Optimistic EntrepreneurNo matter what business you're in, you've probably come in contact with a startup, directly or indirectly, in the course of your work.

They come in all shapes and sizes, from consumer-facing products like Foursquare to business-focused technology solutions like the ones we've created. But whatever the type of startup, there are some similarities you can expect to find across the board.

Here, we've chosen five of these characteristics that make startups a good career choice.

1. Casual Work Environment

Casual Work EnvironmentTired of wearing a suit and tie or high heels to work? Most startups don't require formal business attire, unless you're meeting with external clients or vendors.

Not everyone goes as far as to wear shower sandals like Mark Zuckerberg, but in general, the attire as well as the general atmosphere is more relaxed than what you'd find in a traditional corporate setting.

For people who find cubicle life stifling, a startup can be a refreshing change of pace.  Check out our new cubicle free office.

2. Potential Payout

It's true that some larger companies offer stock options, but in general, start-ups rely more heavily on equity incentives to lure in potential hires. Early employees at Facebook, Google, and other highly successful startups can attest to the fact that if in certain situations, the payout can be big. Of course, if the company fails, your equity stake loses its value as well. But if you think the company is well-positioned to take off, owning a piece of it can be very alluring.

3. Dynamic Community

Everyone Working Together and Holding HandsImagine a bunch of investment bankers getting together for a weekend to try to solve a problem they've seen their peers face. Sounds pretty unlikely, doesn't it?

But people in the technology world do just that at events like Startup Weekend and Lean Startup Machine. Tons of other events in hubs like Silicon Valley and New York take place every day. Joining a startup doesn't just mean joining a company; it means joining a community.

See: 10 Startup Conferences You Don’t Want to Miss

4. Fluid Responsibilities

Since a startup's core product or mission will often evolve greatly over time, the jobs that each of its employees take on may evolve greatly as well.

Furthermore, startups often employ small teams, meaning each person may need to take on a greater diversity of roles. For people who like to wear many hats, a startup setting could be a good fit.

5. Ability to Create Something New

Although there may be opportunities to innovate on products or services within a corporate setting, almost by definition, startups require a desire and willingness to create something new.

To many, the possibility of providing something to the world that doesn't currently exist is exciting, and the right start-ups will provide that opportunity.

While working at a start-up often means taking on relatively more career risk and uncertainty, for certain personality types it's a risk that's absolutely worth taking.

If the above five things sound appealing to you, what are you waiting for?

Check out our careers page for openings here at Grasshopper.

What other reasons can you think of to work for a startup?