Business

Can Working at a Fast-Growing Startup Supercharge Your Career?

College graduation season is here. But starting your career can be tricky. There are the coveted big corporate jobs, which can provide structure and stability, and then there are the new dynamic startups, which can provide fast growth. Does starting at a fast-growing startup put you at an advantage for your career?

Revelio Labs

5/24/22

College graduation season is here. But starting your career can be tricky. There are the coveted big corporate jobs, which can provide structure and stability, and then there are the new dynamic startups, which can provide fast growth. Does starting at a fast-growing startup put you at an advantage for your career?

First, when we compare the salary growth of people who started their careers at fast-growing startups with that of slower-growing startups, we find that while they were initially paid less, their salaries overtook their peers after just three years, and continued to grow at a faster pace thereafter.

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Fast salary growth is likely a result of fast career progression. When we look at the seniority difference between those who started their careers at fast-growing startups and compared them to their counterparts, we find that fast-growing startups bring faster career advancement.  While there was no difference in seniority when they first started, those with work experience at fast-growing startups held a significantly higher seniority level after three years. And the large spike in this third-year seniority premium closely tracks the jump in the third-year salary premium.

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In addition to faster promotion periods, fast-growing startups require employees to think on their feet and quickly react to market changes. These unique technical and operational skills can be easily transferred to other positions, putting these employees at a career advantage.

But this salary premium at fast-growing startups varies a lot across job categories - ranging from 0.4% to 13.2%.

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Among all the job categories, finance personnel enjoy the highest salary premium at 13.2%. Finance functions at startups only become necessary as the business scales. As a result, finance roles in fast-growing startups could be more likely to be promoted at a faster rate. Working at a fast-growing startup could, therefore, help financial professionals shorten their promotion ladder, and ultimately reach salary premiums faster.

Key Takeaways:

  • For young tech workers, starting your career at fast-growing startups can accelerate your salary growth.
  • Fast-growing startups can also help you transition quickly into higher-level roles, achieve overall faster career progression, and gain unique, lucrative skills.
  • Among all the job categories, finance personnel have the highest salary premiums from working at fast-growing startups.

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