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Why You Should Pursue Startup Jobs After Graduation

Think back to four years ago on that autumn day when you had just moved into your dorm room. You were excited to meet your roommate and had already heard buzz about the big party planned for that night, while your parents kept nagging you about keeping in touch. Seems just like yesterday right? Fast forward and now you’re a college senior. Graduation is quickly approaching and the question, "what’s next?" is being fired at you from all sides. Searching for a potential job after graduation can be scary. Up until now, you’ve put in hours studying at the library (or procrastinating on Netflix?). You’re a member of multiple organizations on campus, and perhaps you’ve even got a couple of internships under your belt. Yet, you worry it’s not enough. You try to find a job online and let out a sigh of disappointment when you click on the link to the description of your dream-entry-level job, only to see that your credentials don’t match up to the experience required. What in the world is SEO? Or HTML & CSS? It now starts to feel that your class lectures just weren’t enough and your office assistant position is worthless on your resume. So what do you do now? One solution is to join a startup:

Startup work is not your average entry-level gig.

Startups are the ideal place to find jobs after graduation if you want to contribute quickly and add value to a growing company. They're certainly not for everyone, but if you are interested in fast-paced environments, working with others, and getting your hands dirty in a lot of different projects and opportunities, startups offer the experience you need to learn about what you're interested in and grow your career fast. Working at a high-growth company out of college will teach you to run with what you’re given.[bctt tweet="Startups are ideal for college grads who want to grow their careers fast, says @AnnMJavier"]

You'll have more responsibility.

On one of my first days on my startup job, my manager handed me the company Twitter account and told me that I would be managing it. This surprised me as he gave little direction and didn’t say much more about it. “You’re letting me handle this all by myself?” I asked. He confirmed this with no hesitation. It was in that simple moment where I realized this job would allow me to take on more responsibility than the internships many of my friends had found. I was also happy to hear that I wouldn’t have to do coffee runs or schedule other people’s appointments. Startups need to accomplish huge amounts of work with limited time and resources. There's never enough bandwidth for the team to do it all, if you can step up to the plate you'll be entrusted with mission-critical work.[bctt tweet="Startups never have enough bandwidth, so every team member counts @AnnMJavier"]

You'll try on many hats.

At a high-growth company, you can expect to connect the dots and wear multiple hats. One day, I’m re-designing presentation slides while another day I’m managing our social media or planning events. This was a 180 degree spin from my previous job where I was stuck in a cubicle doing mundane data entry from nine to five. It’s a wonderful feeling when you enjoy the work you do and when you can actually see how it helps your company attain its goals. It gets even better when you collaborate with an awesome cross-functional team that you enjoy seeing everyday.[bctt tweet="At high-growth companies, you'll have to connect many dots + wear many hats @AnnMJavier"]

You'll learn by doing.

Forget what you know about entry-level jobs. Working at a startup is a lot more. If you’re open to new challenges and taking risks, you’ll thrive immensely in a short amount of time. While processes at startups may never be set in stone, the first-hand learning experiences and the supportive community usually are. In the past year, I’ve been hooked to the startup life and it’s been a truly rewarding experience. I’ve taken on new challenges and grown in various ways that will help launch my career. With my own graduation just a week away, I couldn’t be more confident stepping out into the real world with a startup mindset and experience.[bctt tweet="Recent grads who are open to challenges + taking risks thrive in startup work @AnnMJavier"]

If you want to start your startup job search, it's important to note that most startup job openings are not listed online. Check out our post on how to know if a startup is hiring for more information on navigating the hidden job market in tech.

Photo Credit: Jens Schott Knudson via Flickr cc