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Working for a startup company can accelerate your career

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Meade

Have you ever considered working for a startup? I’d like to make the case for doing so, especially if you’re a young professional. Sure, there’s a potential downside to any career path. To protect yourself, conduct careful research so you can ask questions during the interview to assess an organization’s viability and whether a job opportunity really suits you.

My experience at OWDT (we are a startup company), with friends who work at other startups, and researching the issue leads me to some clear conclusions–

First,

startups provide opportunities for creativity, entrepreneurship and ultimate career happiness.

Having worked for established corporate franchises as well as two start-up companies, I genuinely prefer the latter. Why? –Start ups have a flatter, more open organizational structure that fosters creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and excitement.

Start-ups require that employees be flexible, quick learners who can quickly adapt to the challenges of changing responsibilities. By comparison, larger, established organizations lay out detailed job descriptions, with complex reporting relationships and clearly defined lines of authority. Some folks work better in such environments… However, if you’re like me and enjoy taking on new challenges, a start-up can give you a rich breadth of experience to accelerate your career.

I’ve discovered that working in a start-up is a voyage of self-discovery. By wearing many hats, you quickly gain invaluable insight into where your true talents lie. Nothing makes me happier than mastering new responsibilities and meeting unforeseen challenges.

Second,

collaborating with people passionate about work helps you cultivate dedication, motivation and discipline.

Start-ups aren’t for slackers. Start-up employees require greater motivation and discipline than is the case for their counterparts in corporate environments. We at OWDT are highly dedicated and focused, sometimes working 12-14 hours a day, 7 days a week when our clients need us. When you share a strong team identity with others, you also experience a profound sense of shared accomplishment when you overcome obstacles to achieve successful outcomes.

At the same time, we encourage our employees to manage their time effectively so that they have time for a rich personal/recreational life. That kind of balance is critical to avoiding burnout and long-term success.

Third,

strong interpersonal skills and work ethic are indispensable.

A start-up environment is fast-paced and constantly changing. This demands both adaptability and positivity. Standard, dull routines and checklists aren’t on the agenda.

Recent research shows that hiring managers hire candidates who are quick learners with excellent interpersonal/communication skills, commonly referred to as ‘soft skills.’ No matter how technically skilled a candidate may be, if they lack these attributes, they’ll often be passed over. The person getting the job is usually someone with exceptional energy and a sophisticated sense of how to bring out the best in others.

In future blog posts, our VP of Content, Dennis Ghyst, will be writing ways to strengthen work-related communication skills.

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