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5 reasons working in tech is more interesting than an office job

Apr 9, 2015

Before I worked in startup land, I did normal office jobs. You know the drill: Thank god it’s Friday, everyone talking about getting a new job but never leaving, maniacal bosses in glass rooms, constantly feeling like you’re in “The Office” but without the funny parts, feeling a bit embarrassed when you tell your friends what you do for a living, the need to escape lending itself to binge drinking at weekends.

Every year more startups are created and get funded in the UK, and every year there are more opportunities for you to escape. Here’s five reasons you should consider making the jump:

Wages

Dedicated and passionate employees in niche areas are in short supply for startups right now, so wages are at a premium, let alone that rising in the ranks of a small company is far easier than at a legacy company with hundreds of employees. There’s a real opportunity in the jobs market for employees to get in at the ground level at some really exciting companies right now.

Kristina Narusk, Product Manager at Memrise, told me: “Constantly learning new things means that ‘promotion’ is programmed into every role. In a large established organization it would take years before you get the same responsibility that in startups can happen almost every 6 months.”

Equity

Many startups allow you to take a small slice of equity in return for staying at the company for 1-4 years or more. This could literally be worth millions if the company grows to the levels of UK success stories like King or Moshi Monsters.

It’s a lottery, sure, but you have to work anyway, so why not try and attach yourself to a rocketship?

Death to red tape

An end to bureaucracy. Getting results is all that matters in a startup. There’s no “passing it up the chain” or “waiting to hear back from procurement”, things move fast and lots can happen in a very small amount of time.

You might actually enjoy going to work

Working in startups normally involves a specialist skill that you’re passionate about doing. You can make things happen which have instant results, whether that’s finding new users, designing a new layout, or building a new feature: Your work actually matters!

Aaron O’Hearn, Co-Founder at Startup Institute, told me: “Owning your career is one of the huge draws of startup work. You get to be creative and really see your impact. You also aren’t held to a single career trajectory– there’s freedom to move in whichever direction excites you most.”

Perks

Working in startups may have been lampooned brilliantly by Nathan Barley over a decade ago with the “Sugerape” office, but many startup workspaces really are that fun – beanbags, table tennis, foosball, popcorn, some even have craft beer on tap. It’s a long way away from “You should iron your shirt in the morning”.

It’s 2015 now, the choice is yours.

Originally published in Tech City News

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Which tech city tribe are you?

Apr 9, 2015

Tech City in a nutshell: getting an investment for an idea and building a company from nothing to millions in users or revenue.

I’ve been through this journey, creating an idea in my bedroom, graduating through shared workspaces, and onto an accelerator and beyond.

If you’re already part of Tech City, you can probably count yourself in one of the following groups.

Try-curious wantrepreneur

Wantrepreneurs are normally fed up of corporate workplaces and have a burning desire to run their own business.

You can be found attending random events from meetup.com, and reading their Bible: “The Lean Startup” or “The 4-hour work week.”

You are constantly worrying about personal relationships, financial stability and making new ways of discovering events on your smartphone.

Google Campus Basement Virgin

Google virgins are either living off savings or parents as you spend the day in the Campus basement, asking other startups what they think of your ideas.

You have started attending TechHub and Campus events which can actually help you.

You’re probably a first-time founder, and know off by heart the names of other founders who became millionaires with their first startup.

Stressed out Accelerator member

You’ve been handpicked from hundreds, maybe thousands of other applicants to effectively go back to school. You are currently being told where to be and at what time by people you’ve only just met, and get very little sleep.

People keep asking you if you are “enjoying” the accelerator program and you’re never sure of the correct answer.

You’ve disappeared completely from public life in the three weeks before “demo day”, if you have recently finished a program, you will have difficulty re-adjusting to normal life.

Potential Unicorn

You’ve been given so much money you can get your own office space! No more running out of cups in the kitchen or queuing for the coffee machine at the crowded accelerator or co-working space for you!

You can actually use the phrase “exit strategy” on your pitch deck without raising suspicious eyebrows from potential investors. You are the stuff startup dreams are made of. The multimillion-pound IPO or exit is in sight – don’t run out of money now!

Originally published on Tech City News