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During the 2008 economic downturn, I quit an incredible job to become an online news media and digital publishing entrepreneur.
While I have worked with big enterprises in the past, it was only when I was exposed to the world of startups that is an excellent breeding ground for skills that I was able to survive recurring economic slowdowns. Here are four reasons why you should do the same…
New companies are better at managing uncertainty
Unlike employees of large corporations that enjoy the stability of working for an established company, startup employees face chaos, ambiguity, doubts and contingencies more frequently than employees at a large organization. This leads to flexibility and ingenuity in decision-making. If you can predict better, you can control the outcome to adeptly survive the unknown, the unsure and the hard knocks that accompany times of adversity.
Finding security in insecurity
Startups teach you how to live with stress and pressure and how to hustle or come up with creative or clever solutions. It teaches you to become bold, take risks, fail, set your own directions and move fast. This will make you self-reliant, persistent, resilient, quick, nimble and execution-driven. It will serve as the most effective conduit to keep the reins of your life in your hands and provide a fertile ground for a first foray into entrepreneurship when you are forced to do so and can’t find a job.
Working closely with your company’s leaders
I worked for a credit card and consumer finance consulting company that was founded by a veteran banker and worked closely with the owner, which gave me an in-depth understanding of what it takes to scale a business, enhance its brand equity and learn how to effectively manage prominent clients.
The consulting company allowed me to pick up problem-solving techniques that I might not have been exposed to in a more segmented role at a larger company. I also learned how to manage a website, write a press release, article, report and above all, understand why caring provides a competitive advantage. This held me in good stead when I became an entrepreneur during the economic decline of 2007-09.
Spawn innovation during tough times
Because startups have leaner hierarchies (your opinion matters) and you are expected to wear multiple hats that means the impact of your work is readily apparent than if you were in a big company. This instills a deep pride in your work and a credo, that if you’re truly imaginative you will overcome obstacles.
My father worked for a stable and reputed international bank for over three decades, which assured him job security and career advancement while exposing him to experts from different fields, sectors and geographies. Yet today it would be a fallacy to think that younger Boomers, Millennials and Gen Z will have the luxury of job security in a world undergoing momentous socio-economic, cultural, political, legal and environmental changes.
Reignite your purpose and passion and transform your life for the better at a startup.