There are many reasons you may be doing a job search to work at a startup. Perhaps you are just getting started in an industry and feel you will have a better chance with a new company rather than a more established company that is looking for team members with more experience. Maybe you want to get in on the next big thing while it is still in its early stages. Or maybe you are an entrepreneur yourself and want to see the inner workings of a startup before you set out on your own business venture.
Regardless of your reasons, finding the right startup for you can be challenging. Many startup companies have inexperienced leaders who make a bevy of mistakes, and you may be getting more than you bargained for by joining the wrong startup. Below is some advice for finding a startup that will work for you.
1. Develop Your Personal “Brand”
One way to get yourself noticed by a startup is to develop a personal brand through your social media presence. Make sure you are active on the major social media sites, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. If the startup uses a particular site, make sure you are on there as well.
2. Network with Other Startups
It’s important to network with many startups, not just the on where you’re hoping to get a job. Choose startups that are in the same field as yours so that you can get your name floating around the industry.
3. Market Yourself
Many startups aren’t yet sure what they’re looking for when it comes to employees, so you will have to make yourself relevant to the company. Find several startups that interest you and develop relationships with them.
Working without a salary may not be appealing to you, but a great way to get your foot in the door of a startup is to volunteer. If you are new to the industry, volunteering can be the perfect way for you to gain experience and make yourself relevant.
5. Become an Expert
Your job search will require lots of preparation. You need to know everything you can about your chosen industry, the startup where you want to work and other startups in the industry. Having a complete understanding of the inner workings will make you a valuable team member. Consider online diploma courses to further your education.
6. Don’t Plan on a Huge Salary
In most cases, you are not going to start out with a huge salary at a startup. Most startups are fledgling and have little to pay their employees. Plan on adjusting your living expenses and budget to accommodate a smaller paycheck. With any luck, the startup will take off and you will be reaping the benefits soon.
7. Make Sure the Company Has a Chance
As part of your job search, research the company and ask some difficult questions. Even though you are the one wanting a job, you still need to make sure you are getting into a startup that has a chance of being successful.
You will go a long way in your interview if you actually listen to the answers to your questions. Do not spend your entire interview talking about yourself. Showing an interest in the startup will make you more appealing to the interviewer.
9. Learn How the Startup Functions
Talk to other employees and visit the company to get a read on the culture and atmosphere of the startup. You will want to show that you can fit in at the company.
10. Make Sure the Risk Is Right for You
Working for a startup can be a huge risk. With startups, things can go wrong quickly and you may find yourself without a job with little notice. If the risk is too much for you, then you may not want to work for a startup.
A job search is always a challenge. In the startup ecosystem, the search can be even more challenging. But the rewards are potentially greater and being close to innovative and creative companies makes it exciting and even fun.