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Move to a startup or not?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 10th, 2018 9:44 am
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[OP]
Newbie
Nov 9, 2016
33 posts
12 upvotes

Move to a startup or not?

Hey everyone,

I’m confused and need some help. I'm 26 years old and landed my first entry level finance position at the end of last year. It’s a Backoffice position and the role itself is very defined, I feel that in the short 8 months I have seen almost every situation the Backoffice department has to deal with and some of it just drives me totally nuts, plus its very repetitive work. Its at a good company and location is great but there isn’t much movement vertically and I hear a lot of people complaining about how this company doesn’t pay as well as others, I feel I’m being underpaid myself at $38k considering the details of the work (trading and managing accounts).

My dilemma is that I did a promising entry level interview at a new startup (only 50 employees) and they should be contacting me by the end of week whether they will move forward or not. This role has many aspects to it; dealing with clients, and internal teams, troubleshooting, making recommendations and creating marketing material.

If the startup replies to me with an offer that is greater than what I am currently earning (mind you I’m only making 38k) would it be smart to leave my secure job to go to a startup? Am I making a bad decision here? I've read lots of articles that are saying going to startups are really good for your career. I know I went to school for Finance and HR but after being in a finance role in a 9-5 environment and seeing other roles in this organization and general online postings I find that I’m not as interested as I was when I was in university and quite frankly I don’t even know what I really want to do as a defined career.

Sorry I know this post is long basically the TLDR post is

Should I leave my entry level (38k salary, good company, defined role, little movement) Backoffice finance processing role and go to a new small startup doing a different more meaningful role, still entry level.

Thanks!
12 replies
Sr. Member
Aug 31, 2017
729 posts
176 upvotes
The blunt me says, you're 26, in an entry level role you do not like, making $38K (nothing wrong with that but clearly you want more), hence nothing to lose - take the start-up. Even if all else fails, those entry level roles will still be there.

I hope you get the other job!
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
6438 posts
3539 upvotes
Edmonton
Before I’d offer an answer, I’d ask:
  1. How important is job stability to you?
  2. How long has the startup been in business?
  3. Are you good at being self-motivated? Finding what needs to be done and making it happen?
  4. What’s the background of the company founders/owners?
In the startups I’ve been involved with, you have to be comfortable wearing many hats, and focusing on getting done whatever needs to get done. It’s great from an experience point of view. But nobody’s going to babysit you.

Startup companies are notorious for failing. There’s lots of things they need to survive while growing.

C
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 9, 2016
33 posts
12 upvotes
CNeufeld wrote:
Jul 5th, 2018 11:07 pm
Before I’d offer an answer, I’d ask:
  1. How important is job stability to you?
  2. How long has the startup been in business?
  3. Are you good at being self-motivated? Finding what needs to be done and making it happen?
  4. What’s the background of the company founders/owners?
In the startups I’ve been involved with, you have to be comfortable wearing many hats, and focusing on getting done whatever needs to get done. It’s great from an experience point of view. But nobody’s going to babysit you.

Startup companies are notorious for failing. There’s lots of things they need to survive while growing.

C
Job stability is somewhat important to me and the startup has been in business for 4 years now. I'm self motivated and I like to make changes and make things happen. I've heard that being at a startup is really good experience. I feel that the amount of broad experience and skills I can learn at a startup would be greater in a shorter amount of time compared to being at the organization I'm at now...
Is this true? Will being at a startup kinda jump start my career and help propel me and set me up better for the future?
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
6438 posts
3539 upvotes
Edmonton
Based on my experience at two "startups", I'd say yes. I was allowed to find my own niche within the organizations and work at a wider variety of tasks than I did at larger organizations. The range of experiences later was helpful. Still is, I'd say.

I say "startups" because one company was a new branch office that only had 4 people in it when I started. So the organization itself was reasonably large (100 or so employees), but in this office, we were in the wild West. The other startup I was involved with grew from 3 people when I started to 100+ by the time I left.

C
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 9, 2016
33 posts
12 upvotes
Thanks a lot for your input. There is a lot to consider here because I would be leaving a stable job for something that can be risky. I really like the idea of gaining more experience hence and that's why I applied to smaller companies. I think this would jump start my career and experience. My experience stems from customer service roles and now one corporate finance role, but I'm still concerned about if this is the right decision or not.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
28111 posts
3758 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
You’re young and have a long working career ahead of you.

The startup may take off and you’ll be on the ground floor. In the startup you’ll wear many different hats and get to learn the business from every angle. Even if it fails, the experience you earn will be valuable in your next job.
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 9, 2016
33 posts
12 upvotes
Quick update, I didn't get the job -__-

That's fine though. I appreciate the help from everyone. So what I got from the comments thus far is that working at a startup is good for someone with little experience as you get to move around the organization and try different things and help with multiple projects. It would really help build up one's skills and resume as opposed to being in a defined corporate job?

Any advice is helpful as I'm sure a lot of Rfders might be in the same position I am in wondering if they should go to a startup or stay corporate.
Sr. Member
Aug 16, 2017
614 posts
112 upvotes
Toronto
too bad OP, at least you still have a job, my input is you can gamble on the startup if the pay is significantly larger than what you are currently getting.
Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2006
1913 posts
278 upvotes
therealbry wrote:
Jul 6th, 2018 12:06 pm
Quick update, I didn't get the job -__-

That's fine though. I appreciate the help from everyone. So what I got from the comments thus far is that working at a startup is good for someone with little experience as you get to move around the organization and try different things and help with multiple projects. It would really help build up one's skills and resume as opposed to being in a defined corporate job?

Any advice is helpful as I'm sure a lot of Rfders might be in the same position I am in wondering if they should go to a startup or stay corporate.
Not necessarily. You personally had a lot less to lose as you were making relatively little and you have a long working career ahead of you. For someone at your stage in life, going ANYWHERE where you can get the title, experience and more money is worth it no matter how 'risky' it may seem (within reason).
Jr. Member
Feb 7, 2018
123 posts
43 upvotes
Toronto ON
1) Startups are great.
2) You are still young and you can afford going to a startup
3) You are currently doing an entry-level position, so going to a startup is no different
4) Startups are more informal and you build relationships
5) Startup however could go worse on payments, if they start to lose their business
6) See 1)
7) Startups are great to begin your career with. Down the road (after age of 30) avoid them.
7.1) ...unless you own the startup or it is something you do with partners/friends
9) You however might be required to work more, since the startup depends on every single working entity to work at 100% or more capacity in order to sustain the business
10) They usually offer more extras in a startup to attract youngsters (free lunches, snacks, gym membership etc)
11) It is often lots of fun to work for a startup
12) You will learn a lot for a surprisingly short time and this would be important for your next career moves, so you should be a fast learner and you should not be afraid to learn things on your own (often mentoring will be provided for a limited time)
13) Usually there is rarely a dress code in a startup (especially in IT startups, where you can see all types of crazy people in a single room, with at least half of them wearing heavy-metal t-shirts or arriving on bicycles and scooters, no idea of the financial startups though...)
14) See 1)

You decide.

I worked for a startup - my first serious job. I never regret it. Loved it. Low salaries, lots of fun, I was young (24-25). Would love to go back, but it won't pay my rent and my child daycare.

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