Choosing your next steps after graduating can be a daunting decision… but don’t worry, you’ve already nailed the first step: do your research!
Throughout our time in education, we’re often guided towards traditional, rigid career paths. The idea that the bigger the company, the better the job has been engrained into us through sponsored career talks and countless free pens and pizza.
But, if you’re ready to take a step off the beaten path, there’s a world of opportunity in the form of start-ups!
Moving away from traditional career paths and taking a leap of faith isn’t always easy, so we’ve asked some of our team who are recent graduates why they chose to join Acre. (And yes – we are a start-up!)
1. Make a real impact with your work
The size and structure of corporations can be attractive to people who are risk-adverse, but those who enjoy a challenge are often left feeling like just another cog in the wheel.
Start-up teams tend to be smaller, with a flatter structure enabling everyone to have a massive impact, no matter their seniority level. The work that you do is noticed by everyone in the team and as soon as you’re ready, you will be trusted with responsibilities that would take years to earn working up a corporate ladder.
The impact that you have at a start-up is made even more exciting by the fact that you could be working on something that has never been done before. Start-ups are almost always mission driven, trying to establish a different way of doing things and change the world we all live in.
“I joined Acre because I wanted a challenge and to change things for the better. I was working for a large company before moving to Acre and it’s very different, my work matters and changes I make can end up in production the same day.”
Tom, Site Reliability and Security Engineer
2. Fast professional growth
There aren’t many people who know exactly what they want to do everyday for the rest of their lives, so it makes sense to try wearing a few hats and getting exposure to a load of different roles. Visibility of all the different parts of the company means that you have a holistic view of all the elements that make a business successful.
You’re likely to get involved in a whole range of tasks outside your normal “job description,” from organising a Chinese takeaway for your teammates to presenting your work to industry leaders. No matter what you are doing, the one guarantee is that you’ll be continuously learning (will people eat more dumplings or pak choi?).
As the company grows, so do you. You’re not held back by slow processes or lack of opportunity so you can follow your interests and skills to quickly progress in your career. And in a growing team, there is not a dense layer of more senior people standing between you and your career goals.
“I joined a start-up because I wasn’t ready to choose one career path and wanted a role that allowed me to get a breadth of experience.
There has been a tonne of opportunity to learn within Acre and, since joining, my professional growth has been far greater in each of the aspects of my role (e.g. HR & Recruitment, Finance, Marketing) than I could have hoped for in just one of these career paths.”
3. Learn from the best
The driving forces behind start-ups are often entrepreneurial go-getters who have the skillset to solve problems that have never been solved before.
Working alongside industry experts willing to share their wealth of knowledge is invaluable experience, especially at the beginning of your career. You have a front-row seat to observe what makes them successful as well as plenty of opportunity to question them, collaborate with them and most importantly, learn from them.
“For me, working at a start-up means I can closely observe the work and thought process of very intelligent people who are truly on the way to disrupting the industry.
This is a strong motivator which pushes me to be a better professional version of myself.”
Mia, Marketing Executive
4. Flexible way of working
For large companies, change can be controversial and long-winded. Due to the sheer number of employees, the easiest fix is to have a one-size fits all rulebook.
Start-ups have the ability to be flexible because no-one’s contribution goes unnoticed, and everyone’s individual needs can be recognised. Enabling people to work how and when they want to work (within reason!) ultimately means they can perform at their best.
“Since the pandemic, working from home has become the preferred way for many of my peers. I enjoy being able to work in a hybrid way: staying at home when I want to focus on more prolonged tasks and coming to the office to catch up on the progress with my colleagues.
I Acre, we promote personal freedom and focus on delivered results rather than asking people to follow arbitrary policies. This leads to an environment where everyone can arrange their work the way they see fit and put their best foot forward as a result.”
Martynas, Backend Engineer
5. Effective recruitment process
Fortunately, getting yourself a job at a start-up doesn’t tend to involve writing a 7000-word dissertation on why you’re suitable for the role, a million numerical tests (without a calculator!) and days of psychometric evaluations. Start-ups can move fast and make decisions without layers of process and approvals.
Start-ups are looking for the right drive, attitude and aptitude from a new team member, rather than someone who has all the right buzzwords or credentials on their CV.
“Acre's hiring process was transparent and reflective of the open engineering culture within the company.
The take home assessment was appropriately challenging and relevant to everyday work at Acre - the live technical interview was both technically challenging and a useful glimpse into the technology used internally.
Thanks to the straightforward and honest hiring process, accepting their offer was a no brainer!”
Pierre, Graduate Backend Engineer
Are you ready to take a leap of faith?
If you are an ambitious graduate who is looking to learn lots and grow quickly in your first professional role, then working at a start-up could well be the perfect next step for you.
If you would like to know more what it’s like to work at a place like Acre, then please feel free to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out our careers page to learn more about and apply for one of our graduate opportunities at Acre.