Despite the tumultuous times our country is going through, there has been a steady increase in entrepreneurship. Many of the products and services that are close to our hearts are created by relatively new, under-staffed businesses – whether it’s that lovely cupcake place with their delicious flavors and impressive expansion across the city, any of the various online shopping websites that target niche audiences, or a new NGO with a concept and cause that really speak to you. Instead of just blowing your cash on these start-ups, maybe you can actually be a part of one. Here’s our take on why joining a startup might just be the kind of life-changing decision you need to take.

1) Your skill set expands along with the company

Working in a small team is an escape from the mundane, typical corporate convention of overspecializing and dedicating a good few months – or years – of your life to serving a particular department, doing the same boring thing every day. When the company staff members are you, the founder, and the founder’s best friend, chances are you’ll never be asked to only do “marketing,” let alone a particular branch of marketing (read: “Social Media Specialist” or “Digital Channels Associate” *yawn*) as is the convention at larger companies. Instead, you’ll likely be juggling several things at once. Everyone who works for a startup wears a lot of different hats.

2) Startups guarantee common values, goals, and interests between coworkers 

Entrepreneurs usually hire employees based on enthusiasm, passion and character – rather than skill – because those three characteristics can’t be taught. People don’t choose to work for a startup because of the money or job security; they do so because something about the brand drives them. In the workplace, this will translate to working with people whom you share priorities and interests with. Even in times of conflict, deciding to do “what’s best for the company” feels entirely differently than it would in a more established company because you’re working towards the common, larger goal of raising the baby you and your coworkers gave birth to.

3) You will be held accountable for everything you do

When you’re working with a small team, every faux pas committed by a team member becomes very clear almost the minute it happens. Whether you slack off or address a client inappropriately, someone will notice immediately.

4) Your success relies on resourcefulness 

When your company has just started and hasn’t broken even yet, resources are likely to be tight. That means that since the stakes are much higher, you’ll have to make the most out of every opportunity that comes your way to help the company survive, learning to become a resourceful person yourself.

5) Bureaucracy doesn’t exist

Bureaucracy, shmockracy. While many of your friends may have to wait until their supervisor’s supervisor accepts a proposal to get a project started, you’ll probably have the freedom of doing things your way with little or no intrusion – unless you screw up, that is (see number 3).

6) Your hard work will help build an empire

You and your team know that many of the decisions you make now will last throughout the (hopefully long) lifetime of your product. Relationships with your stakeholders, product design, and the reputation you’re currently building are all the building blocks of an impact that should last a lifetime.

7) You might be inspired to build your own empire

With your close supervisor (also a potential mentor) being someone who put their previously stable lifestyle, personal relationships, and a bulk (or all) of their savings on the line to make their dream come true, you’re being led by example to do so yourself one day.