You’ve been working for the big corporate entities for awhile and you’ve decided that a change of scenery and culture is needed. Or you are a recent graduate who wants to learn how to start a business and you aren’t afraid to climb the ladder in a faster and risky way.
Maybe you feel under-appreciated, under-valued, or the bureaucracy gives you a headache. So, you decide that what might be best for you is work for a startup – someplace small where your impact is immediately felt by everyone in the company. Before you take that big leap, let’s take a look at a few things that might influence how you make that decision to work for a startup.
What is a Startup
First, consider what a startup is. According to Neil Blumenthal, cofounder and co-CEO of Warby Parker, quoted in a recent Forbes article,
“A startup is a company working to solve a problem where the solution is not obvious and success is not guaranteed.”
These companies are just getting their feet on the ground. In some cases, they may not even be that far. And, that’s the real deal with a startup – it might be a very exciting and energising place to work, but there is no guarantee that all of the hard work will equal success. Before starting to work for a startup, make sure you are ready to handle failure if it happens. Your flexibility and adaptation skills learned while dealing with diverse tasks during your startup experience will be useful to change your path once you understand that is time to change job again.
On the other hand, if your experience is lucky and, therefore, successful, you will have way better chances to get promoted and rewarded compared to a job in a medium or big corporation.
If you are brave and decided about starting to work for a startup, read more to know where to find a job in a startup.
How to work for a startup
Second, most startup companies are not advertising their career opportunities on traditional job boards. What does this mean for your job hunt? It means you will need to hit the street and shake some hands. Networking is going to be key to your success. Find out where local startups are meeting in your area. For example, many areas in the US have a weekly meeting called One Million Cups that features a local entrepreneur guest speaker every week. If you are European, in the London startup scene you can find something similar like MeetUp or Up London. The easiest way to find them in other countries is just Googling it! Make it point to be there and meet some people. You can also contact people you know and let them know what you are looking for. The odds are that someone you know either has a startup in the works or they know someone who does. Call up friends for lunches or coffee and see what they are up to and who they know. Most startups are hiring because of a recommendation or referral.
And finally, be an expert in your field. Most startup companies do not have the time or resources to put you through any type of formal training program. They need you to start the job and hit the ground running. So, if you feel like your skills might need to be brushed up, take local or online courses to give yourself the best chance at making an impact right away.
Check our article about the MOOC, Massive Online Open Courses if you want to find a free interesting course from prestigious universities!