In the intrapreneur vs entrepreneur debate, looking at money is not comprehensive. It’s true that the potential upside of entrepreneurship typically outweighs the upside of intrapreneurship, though there are still many financial benefits to intrapreneurship, like your salary. And while the financial upside of intrapreneurship is limited, you take on far less risk and gain access to multiple social benefits of intrapreneurship that make your life way better – that money can’t buy.
5 – Intrapreneurs typically have better work-life balance
One of the benefits of working for an established company is that rarely will your project be the difference between making payroll and going bankrupt. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, have this fear regularly.
While you still want to move quickly and show success, intrapreneurs still get more work-life balance. This is especially true if you work at a company that values employee happiness and balance, something research tied to productivity at work.
4 – Intrapreneurs gain easier access to mentors
When you’re a startup founder, you’re likely to be the most knowledgeable person in your area of expertise (a fact serial entrepreneur Lauren Haw learned early on). When you work for a company – even a fairly small one – that’s likely not the case.
Intrapreneurs at bigger companies, on the other hand, gain much easier access to mentorship – something 75% of executives say helped their careers progress faster – through both formal and informal connections with coworkers and managers. Simply having a manager, in many ways, is like having a mentor for your work. If you’re a creative person but need help honing your creativity (and project management skills), don’t discount how relatively easy it is for intrapreneurs to find mentors.
3 – Intrapreneurs get vacation coverage for their work so they can truly unplug
Probably one of the most fun social benefits of intrapreneurship: intrapreneurs have paid vacation. The even better perk… colleagues cover your work while you’re away. You can truly unplug. With the impact of vacation on workplace productivity, this alone is a great way to cultivate creativity at work.
Of course, anyone can take a vacation, entrepreneurs included. But entrepreneurs taking vacation can often be at the detriment of their company. Or they don’t feel they can, leading to burnout. Intrapreneurs work hard as well, so burnout is still a risk, but paid vacation time is a big way to stay productive and keep from burning out.
2 – Intrapreneurs gain credibility faster than entrepreneurs
When you have a new business no one has heard of, people ignore you a lot. When you work for an established brand, people are more willing to give you a chance and hear you out. The credibility of the brand adds credibility to you as a person.
Working for an established company can be helpful for a lot. But it’s particularly helpful if you’re looking to build your personal brand for entrepreneurial purposes down the road. Whenever you hear any pitch, there’s always a “credibility marker” such as where someone went to school or what they’ve accomplished. Being a successful intrapreneur at a successful brand becomes your credibility marker.
1 – Intrapreneurs get a pre-built social life
The ultimate social benefit of intrapreneurship: a social life! While entrepreneurship can be lonely, working in a company gives you an automatic social circle. From company socials to retreats, there are many ways to build genuine friendships with coworkers.
While you may not like everyone you work with, having friends leads to a longer life. Friends are a crucial part of the human experience. Take advantage of your company giving you this opportunity.
The social benefits of intrapreneurship: same creativity, more life
With the buzz around entrepreneurship, people often forget the bad times. Many entrepreneurs face burnout, fear and doubt, and a lot of other challenges. Intrapreneurs face many challenges as well, but gain the significant social benefits of intrapreneurship along the way.
If you’re looking at entrepreneurship and thinking it sounds great but may not be for you, then give intrapreneurship a try – you may love it.