Top Pros and Cons of Working for a Startup

Top Pros and Cons of Working for a Startup

So you’re thinking about working for a startup, huh? Whether you’re just getting ready to graduate from college, or even high school, or you’re ready for a career change, a startup company might be just the opportunity you’re looking for. However, don’t expect it to be a bed of roses. While joining a startup can be exciting and very rewarding if things go right, there are many challenges that almost every startup company faces. So with that in mind, what are the top pros and cons of working for a startup? We’ll start with the bad:


More Work – If you love to work long hours with little free time then this isn’t a con, but let’s face it, everyone needs a good break. However, one of the downsides to working for a startup is that you can expect long hours. In fact, for some, the workweek can become endless and work essentially becomes your life.

Less Pay – We all work for money. Sure, causes are great and you should find satisfaction in your career, but everyone has to get paid. When you work for a startup, however, you can usually expect to be paid less even though you work more.

Lack of Job Security – Another downside to the startup path is job security. While it’s customary to keep a job for years when you work for a large corporation when you work for a startup you have a much smaller chance of staying the course. The simple fact is 75 percent of all startups fail. That means your chance of job survival is only 25 percent.

Less Stability – If you love change then this isn’t a problem, but if you enjoy a little stability in life then you should know that change is constant with a startup. That means your roles, your responsibilities, and your job titles could constantly be in flux. Just when you’re getting comfortable in one role, you might have to adjust to a new one.


They Have a Mission – Most startup companies these days have a goal or a mission in mind, and it’s usually not about making money. While they do hope to become profitable, their purpose is usually to accomplish something great, create significant change, or solve a serious problem. This is always a plus with recent college grads, many of who want to join a cause.

Measured Success – While it can be difficult to measure your impact at a large corporation with hundreds or even thousands of employees it’s much easier to measure your direct impact on the company’s success at a startup. Plus, startups often reward employees on this measured success.

Different Hats – In most corporations, each employee has a specific assigned role. They come to work, do their job, and meet their requirements, with little change – day, after day, after day. When you work for a startup you often get the chance to be involved in many different projects and roles, which enables you to explore different roles, learn new skills, and increase effectiveness.

Stay Young – If you want to work with younger people then joining a startup is the place to be. Most startup companies skew very young and with good reason. It’s harder to take on the risk that comes with a startup when you get older. Thus, when you are young and have fewer responsibilities it’s much easier to give a startup a try.

We hope you found this article about “Top Pros and Cons of Working for a Startup” helpful.  If you have questions or need expert tax or family office advice that’s refreshingly objective (we never sell investments), please contact us or visit our Family office page  or our website at  Unfortunately, we no longer give advice to other tax professionals gratis.

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Alan Olsen, CPA

Alan Olsen, is the Host of the American Dreams Show and the Managing Partner of  GROCO is a premier family office and tax advisory firm located in the San Francisco Bay area serving clients all over the world.


Alan L. Olsen, CPA, Wikipedia Bio is a proud sponsor of The American Dreams Show.



The American Dreams show was the brainchild of Alan Olsen, CPA, MBA. It was originally created to fill a specific need; often inexperienced entrepreneurs lacked basic information about raising capital and how to successfully start a business. Alan sincerely wanted to respond to the many requests from aspiring entrepreneurs asking for the information and introductions they needed. But he had to find a way to help in which his venture capital clients and friends would not mind.

The American Dreams show became the solution, first as a radio show and now with YouTube videos as well. Always respectful of interview guest’s time, he’s able to give access to individuals information and inspiration previously inaccessible to the first-time entrepreneurs who need it most. They can listen to venture capitalists and successful business people explain first-hand, how they got to where they are, how to start a company, how to overcome challenges, how they see the future evolving, opportunities, work-life balance and so much more..

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