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Your Career and Startups

Sep 22, 2017



Today we are launching a series of blog posts dedicated to careers in startups…

While talking to students and recent graduates and researching the topic we realised how very little quality information about the startup world is available to people early in their careers. Here at Advance we hope that this series of blogs will help you to discover a dream career or to start a business.

Start-ups: the best place to start-up your career?

Have you ever seen Alice in Wonderland? Remember the bit where she tumbles down the rabbit hole and enters Wonderland itself; a place where the smallest of things makes the biggest impact — a place where anything is possible?

Well, moving from university or a job at a large company to the start-up life can give you the same feeling. It’s a wonderland of new experiences — and something everyone should try at least once in their lives.

What IS a start-up?

A start-up can be defined as a company that’s recently emerged in the world. A baby company, if you will. The company will have an idea to mind, and some will already have money from supporters to have built a prototype. Some might have had enough investment to start mass producing their product, or investment might be the next step for the business to bring its product to the market. All these stages define a start-up company.

What’s the difference between a start-up and a small business?

Take a moment to think about it — what would YOU say is the difference between a start-up and a small business?

The actual answer? Debatable. Some people say it’s the number of employees — a start-up is no longer a start-up if the company has more than 25 employees. Others say it’s the amount of revenue the company has, although this could vary dramatically. And some will argue it’s the number of years the company has been active — if more than 5 years, congratulations: no longer a start-up.

So when we say, working at a start-up, we mean a company that’s been active for less than 5 years with 25 or less employees and comes from humble beginnings in terms of the initial revenue.

Working at such a small company has its benefits.

Experiences galore! People often say that there are more experiences to be had within the first three months at a start-up than in three years at a large corporation.

Making your own way. Every day is an adventure because you’re in charge of your own development at a company that’s also marking its way through the industry.

Everything matters. Your contribution to a start-up makes a huge difference. In larger companies, there’s a team working with you — and the success of the business can be credited to many, many people. In start-ups, the team is smaller, so your decisions have a bigger impact. It’s a rewarding feeling, helping to visibly shape the company you work at.

Young and growing. With CEO’s averaging around 34 years of age, you usually end up working with people on the young side. Which also has its advantages — everyone’s in the same mind set and you can work with people who share similar interests as you.

Learning by doing. Working at a start-up is like being thrown in the deep end of a swimming pool. With so few people in a company you could end up exploring outside of your job role, dabbling in sales and marketing, or PR, or even engineering. You could be asked to help last-minute in preparing a presentation for the UN General Assembly, or deliver a pitch at the lounge in the city airport. You could be asked to help create Ethernet cables from scratch, or recklessly fire-test the product in the backyard.

When we said every day is an adventure — we meant it.

So what next?

If you’re sold at the idea of working at a start-up, it’s time to start job-hunting! Check out City AM’s list of start-ups rising to potential stardom and browse through Tech London’s list of start-ups to watch this year. And take a look at Advance job listings

Upcoming events in London are also a great way to learn about start-ups; you can network and meet new entrepreneurs — and a lot of these events are free to attend! Have a look at the Festival of Marketing, the Business Show, London Tech Week, or Social Media Week.

Sharing is caring!

Got any stories to share from previous work experiences at a start-up? Know someone who’s breaking the mould by working at a newly-formed company? Have a business idea of your own? Let us know!

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