Why would a professional join a startup?

I originally answered this question in Quora. Expanding upon it here.

I wrote about the case to quit consulting to join a startup, and my reasons haven’t changed. Key reasons to join a startup include:

  1. You want to build a startup. If you are thinking of building your own company in the future, there’s no better way to learn about the particular challenges that a startup faces than working on one.
  2. Growth opportunities. A startup will stretch you to think and execute quickly. You’ll solve difficult problems on a daily basis. You will often find yourself with responsibilities that a large company wouldn’t trust you with at your age and experience level. It will be hard work to make it successful, but if you succeed as a company, the rewards are large both in terms of skills development and experience.
  3. Career flexibility. You are more likely to have opportunities to do work across functions and thus discover new passions. Startups’ flexibility usually means that you can take your career in new directions. Thanks to this flexibility I was able to transition from a Consulting career into Product Management.

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