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May 03, 2016

Approx. 4 min. read

Don't Hide in the Cubicle – Work for a Start-up!

Start-ups are not for the faint of heart, but working for one pays off in a number of ways. There is one thing that is required, though, says Smarp's...

Start-ups are not for the faint of heart, but working for one pays off in a number of ways. There is one thing that is required, though, says Smarp's HR & Recruitment Manager Mikko Koskinen, and that is commitment. 


Career planning is something that goes through every student and fresh graduate’s mind. Let’s say you are studying business at a high class university. You most likely have notions of wearing an expensive suit or dress and a shiny pair of shoes, with a 1000 $ watch on your wrist.

Traditionally, business students are driven to the large corporate world by their teachers, parents, or, well, money. And with your graduation diploma in your hand, what could be more exciting than to hop into the 10 000 piece corporate puzzle and put the pieces together one by one? Most likely by doing the same work for several years and not engaging in anything outside the box (you can probably sense the sarcasm here).


A Start-up Career is the Opportunity of a Lifetime

Thank the universe for creating a resistance squad called START-UPs! What could be a better place to utilize your learnings from the university than an environment of constant change, high responsibility and a diverse work description? You don’t need to be an expert from day one, but you can show your ability to learn and adjust, and devote your energy towards something that you can really leave your imprint on.

I have listed some thoughts and views on why everyone should consider working for a start-up at some point of their career:

  • In a start-up you will most likely end up doing all sorts of tasks and for multiple functions
    • This is the best way to learn what you really want to do in your career.
    • You can start with a wide area of work and specify from there, once you know what you do best.
  • You get to see, feel and influence the business on a totally unique level
    • Regardless on what function you work for, your results and input will matter!
    • You are not just a small and replaceable wheel in a big machine, but you might just be the part that the machine needs to actually work.
    • In a start-up, you get to see the progress and the craftsmanship of your own work.
  • You are in the middle of both success and failure
    • At its best, a start-up life is full of success, growth and good vibes, where you get to celebrate the well-earned success with your team and see the results on the podium.
    • At its very best, start-up life is also full of failures - very important failures, which you get to learn from. You have permission to fail, learn and grow all at once.
  • It will be the ride of your life!
    • Regardless of whether the start-up actually takes off with full speed and ends up being a multi-million dollar company, or if it crashes and burns; either way, you will have a memorable experience that will carry you through whichever career path you end up having.
    • After the (thrilling and most likely bumpy) ride, you will have the x-ray vision of a business superhero, which will be hot stuff in the labor market for sure.

How to Get Started On this Amazing Journey?

If you are now wondering how to actually get to work in a start-up, you need to start digging through search engines, start-up communities and job listings. Most start-ups don’t allocate their money towards a campaign in the morning paper, but instead use all the dollars to grow and conquer the world. You should also read up on different start-ups and figure out why you want to work for a certain one.  


You should then reflect on your strengths, personal desires and sources of motivation on the different start-up companies out there.  Be sure to raise the stakes by bringing something real to the table; some skill, experience or knowledge that can actually benefit the business. It is all about adding value to the company.

If there is one thing that matters when you apply, it is commitment to and belief in the business. If you are not ready to throw yourself into the business 110 % and take a personal risk, you are most likely not the right person for a start-up. As mentioned before, everyone’s contribution counts there is no possibility for a free rider in the company. You have to be all in from the recruitment process to employment, no bluff included.

Working in a start-up is the new LSD for expanding your mind - start the search and apply! You won’t be disappointed. See how we roll at Smarp: Meet the Smarpers - Life at Smarp.

Also see our job openings  to see if anything catches your eye.

Written by

Mikko Koskinen

Mikko Koskinen


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