Why Thousands Leave Cushy Corporate Jobs For The Startup Unknown

A career shift of any kind can be the ideal way for any person to explore their previously underused talents.

Photo: P.J. Howland, Digital Marketer; Source: Courtesy Photo
Photo: P.J. Howland, Digital Marketer; Source: Courtesy Photo

Let’s face it, corporate jobs have a lot to offer. There’s job security (or a higher probability that you’ll keep it), the opportunity of promotion and not to mention the benefits.

While many find that holding down a corporate job has it’s advantages, others opt to leave a cushy corporate life for the uncertainty of the startup high. “Approximately 543,000 new businesses get started each month,” according to reports.

Others may leave their corporate jobs to join a startup.  Those who do opt for entrepreneurship (part-time or full-time) typically have many reasons for doing so, but in general, they’re in hot pursuit of common goals.

Such goals may include the desire to fully utilize all of their talents, realize their earning potential, be their own boss, or enter a new field and do something more personally fulfilling.


Career Shifts and Perfect ‘Startup’ Fit

A career shift of any kind can be the ideal way for any person to explore their previously underused talents. For instance, they can bring their expertise to the table and offer consulting for Saas companies and startups. Someone who truly loves to cook may want to join a startup that is centered around providing people with access to high quality meals.

The ideal fit between a startup and a person can truly boost overall happiness both at work and during leisure time. If you’re not quite ready to start a company, joining a startup can help you get your feet wet.

Many startups offer a more open company culture and allow their employees and top executives more freedom to pursue goals in nontraditional ways than are often found in a rigid corporate setting. This kind of freedom can be highly appealing to those who tire of corporate routines and politics.

Another aspect of entering a startup at the ground floor that many potential startup employees find exciting is looking at an old field from a fresh angle. Someone in a standard corporation may feel constrained by pre-existing procedures. They may also feel that they have hit a career plateau.


Getting In On the Ground-Level at a Startup

Joining a startup can help shake off prior limits and deliver a new shot at promotion and responsibilities that are best suited for your talents, background and prior training. A fresh start at a startup can be highly appealing.

Leaving a corporate gig can also mean the chance to earn more money. These days many companies do not offer preferred compensation.

Meanwhile, standard pay raises are no longer the status quo. The New York Times reports, “With the economic recovery nearing its sixth anniversary, stubbornly sluggish wage growth has become a central issue, eroding people’s faith in the American dream, shaping the economic messages of potential presidential candidates and weighing on the Federal Reserve Bank’s decision of whether to raise interest rates from their near-zero levels.”

While a startup poses certain risks, those who have worked in the corporate world may have access to a nest egg that enables them to easily weather any potential downturns in newly minted startups including potential layoffs. Today’s startups, whether working for one or starting your own, may offer significantly better opportunities in the long-run.


This article has been edited and condensed.

Super nerd turned digital marketer, P.J. Howland is passionate about cutting-edge digital marketing tactics. Within his menagerie of skills; SEO, content marketing and digital analytics stand out. PJ currently lives in Salt Lake City with his beautiful wife, working at a digital marketing agency. Connect with @askPJHowland on Twitter.


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