When thinking of where to start applying for your first job out of university, structured grad programs, large corporate organisations and aiming for the big names typically come top of mind. But with the fast-growing popularity of the start-up space, this could be a great fit for your early career! We give some reasons on why you should consider joining a start-up as a fresh grad below.
Try On Many Hats
It’s no secret that start-ups will often require an all-hands-on deck approach, some more than others depending on the maturity stage of the company. This is a fantastic opportunity for you as a grad to try your hand at an area of the business that you’re curious about or perhaps didn’t even know you were interested in! While being thrown into the deep end definitely doesn’t come without it’s challenges, the variety of exposure and rapid learning and networking opportunities you’ll gain are likely going to be unparalleled.
Make an Impact
It’s easy to get lost in the crowd within a large company or cohort! The tight-knit culture of a start-up means that you're more likely to feel that you’re making a true impact on the company. The chance to see a project through from start to finish, freedom to experiment and openness to pitch fresh, new ideas are all perks that the start-up experience could bring.
Start-ups are born out of innovation and ambitious future-focussed leaders. If you can demonstrate your passion, drive and ability to adapt to a fast-paced environment, you’ll more likely than not be looking at an accelerated career path to more senior and leadership positions in no time. Plus, you’ll get bragging rights to say you were there from the very beginning as the company continues to grow!
Start-Up Spotlight - PUSHAS
Co-founded and owned by Justin Truong & Sandy Li in 2017 after a few years reselling in the local community, PUSHAS began as a start-up born from a shared love of sneakers and has grown to become one of the biggest sneaker stores in Australia & New Zealand. Awarded the Forbes 30 Under 30 for Retail & Ecommerce in 2022, PUSHAS now consists of a team of sneakerheads based in both Sydney and Los Angeles – including grads! If you need to pick up a fresh pair of Air Jordans, Nike Dunks or Yeezys, or simply want to find out how PUSHAS approaches hiring graduates to their team, read on for our chat with Co-Founder and CEO, Justin Truong.
1. How many grads have you hired for your start-up?
3 so far!
2. Why did you choose to hire grads for your start-up?
As a start-up, our whole job is to solve problems that haven't been solved before. This means it's actually a blessing in disguise that graduates are fresh, without many idiosyncrasies and 'right ways of doing things' to unlearn. Most graduates are also very intelligent, ambitious and keen to prove themselves which is the energy we need at a start-up.
3. What do you think has been the most valuable thing to come out of these graduate hires?
The fresh perspective and keenness to challenge even our own organisational inertia is very valuable to us. We need to keep pushing boundaries and it's great to have new graduates come in and push our limits as well.
Check out PUSHAS on GradConnection here.
Of course, it’s important to acknowledge that it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. The fast-paced nature and at times spontaneous nature of the start-up life can be a bigger challenge for some than others. Knowing what type of working and management style you prefer is key – and if you haven’t found that out yet, there’s nothing wrong with trying out different things to see what you like.