6 reasons why I work for a startup

After graduating last year in August, I landed my first, real full time job at TalkBox, the small tech startup in Hong Kong. When I say “small tech startup in Hong Kong”, people commonly will criticize/wonder right away and ask:

1) Is there tech startup in town?

2) Why don’t you work for HSBC or Morgan Stanley?

3) OK. If you like tech, why not Microsoft or Google?

Before you want to punch me in the face, let me share how insanely lucky I am. I got the job the old-fashioned way by sending in my résumé via email, and I made one good decision: I chose to apply to a small, startup.

1) More influence

With a smaller team, each person at a startup has more say. You should have more opportunity to voice your opinion and influence key decisions. And you want that, right?

2) More ownership

You might not be the founder, but you’re darn close. A sense of ownership, is a wonderful thing; they’ll give you one more reason to work better and harder.

3) More learning

Startup environments are tough courses in business and life. You may struggle and face a lots of HOWs and WHYs and no one will really tell you what to do, but YOU will be the one to think, evaluate and execute. You’ll learn more in 6 months at a startup than you will in 4 years at university…

4) More connectivity

With less (or zero) levels of bureaucracy, everyone is closer to one another. You should be well connected to your CEO as well as the international end users, vendors, VCs, friends, etc. that surround the startup.

5) More emotion

Working at a startup isn’t a constant high. Far from it. But it is intense, and the emotional charge you’ll get on a regular basis is a worthwhile learning experience.

6) More fun

The working environment, the atmosphere and the people are just way too much fun. Don’t think you can take a funny picture like this during office hour @HSBC HK

Don’t think you can do exercise in the office @Morgan Stanley..um or even have time to exercise if you are in the investment banking industry..booo

Are you working for startup? Are you ready to “start-it-up”? Leave me a comment and share your experience.

[photo credit: mortimer]

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6 thoughts on “6 reasons why I work for a startup

  1. I also chose a different path than most others with my same degree. I went and worked for a political campaign right out of college rather than jumping into a mega PR firm. This was a big career risk, paid barely enough to get by and consumed all of my time. But it paid off! I learned so much more and was given so much more responsibility than I ever would have as an employee of a big firm. I imagine start-ups are very similar in that you get thrown into the mix right from the start and are able to advance quickly.

    • Gilman says:

      Thanks for your comment! Really appreciated it. Good to know that you feel the same and you really need some guts to take the risk as well as the pressure from your peer and parents but i would say it is still worth it.

  2. Kent So says:

    Hey Gilman,

    More innovations too. Not that big companies don’t innovate, but great ideas often start out from small, and it is the experiencing of growing ideas into products that is most satisfying. Happy to read about your experience in HK startup scene. Also shows, you don’t need to be at the valley to be part of startups and creating great products!

    • Gilman says:

      True that man! Innovation is definitely a big one for startup. The big guys innovate but with some kind of hesitation as they have already established a way to do things and don’t want to take risks. May not be true for every big guy but at least that’s what I experienced at MS.

  3. william says:

    Time Flies.

  4. […] Giman Yu writes about his 6 reasons for working at a startup as a college graduate […]

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