collaborative individuals, with interesting stories and ideas to share. Attending events, seminars and workshops (all plentiful) will allow you to connect with them. Traditional hierarchies are less enforced in the startup world, so feel comfortable approaching new people. The key again is being proactive.
3. YOU'LL FIND YOUR PLACE
If you're a graduate, you're unlikely to have it all figured out. Few do. In learning new skills, you'll find your place quicker in the startup world than in a large corporation, where switching roles or changing direction (called a “pivot” in industry terms) is uncommon.
4. YOUR INPUT WILL COUNT
It's not all about what the role can give you. You'll also get to make a difference to the company with what you have to offer. The feeling that you're making a unique contribution is rewarding, and in a startup, everything counts. Ask yourself, “Am I making the most of... me?”, and act accordingly.
5. YOU'LL (HOPEFULLY) ENJOY YOURSELF!
Disclaimer: Startups are not all fun and games. Times may be uncertain, and tensions often run high. Technology and ideas change rapidly. You might lose your job. I'll stop there. BUT it's all a part of the ride. The people you meet and the things you learn will make it a great journey – your journey – enjoy it!
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