For many fresh graduates, making the transition from being a full-time student to a full-time employee can be extremely daunting. Some might even end up in the abyss of unemployment for quite some time, going to interview after interview without finally scoring the job. I can be considered one of the lucky ones, scoring a full-time junior executive position 2 months before my last semester even ended. Maybe this is due to the fact that I exclusively filtered out all big corporations in my job-hunting process.
The reason why I hunted startup companies instead of big corporations is because of one main factor: I need to find a place where I am needed and where I have the chance to stand out among my competitors. Sure, bigger companies might need someone with my skill sets as well but chances are, the coveted position will go to someone with a longer résumé and a higher GPA. Since startup companies are growing at a very fast pace, they need someone who can go with the flow and keep up with the growth in every quarter. There is always a new project and a challenging obstacle that can’t be solved simply by a high GPA or a long résumé.
Applying for a job at corporations is stressful enough as it is but when you actually do get the position. That feeling of fulfillment and happiness because you’re now finally employed is still not guaranteed. I know many fresh grads working with multinational companies still stuck in their training stages while I’m already contributing so much in my six months of working in an e-commerce startup. With startups, I feel like I have the chance to thrive and improve my skills at a faster rate.
Now that I’ve settled down in my job as a content writer in an established startup in Kuala Lumpur, I’ve found that my previous assumption about working in smaller scale companies are true. Here are just some of the things I’ve discovered after jumpstarting my career at a startup.
More creative opportunities
As a content writer, I do more than just publishing product descriptions and on-site texts. I also write feature articles like this one and whenever they get published, I add it to my writing portfolio. It may not seem like a big deal now but when you want to climb up that career ladder in the future, you can showcase your impressive list of published writing.
For non-writers, you would also more likely to contribute to a project in a startup than in giant conglomerates. The scale may differ in every startup companies but the idea is more attractive than doing mundane, menial desk jobs every day without the chance to contribute anything.
Better working culture
Another main reason why I chose startup companies over conglomerates when hunting for my first job is because of the lack of bureaucracy. Working in a smaller office means you have the chance to meet everybody, from the juniors all the way up to the big bosses. It’ll give you a sense of solidarity with everyone in your office and while office politics might still exist, it won’t be on the same scale as it most likely would be in bigger corporations.
Less bureaucracy also means you can enhance the necessary skills you need to get promoted or to move on to a better job position in another company. Prior to joining my current company, I had no idea how to utilize SEO and how I can combine it with writing to increase the traffic of the site. The SEO skills that I honed from this first job will be extremely useful whenever I decide to move on to a better, higher position at another company.
You will find a more diverse environment when working at a startup company compared to working in a drab office for a mega conglomerate. In the current startup company that I’m working with, I’ve met people from Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, China, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Germany, and more. And chances are, you will find a lot of other fresh grads in a startup to help you go through that first few-month jitters.
The more successful and established the startup company is, the more diverse your office environment will be. Perhaps this is because startups aren’t afraid to outsource their talents to every corner of the world to find the best people to complete their team. So, try to seek for jobs outside of your home country; it’s a great chance for those trying to step out of their comfort zones and start an adventure in an unknown territory.
SEA is the best startup hub
If all the reasons above still can’t convince you to join a startup company straight after graduation, then consider this: the region is one of the best places to join the startup sector. The region has been dubbed as the leading tech startup hub and one of the fastest growing regions in the world due to the success of these startup companies.
Southeast Asia is thriving with hundreds of startup companies and many of them successfully passed and stayed in the growth and establishment phase. This means more employment opportunities, more benefits, more paths to be explored, and more chances to rise in your career ladder.
There are of course downsides to working in a startup. Unless the company’s profit and revenues keep on growing, one day the company can just decide to pack up and halt all operations. You can never know what’s instore for the future when you’re working in a startup but considering the freedom and the different skills that you can amass, it’s a great starting point in your journey of employment.
Written by Febriani Ramadhanya from iPrice Group