Forget MNCS: Why You Should Consider Working for a Startup

Throughout my final year in Nanyang Business School (NBS), most of my friends were looking for a job in large & established companies. The possibility of working for a startup never seemed to cross most of their minds.

startups
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However, as you might have noticed, a new era of entrepreneurs and startups is upon us.

Over the past couple of years, the number of startups have been rising in Singapore & rest of the world. Instances of industries being disrupted by startups have increased. The government has also recently acknowledged the increasing influence that startups will play in the future of Singapore’s economy.

More people are opting to work in a startup over an established company. If you are curious in understanding why working in a startup might be a good choice for you, here are three reasons:

1. Be more responsible

Most startups, especially when in the early stage, have a small team. Every member will be considered as invaluable. Every member will be empowered to handle tasks that will directly affect the rest of the team. Compare this to working in a MNC, where the importance of one employee/intern will never be as prominent. In a startup, it is easy to find yourself making key decisions for the company shortly after you join.

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With greater responsibility and pressure to perform, it will help you grow to be more reliable and responsible.

2. Be more adaptable

The startup environment is a fast-paced and competitive one. While life in a startup might be unpredictable and hectic at times, you will be exposed to a variety of experiences and as a result, you will learn a lot more on the way. You might have already known how the world has been increasingly VUCA, and nothing will prepare you for this more than working in a startup. Every day will be a new experience. Expect to handle last-minute changes, face unexpected hiccups, and celebrating one minute while panicking at the next.

You will learn how to face uncertainty, be more adaptable, and stay resilient at the toughest of times.

3. Lively work environment

Imagine working at an office every day with awesome perks like free massages, napping pods, and an endless supply of gourmet snacks. How could you NOT want to work there? Okay, not every startup has a working environment like Garena. However, it is hard to argue that the work environment of many startups is livelier than your typical MNCs.

startups - lively environment
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Many startups hire a higher proportion of younger people (the average age of a founder in Singapore is 33). You will be less constrained by traditional work norms such as having a company dress code (yikes) or following a chain of command. Do not be surprised if there are random team dinners (hopefully sponsored), movie sessions, and team outings during a typical work day. In a startup, you might be encouraged to speak your mind regardless who is present, and be rewarded for suggesting new ideas no matter how weird they are.

Putting things into perspective

There are many other reasons why working for a startup might be good for you. You will learn to be more confident. It is easier to get recognised for your work. You might even become a happier person from the experience.

Of course, being part of a startup is not for everyone. You might be expected to work outside normal office hours. Your salary is likely to be lower. You could even be judged by your family and peers. However, the key takeaway here is to never underestimate the value of working for a startup. A startup experience can advance your personal growth, life skills, and acquire knowledge that can never be found otherwise.


The inaugural Startup Career Fair aims to help job seekers find career opportunities with startups. Job seekers can also interact with startup founders to understand more about the startup environment. Discover the JTC LaunchPad @ one-north startup community and participate in the various career workshops and talks available!

Over 80 startup companies offering 200 full-time, part-time and internship positions.

Open to all students, graduates and PMETs. To register: click here.

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