Growing up in a small town in Northwest Ohio, you know the kind with flat farm land as far as the eye can see, the startup world does not exist… in fact it’s almost taboo. There are no emerging technology companies, no revolutionary industries, just good old family restaurants, a handful of Wal-Marts, and worn out convenience stores – everything moves at a slower pace.

When I first told people I was moving to Charleston, affectionately known as Silicon Harbor, to join Catch Talent (a recruiting and employer branding startup), I got a lot of confused looks. I had found a void, nobody from my small town knew what I was talking about, and hey, maybe I had no idea either!

Nobody really knew what to expect, and now a few months into my journey,  I have decided to help fill that void with a little insider information on what to really expect coming from the “small town life” to the “startup life.”

You Will Wear Many Hats

I don’t mean you’ll be getting a plethora of ball caps, but when coming to Catch Talent I thought for sure my focus would simply be on recruiting. However, I have taken on more tasks than I could have ever thought went into a role and company. The days of the singular job title and expectations are over!

You will gain new skills in a variety of areas, and truly develop as an individual. Being a part of a startup will naturally force you outside of your comfort zone, you will master the unexpected, and learn to be ready to cover a variety of tasks within a minute’s notice. And most importantly, you’ll develop a confidence in knowing there are few things you can’t do.

You Are Always Moving

In my previous role, I was locked into my cubicle for most of the day. I would venture out to talk with some friends about last night’s football game or the weekend plans, but for the most part I was pretty stationary. Joining a startup, if you’re sitting still with nothing to do, you’re already behind.

We are constantly on the go, looking for new ways to connect with people, businesses, and the community. Whether that is a 7:30 a.m. coffee with a potential client, or a 6:00 p.m. phone call with a new employee, there is always something to be doing every hour of every day. Each day is new and exciting in its own right, and it’s a great feeling knowing the change you are making on others and on your own company.

You Gain A New Family

Most people have their work friends, but I know very few who have a work family. Leaving everything I knew back in Ohio, a big part of that my family, I was worried about coming to Charleston and actually feeling part of something. I could never have been more wrong.

Working with the same small group of people every day, you really get to know them as a person professionally and them as a person personally. You meet their families, you hangout outside of work, you meet their friends and network, you celebrate each other’s successes, and are there through the tough times too. Not to mention, if you do happen to be coming to Charleston, the Southern Hospitality is a real thing!

Where the Comfort Zone Ends

I believe Neale Walsch said it best, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Personally, I had no idea what that meant until I came to Catch and began my journey in the startup world. I have been pushed, pulled, and drug out of my comfort zone on numerous occasions, but all for the right reasons.

Learning to wear many hats and always knowing there is something I can be doing for myself or the company gives a great sense of pride in the work we as recruiters do each day. You never know if that one message, phone call, or interview is going to completely change someone’s life and welcome them to the startup world.

What brought you out of your comfort zone when joining a startup? Tell me below in the comments!

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