“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life. The only way to be truly satisfied is to find what’s right for you, then do great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” –Steve Jobs, Apple
Startup Topics: Why work at Startup? Network, Research, PT Job, Customer Service, Serial Founder, Jobbie, Interview, Volunteer, Internship.
A. Why you should work for a Startup.
They say in business you should think BiG. But when it comes to your career, have you considered thinking “small”? A Startup can be a wild roller-coaster ride that can offer you incredible career experiences and teach you some invaluable life lessons – even if you don’t startup your own Business. A Startup can: make you more efficient than you’ve ever been, they can help you expand your responsibility & knowledge to learn how any business, despite challenges, can effectively get off the ground.
#1 a Startup is in the “real” World.
Everything you do in a startup makes a difference. No longer are you surrounded by a safety blanket world where you’re a small cog in a large machine. In a startup, everything you do will contribute to the ultimate success or failure of the business. Leaving a large organization and heading to a startup feels liberating. A Startup will actually push you to identify & focus on what’s absolutely critical, forcing you to think more creatively about how you approach projects & create value. Best of all, you’ll often get to see results first-hand and share in the rewards & glory.
#2 Learning + Responsibility = more Learning.
You can learn more in my first few months in a Startup than you did in the previous may years of your professional career. The reason for this is that everyone in a Startup is expected to wear multiple hats. A Startup forces you to adopt new skills and responsibilities to make up for the small-sized taking on the huge challenges of building an empire. Startups can also lead to increased responsibility & multiple opportunities to both utilize & accelerate your talents & knowledge. All of this can translate into powerful position in the business world and means you’ll have much more to offer as an individual, particularly when it comes time to take on an opportunity at another company or even start your own business.
#3 you can Shape the Culture around you.
You can help build a Culture where talented people come together and make work fun. There’s nothing more rewarding than feeling excited to come into the office in the morning to tackle the next challenge the world has thrown at us. Entering a larger organization usually means that you’ll be stepping into a predetermined culture, set with existing practices, customs and values. Joining a startup, on the other hand, often means that you can directly contribute to the creation & growth of the business culture, offering ideas & practices that can help shape the working philosophy of the company.
#4 You’re in an Environment of Innovation.
One of the most rewarding things about Startup is that you can find yourself working with a team that is highly passionate & enthusiastic. This can spark your inspiration on every level, leading to truly innovative ideas & developments that can help the business stand out against competitors in the greater industry. Being part of an entrepreneurial team is also a wonderful way to learn how to innovate. Entrepreneurs are great people to learn from — they identify a problem, then find a new efficient way to solve it.
B. Using your Network to find Opportunities.
Building your personal network is a good path to a great job at any stage of life. Connect with everyone you know–and in turn with everyone they know–through Family & Friends, Social Media, & Professional (ie, LinkedIN) events, setting up lunch or coffee dates to stay in touch, any way you can find. Other ways to Network: 1) when you see the info, connect with “Start-up People” in our area, 2) Befriend a Start-up Recruiter & 3) Target Start-ups directly.
#1 Learn all you can about your Target Industry. It may be that you need more education to qualify for what you really want to do. But even outside of formal education, find ways to keep current and expand your base of knowledge: take non-credit or audit classes, enroll in professional development or special training courses, or just do a lot of reading in your fields of interest.
#2 Take a PT job in your Target Industry, such as afternoons, nights or weekends position, before leaving your current job or search behind. This will help you to assess whether you like the industry, whether it’s as good of an opportunity as you thought and also, whether it’s a good fit for your skills & personality. These are all important things to know before you invest your time, talent & treasures in a new business.
#3 Talk to your “future” Customers: Customers are a business’s biggest asset, yet getting good market research is tuff. Find out what your possible future customers’ wants & needs (as well as how big of a responsibility it is to deal with them) by taking on a Customer Service job in your target industry. By working in Customer Service, you will be able to gain first-hand knowledge of how your customers think, act and spend!
#4 Learn from someone who’s “Been there, done that”. What is most people’s favorite thing to talk about? Themselves. Business Owners are no different. Ask those who have been in the trenches for years, if they could make some time for an Information Interview, so that you can learn the good, bad & ugly of the industry. Or even better, see if you can shadow them for a day or two or take on an un-paid Internship to learn the ins-&-outs from someone (or a couple of “someones”) who have been successful.. If you don’t know anyone who fits the bill, ask your Personal, Social & Professional networks to help put you in touch with these business owners.
G or J. Start a Jobbie: It’s a name for a Hobby that makes money (otherwise known as a side business). Having a Jobbie is a great way to test out the viability of a business with a defined budget, before you fully commit to it. If your industry involves a product instead of a service, develop, build, & test prototypes – to try out the product’s appeal & function – along with your day job or your current job search. Both of these approaches will allow you to gain industry insights and if you stick to a budget, it won’t cost you your life’s saving like a Startup could.
O.K. Preparation & Technique during the Interview.
#1 What are your Strengths? Even if you’re fairly sure, ask your family, friends, teachers, etc, to verify. Then figure out how you can use them in your chosen Industry – especially include Leadership roles you’ve held.
#2 Be Confident of your Abilities, but Humble in presenting them. This gets easier the more you practice or with actual Interviews. Be comfortable with not knowing everything that might be expected. Instead, be curious, ask questions, listen – if you’re interested.
#3 If you’re interested in the Position, show your enthusiasm, motivation & desire to learn. You wouldn’t be applying to the job if you didn’t want it. If you really want it, make sure that’s obvious. Don’t seem desperate, but do seem passionate. Do your background research on the company and have a prepared, honest, thoughtful response for the “Why do you want to work here?” question.
#4 If you really want it, Follow-up. A day or two after the Interview, compose an Email of why you would be a good match and want the job.
L. Maybe Volunteer First. Here are 3 places to look to get a little (micro) Experience.
- VolunteerMatch lets you search local and virtual opportunities.
- Catchafire is filled with short-term volunteer opportunities.
- Fiverr is the place to list the skill you’d like to develop and snag a bunch of micro-experiences quickly.
M. Then consider Internship or PT Contract second. Internships aren’t just for students and they most certainly count towards any job’s experience requirements. If you’re having trouble getting interviews, it may be that your resume simply doesn’t have enough Real World experience on it.
Comments: Do you know any other ways to get Startup experience w/out starting one?
from 13 lucky Startup Sources 10/18 integrated by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
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