Corporate Job or Starting Up – Future Plans

A couple of weeks ago there was a seminar at my Uni, I believe it was about whether one should consider working a corporate job or bite the bullet and go out to start their startup company. I think this issue can be a good blog post to fill up my newly created site / work blog , including some personal opinions from my POV.

Although these choices can apply to other fields besides IT, i will mostly discuss IT related opinions because I will probably work in this field once I finish my studies and also that it is what I intention when I am writing this post. So, the question is…

What is so great about either of these?

Corporate jobs and startups each has its pros and cons, but let us talk about their respective positive traits.

Working in corporate Indonesia, or just about corporate-anywhere is probably what most fresh graduates in Indonesia will aim for nowadays. Corporate jobs usually have higher pay rates (if you know what you are doing, or you managed to sweet talk your employer to pay you 10-20 million rupiah / month as a fresh graduate). They are also considered a more “stable” workplace because of the optimal odds for steady source of income, therefore a large number of people has deemed corporate work as their primary destination as a profession.

It has also been an almost very “Indonesian” tradition to go work in a respectable office and aim to climb the corporate ladder to a more respectable position in said office, after graduating, oh, and don’t forget to try and get your masters while you are at it. because of this, many has opted to look for office jobs.

Starting a startup however, is currently just starting to bloom as a choice worthy of considering by many fresh graduates as well as old players in the business as well. You can see that by looking at the many Indonesian online e-commerce sites as well as the ever so popular go-jek rides and delivery service.

Some say that working at a startup is fun, because your fellow peers are as free and open-minded as yourself, encouraging the blooms of new and mad ideas, waiting to be applied and evolved into the next money making service. also, many founders such as Achmad Zaki (he has shared many stories in lots of Binus seminars) says that starting your own mad-idea of a company is also fun, because of the challenges and rough seas you have to fight while dragging your newly invested company out of the red zone and into the safe zone.

Okay, I know you are just probably saying that because of your opinions, we need facts?

In the past, My Sister interned at two advertising agencies (non-payed), and interned / worked at berita satu student globe as a writer for their blog. Overall she has mixed opinions about working in the office. In one hand, she likes the idea of her to work and collaborate with peers to fulfill jobs the higher-ups throw at her at the expectation of her soon joining the ranks of the office as a payed worker. She also likes the working environment, come early, work, have lunch with mates, sneak some cheeky one-liners when the boss isn’t looking, and then finally going home and repeat until the day is out.

But for some odd reason, she stopped working and started rebooting her career as an independent writer. She has published a book and is currently writing another book project involving my “film-maker uncle” and other big shot investors who needs a solid story for their upcoming movie. And I’ve seen that My Sister is more happier writing (although my uncle sometimes has his own edits for the books), not to mention the hefty paycheck she got from her first published book that knocks down all those free-lunches those corporate offices gave her when she interned.

By now, you might notice that I have a lot of startup founders who inspires me to one day do my own. Take these clowns for example.


These three are my seniors in computer science who have just started their digital agency called codesmith. They are now taking orders from anyone who needs help with their IT related issues. They (at least one of them), has just finished writing their thesis and jumped straight into the startup business, regardless of the challenges and possible outcome of low-paying profession compared to straight up working in an office. I admire them because of their eagerness to kick-start a business on their own and not relying on anyone to give them work, they give themselves their own work (?).

Don’t get me wrong, it is quite okay and dandy to look for corporate office jobs (heck, I might consider a corporate job at the power company if I have the chance). But I am just talking about the subtle differences and the experiences I’ve seen with my own eyes with people who do not like regular office hours and office locations, and paved their own path to their professional  portfolios…



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