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7 reasons to grow your career with a startup

March 12th, 2020

4 min read

Person working at desk with laptop and second screen, plus puzzle cubes and juggling balls.

Written by

Ben Long


The Tiny Way

Tech startup jobs can provide an amazing opportunity for developers to learn on the job and rapidly grow their skills. With more startups popping up than ever, we’re running a 4 part series on what it’s like to work for a startup. 

In part 1, we covered the basics and defined what a startup is. Now, in part 2, we’re discussing some of the top reasons why working for a startup could be a smart career move.

7 reasons to apply for tech startup jobs

1. Innovation

Startups are constantly working on new things and doing things differently. New platforms, new products, and new techniques ✨

If you want to work on innovative projects (which can look pretty impressive on your CV), a startup may be the right place for you.

There’s also a much bigger trend towards larger companies favoring some startup exposure. That means any experience you gain while working in an innovative startup environment could help you transition to a role in a larger business.

2. Speed

Jim Carey sitting at a desktop computer and typing furiously.

In startups, the work is fast-paced. There are always new projects and features waiting in the backlog, and another deadline just around the corner. 

Of course, that does mean you can expect a lot of pressure (which won’t suit everyone), but there’s also no time to be bored.

3. Opportunity

When you get in early at a company, you get a unique opportunity to be part of something very cool. In a startup, you get to work on more projects and learn more in a shorter period of time, which will naturally speed up your career development. Plus, if the brand becomes well known, it could set up the rest of your career for success. 

Then there’s the money side of things. When you think about it, nearly all the big tech companies today were startups just a decade or so ago. If your position grows into something much bigger, there’s always the potential for your salary to grow a lot more quickly than it would in an established business.

4. Impact

When you’re the only developer in a team of 10 employees, you can make a much bigger impact on the products you’re building and the company you’re working for. In some cases, you can help steer the direction of the company even from an entry-level startup job. 

Compare that to working as one of 1000 developers. In a bigger company, you’re only one small part of the machine, not driving it.

5. Recognition

Five characters from Scooby-Doo give a standing ovation in a cinema.

If recognition is important to you (and it is to most employees), you’ll likely be a lot happier working in a startup. That’s because you’re much more likely to get noticed for your work in a smaller company. In a bigger company, it can be less likely that people will know your name (or the work you’ve done) beyond your immediate team members and supervisor. 

6. Ownership

In bigger, more established companies, most developers are generally expected to do what their manager tells them to do. 

So, if you like to make the calls, do things yourself, and take ownership (even fresh out of university), you’ll probably enjoy the freedom and responsibility that comes with working in a startup.

7. Experience

Even if the startup you work for doesn’t make it *big*, you’ll likely take away invaluable experience and skills that’ll make you an attractive candidate to other employers (even much bigger companies).

You’ll likely pick up a much broader range of experiences and skills than you would otherwise. Plus, you’ll pick them up faster than you would at another, bigger company. That’s because in a startup, your team is counting on you to get stuff done and you’re often the best (or only!) person for a job, even if it’s not a direct match with your skillset. 

In turn, this valuable experience could mean you’ll accelerate your career progression faster than your peers who started out at bigger companies.

So, why doesn’t everyone go for tech startup jobs, then?

Bearded man in black shirt with glasses gestures with each hand as if to say

Good question. 

Well, it would seem that despite these benefits, working at a startup isn’t all work parties, free coffees, and ping pong tables. There are pros (of course!), but there are also cons. 

Tech startup jobs can bring some significant, character-building challenges, which we’ll cover in part 3 of this series. Make sure you follow us over at @joinTiny on Twitter so you don’t miss it!

By the way, Tiny is currently hiring for a variety of roles. Check out the Tiny careers page for more information.

CareersSmall business
byBen Long

Computer scientist, storyteller, teacher, and an advocate of TinyMCE. Reminisces about programming on the MicroBee. Writes picture books for kids. Also the wearer of rad shoes. “Science isn’t finished until you share the story.”

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