Making the Leap From Corporate to Startup?

5 Things to Keep in Mind As You Consider Moving into the Startup World



For many, the decision to leave a position in Corporate America and take their chance in the startup world is a big one. There’s potential for risks, but also the opportunity for tremendous amounts of growth, learning, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Decisions, decisions.

Having made this leap several months ago, I can relate to much of this. I went from the world of management consulting, where I spent the first few years of my career, to an early-stage startup. It’s been an exciting ride, an opportunity I’m grateful to have.

The last eight months have gone by in a flash. The pace, the opportunities, the people you meet, and the amount you learn is truly incredible. And that’s not to say there aren’t things I miss about the previous life. Of course there are. But in the end, it’s an experience I’m glad to have. Whether the journey ultimately takes you to corporate, small business, or the entrepreneur route, I’d recommend you take the opportunity if it presents itself.

So, thinking about leaving the corporate world for a startup? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Be adaptable

You will likely have to wear many hats at a startup. This means often going outside of what might have been listed in your job description, especially if you join a younger company. Take this as an opportunity. Seek out chances to push yourself and go beyond your comfort zone. It’s a great way to tackle new projects and roles, providing exposure that only helps you become a more well rounded professional. And no matter where you ultimately go after – corporate, small business, or try your luck as an entrepreneur – utility players are always valuable.

Always be learning

This may seem pretty obvious, but it’s certainly worth stating. Again, in the early days of a startup you’ll likely be taking on a mix of activities and projects. Each of these experiences gives you the chance to learn something new, whether it be new tools, technologies, or practices. Not to mention what you pick up by working with different teams and coworkers who bring diverse backgrounds to the table. Learn as much as you can, you never know how it might come into play down the road.

Stay humble

For many in the corporate world, there is the luxury of having a big brand name. You’ll meet people at conferences, trade shows, or networking events who will likely be familiar with the company. This isn’t always the case with startups, especially in the early days. You’ll find yourself constantly working to build a product, brand, and position in the market. And you can’t assume people will know and love your product or service. You have to earn that chance. It’s a truly humbling experience. But as you keep pushing, and start to garner more and more recognition, it’s an exciting moment for everyone involved and makes the success even sweeter.  

Next- Hustle and Enjoy the Ride!

Daniel Nieves
Dan is Chief of Staff at, a video review and collaboration platform for the creative community. Prior to, Dan headed up Market Engagement at Zinc, an enterprise startup transforming how we communicate in today's mobile workplace. Before his time in startups, he spent four years at Deloitte as a strategy consultant where he helped clients transform their organizations through the use of digital technology. Dan graduated summa cum laude from Loyola University Maryland. Born and raised in New York, he recently returned and is now residing in Manhattan.

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