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5 reasons for joining a startup

After finishing his education in China, Head of Account Management Håvard Stjernen (29) decided to turn down a job offer in Norway and join a German startup company instead. Here he explains why.

1. Life in the fastlane
Things are changing constantly in a startup company. There is always a new project, deadline, person, idea, concept or meeting. Blink and you will miss out on something exciting. Nothing will give you the same thrill in your professional work life. No other environment will ever give you as much knowledge in such a short time. One year of experience in a startup is equivalent to two or three years of experience in a large corporation with more history to it. So if you are young and hungry for building a career, choosing to work for a startup will give you a headstart.

2. Fulfilling job
Startups don’t hire interns for sorting papers and boiling coffee. They hire interns for doing an important job for the company. Your contract may say “internship”, but you will be treated no differently than a full time employee. You will have a bigger impact on the direction of the business in a startup, and often there is more than enough room to be yourself and feel comfortable in your role. A startup is a great place to test and to figure out what you are made of and what direction you can take your career.

3. It’s not smooth sailing
Not comfortable with stress? Expectations make the palms of your hands sweaty? Then you should not step into the startup realm. Why? Because it’s never smooth sailing. Even some of the most famous startups, like Uber and Airbnb still have challenges that they need to overcome. Nothing is being executed because “that’s the way we always did it around here”. A startup company is fighting for it’s right to eat at the table, and to get there one needs to work harder, longer and stronger. It’s fast and hectic, with hungry people hunting for success. It can sometimes feel like you have to fight just to keep your head above water, but both companies and people who go the extra mile gets rewarded. Working in a startup is an essential experience for knowing how to deal with uncertainty. At a startup you deal with uncertainty on a daily basis and learn how to navigate uncharted business waters efficiently.

4. “Everything” is possible
Startups often have a flat structure and high pace. This means that you can implement and test out your ideas and concepts quickly and thoroughly. You really get the opportunity to test the limits of what an organization is able to achieve in a short period of time. You will very rarely find bureaucracy, so if you have a good idea the distance from thought to action is short and exiting. Startups are often willing to go a little further when testing something out, so for creative heads it is a really good environment.

5. Get promoted fast
When working in a startup, you will get noticed when doing a good job. Because of the aforementioned structure and pace, good things come to those who go the extra mile. I started working for CupoNation two years ago, and already I have gone from Account Manager to Key Account Manager to Head of Account Management. Of course this wouldn't have happened without a lot of hard work, but when a company is expanding rapidly, new positions will open up more often than in an established one.

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