6 Reasons People Leave Big Companies to Join Startups

Heather Huhman

Over the last several years, startups have popped up all over the job market. While this is great for the entrepreneurial-minded, and for professionals searching for a creative work environment, large companies like Yahoo! and Google are faced with their employees leaving to join the startup world.

Startups appeal to people working at large companies for many reasons — from flexible schedules to dynamic work environments, these newer companies offer a unique opportunity which cannot be found within larger organizations.

What’s so desirable about working at a new company? Here’s why people are transitioning into the startup world from the corporate one:

1. Flexible hours. Many startups allow their employees to work from home and have flexible schedules. This appeals to many people who seek work-life balance. The majority of large companies are removing work-at-home positions, which negatively affects employees with families and commitments outside of work. People choose to work for startups because they know they can have the best of both worlds and achieve the work-life balance they crave.

2. Creativity and innovation. Startup founders are innovative and creative individuals. Because of this, startup employees are encouraged to contribute their ideas, help the company be successful, and share their ideas with top management. Employees who work for big companies don't have the opportunity to report directly to the president or CEO.

3. Valuable experience. While many people who leave large companies may sacrifice their bigger salaries, the experience they gain at a startup is priceless. Since many startups are made up of small teams, employees get unique opportunities and learn a variety of skills.

4. Ownership of projects. A startup manager depends on the talents of each employee  and demonstrates this by giving each person ownership of projects. Startup employees are expected to take on responsibilities and hold themselves accountable for meeting deadlines. This allows employees to become more versatile and productive.

5. Room for growth. One of the best aspects of working for a startup is the opportunity for rapid growth. Many founders choose to promote within their company because they want to give their talented employees the opportunity to advance their careers. This characteristic allows startup employees to have the opportunity for quick promotions.

6. Diverse work. Startup jobs aren't your typical 9-to-5 job. The type of work varies each day, which can provide an exciting work environment. People are attracted to this type of work because it allows them to feel challenged and rewarded. Startup employees are expected to branch out from their area of expertise and perform different tasks than they’re accustomed to, resulting in a dynamic work environment and the opportunity to grow as a professional.

The startup world is growing and continues to look for the most talented employees. Those professionals who seek more responsibilities, work-life balance, and the ability to work in a dynamic work environment may decide that a startup is the right path for their career.

Would you work at a startup? Why or why not?

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Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010). Find Heather on Google+.