Michael Bertaut
Aug 5, 2015

The career benefits of working for tech startups

There is such a thing as a free lunch, but there are better reasons for choosing to work for a startup over an established corporation, says the MD (EMEA) of tech company AdRoll.

Tech company perks: Disclosure (background) perform at the launch of Twitter Music
Tech company perks: Disclosure (background) perform at the launch of Twitter Music

Zen meditation rooms at Pinterest, free haircuts at Zynga and laundry services at Twitter. The perks of working at tech companies are the stuff of legend.

But there is far more on offer when working for tech startups than the perks you might find at their juggernaut counterparts – namely, the chance to stand out, climb the career ladder more quickly and be part of a business journey rather than just a cog in the machine.

Working for a tech startup, with all of the pressures it entails, used to be considered a risky move. Now many professionals see they offer far more opportunity than a large company – greater responsibility, professional development and the chance to make a meaningful contribution.

AdRoll’s Ambassadors programme, for example, offers experienced "AdRollers" the chance to bring their knowledge of the retargeting platform as well as the company’s culture from an established office to a new one.

Most of the original Ambassadors came from San Francisco and New York to help launch offices in Dublin, London, and Sydney. But this programme isn’t just limited to those in the States, the recent launch of the Tokyo office included a Dubliner whose only prerequisites for the post were enthusiasm and a love of AdRoll’s product and culture. How many corporations would let you make such a leap?

International relocation aside, there are also more opportunities to move through the business and experiment with different roles in a startup.

Startup staffers do tend to wear more hats than the average employee – whether that’s heading up both design and marketing, or juggling engineering and sales. These diverse experiences are more than just a cost-effective way to grow quickly, they are also valuable chances to explore different interests and grow a unique skill set within the business, rather than outside of it.

More than that, startups offer driven individuals the chance to solve problems that many larger companies haven’t been able to tackle. Take the advertising industry. It’s been the programmatic technology vendors, who focus all their resource on developing the most advanced algorithms for online advertising, who’ve excelled over the larger agencies and software organisations, where ad tech is only a part of what they do.

The opportunity to be part of such a fast-moving, agile business is what attracts many passionate and dedicated people to tech startups, whether they have the perks of Facebook or are still working out of a basement.

Good relationships and successful teams don’t necessarily need a free lunch in order to grow – it just helps.

Michael Bertaut is managing director EMEA of AdRoll

This article was first published in Brand Republic

This article is part of the Campaign Innovate series, a collection of articles that examine the way innovation, startups and technology are affecting the advertising and marketing industry.

Campaign Asia-Pacific has also launched the Campaign Innovate competition, an event that aims to provide a platform for Asia-Pacific's startups to pitch to some of the world's biggest brands. 


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