Should I start my career at a startup or corporate tech company?
One of the biggest questions I’ve seen young tech-inclined folks grapple with (myself very much included) is the dilemma of whether to join an early-stage startup or mature tech company as someone early in their career.
Throughout uni, I placed a deliberate focus on building experiences across a range of company sizes to answer this question, including:
A pre-launch startup testing with their first users
A seed-stage startup looking to scale their platform nationwide
A Series B scale-up expanding across several markets
Several mature global tech companies with 100,000+ employees
I ended up making the decision to join a more mature tech company (Atlassian) as an Associate Product Manager starting next year, but I would still advocate that you should strongly consider joining an early-stage tech company when you’re starting off your career (and absolutely try to get experience with one whilst in university).
Ultimately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It comes down to what you want out of life, what skills you have, and how you like to work, and every role will have its own nuances in responsibility, team, skillset, etc.
I can’t tell you what’s best for you specifically, but what I can do is describe the general patterns of comparative advantage that I’ve seen in working for startups and corporates respectively.
A caution to the reader: these patterns may not be consistent across all such companies, and are things you should actively ask about when applying for roles.