Working at a Social Startup vs. at a Corporate Giant: The Designer’s Take

Corporate employees tend to go green when they see look at the startup workplaces and the warmth and comfort that comes with brunches, bean bags and hoodies in the workplace. Startup employees, however envy corporates their structured hours, job security and pay. Researchers and writers alike are forever weighing other aspects between the two worlds, like education prospects, learning experience and so on. The debate on the startup vs. corporate setting for the average working young adult is one that has gone on for a while and there is no right or wrong answer.

Where is the artist more likely to flourish?

An artist craves emotional connect to the work she does. Writers, designers, video editors; none can survive a workplace that does not let them love and relate to doing what they do. Their work is a part of their emotional investment and monotony, however bearable, does not work well with them. Thrust them into the corporate world and they many tend to feel their drive fizzle out to a standstill.

A designer, in specific, tends to prefer the startup environment. A corporate giant that has been functioning for a decade or so has an established set of creative rules, pre-made templates with their trademark palette and on an average day, a designer will simply make changes to existing bases.

A startup provides a much emptier canvas for the designer to play with. As the brand is young and there is a lot of creative work that needs to begin from scratch, the workload is often thrust onto even a new employee due to lack of talent. This gives the designer space to grow their skills right from day one and exercise their creativity. Besides, the informal environment and flat organization are more suited aesthetically to the creative mind.

The social enterprise: an added bonus of creating a social impact!

Besides the opportunity to walk in to office in your track pants, a social startup like a crowdfunding platform hands the artist a multitude of added benefits.

  1. You will consider your work to be fulfilling. Instead of faceless clients who need a design to talk about a holiday offer or some wild discount scheme, at a social enterprise that operates in practices such as NGO crowdfunding, a designer will be working directly for a nonprofit to drive impact to causes like community development, environment conservation, education for underprivileged children and so much more.
  2. There is a different striking tale behind every design. It may be an animal shelter crowdfunding to care for 50 injured stray dogs. It may be an acid burn victim with a heart-wrenching experience with domestic violence, crowdfunding for her medical treatment. The designer immerses herself into every story to display it meaningfully through her work.
  3. She makes an emotional connect with her work. At a corporate, the designer would not take notice of every little task, many simply requesting to make changes to existing webpages or templates. At a crowdfunding platform, every design must depict the story behind the fundraiser in its images, colors and text and for this the designer puts herself in the shoes of the campaigner. This builds human empathy which is essential to the growth of an artist.
  4. Her work truly makes a difference. In this day and age, with millions of social media users incessantly scrolling for hours and unconsciously tuning themselves into possessing the attention span of a bee, nothing grabs attention to even social issues like visual representation. The designer’s skills determines the traffic to a crowdfunding campaign and thus the flow of donations to a fundraiser that will help the campaigner make an impact to their cause.

Social enterprises are the need of the hour – while their number slowly rises, talent is still scanty as they are not popularly talked about. However, the crowdfunding industry flourishes, already having driven hundreds of nonprofit causes, impacted thousands of NGOs and millions of lives in India alone in the past decade. More of the youth is starting to educate itself on how crowdfunding works and create crowdfunding campaigns for their favorite NGOs as they develop concern for social causes. India has picked up the trend of social crowdfunding willingly and the stats are predicted to rise as more people turn to giving back.