Startups are very unique work environments with very bright, yet very blurry futures. Their appeal is clear: working at a startup is like building a house, you can see the change you make on a daily basis. One wall today, a roof tomorrow,and eventually, a home. While their appeal may be clear, the rest of it maybe isn’t so certain. In fact, the only thing that is certain is change. Your boss could say, “We just switched business models” and you need to be able to adapt,and adapt quickly. It’s no surprise that startups look for very unique traits within people they are looking to hire. Only a certain kind of individual can thrive in a
culture of change. So, how can you not only enter the startup community, but succeed in it?
Meet the Team
No, not virtually. Go to networking events, ask your friends for intros, join a weekly meet-up, get out there and stop hiding behind the computer.The best way to find out if a startup is hiring, is to meet the team and make a connection. Resumés get lost, so make them understand why they need your specific skill-set on their team. Then, find something you can do for them- create a sales pipeline, write a one-page marketing plan, build an app that will help them capture leads- and send it over. The proof is in the pudding.
Have a Passion
Sounds cliché. It is. But startups are built on passion. And it doesn’t mean you have to be passionate about building Twitter for Iguanas, or whatever the startup you’re interested in joining actually does, but rather how do your passions align with their business. It could mean being passionate about enterprise sales, or designing amazing user experiences, or engaging with customers. Where do you see yourself fitting in?
Failure is OK
Once you land the interview, don’t be afraid to share your stories of failure. Entrepreneurs aren’t afraid of failure, they stare it in the face everyday and defy the odds. So if you have failed, then it means that you have learned. Perpetual learning is crucial in a constantly changing environment and a key tenant of startup philosophy.
Find the Bar
If, after having nailed the interview, you find yourself working at a startup, then you quickly need to identify the bar and then you need to understand actions must be taken in order to surpass it. Productivity beginning day one is a must on a small team. Successful startup employees are growth-minded. They are able to identify problems that haven’t even occurred yet,understand the next steps that need to be taken, and push forward to drive action. Pushing yourself to learn everyday, to do something better, and to understand a problem completely will not only allow you to find the bar, but forget that it even existed.
Do you feel overwhelmed yet? Good, you should. The truth is that it’s extremely difficult to align all of these different components and merge them into one meaningful career road map and path forward. The skills, network, passion, drive; all of them combined are difficult to attain, especially when pursuing the startup path alone. A program like Boston StartupSchool is one way to find a path into the startup world that focuses on connecting you with the surrounding community. Even if you have all of the other pieces in the puzzle, it is often the team and the community behind you that lifts you to the next level. So, above all else, when on the startup path, find a community of people that inspires you. A community filled with people as crazy as you are. A community of startup nerds.
- Aaron O’Hearn
The world is flattening before our very eyes.
Now more so than ever, we’re seeing innovation come from every corner of the globe. The number of startup incubators, funds and activities are all growing at a pace faster than anyone can keep up with. Naturally, this begs the question,
“What’s going on in the global startup community?”
The answer to this question is our mission.
World Startup Report is a social mission intended to document and connect the global startup community. Championed by world-class startup organizations and individuals, World Startup Report aims to cover every startup ecosystem’s culture, market, players, challenges and innovations. Furthermore, World Startup Report plans to create a network of resident volunteer ambassadors who will help others – locally and globally, further understand and integrate with local startup ecosystems.
Over the next 9 months, World Startup Report will be traveling to 29 countries and 36 cities in 6 continents. Here’s our plan and itinerary:
“This is a great opportunity for the world startup community to learn about each other beyond just numbers and names. What makes each community unique and how can we help one another? If we can bring accessible and actionable information to the relevant entrepreneurs, investors and policy makers, it could one day become the foundation for a better global startup community tomorrow,” says Bowei Gai, Founder & Chief Ambassador of the World Startup Report.
Major thanks goes out to 500Startups, StartupWeekend, StartupDigest, LinkedIn, Boingo, XComGlobal, AngelHack, FlightFox, Brad Feld, Dave McClure and hundreds more that are volunteering their time, energy and enthusiasm to make World Startup Report a reality. The trip wouldn’t be possible without all of your help!
Join our 9-Months, 29-Countries and 36-Cities Journey to Meet the Global Startup Community. The Journey Begins on 1/1/2013.
Let’s go change the world!
- The World Startup Report Team