Todays start up could be tomorrows Facebook, who knows, but it’s also risky, are you the type that likes adventure?
That’s the excitement of working at a start up, it could be a humungous success, it could be a flop, what ever way it’s experience.
Be prepared to work hard, work unsociable hours, do everything, have no structure, drink lots of coffee and see your social life merge into your work life, it will become as one.
You’ll be working “with” a start up not “at a” start up, I say this as it will become you, you’ll be expected to live and breathe the start up, it’s intense. Of course it will be driven by the founder but everyone around the founder will have as much drive and passion as him/her does minus the risk. Read about Intrapreneurs to give you an idea of what’s expected.
You wont be doing it for the money, the salary will probably be very low, sometimes you might have to wait a while to get paid, you may even get paid in shares.
One thing you really must understand is the culture of the start up, if you don’t understand the culture then no matter how good you are you wont get in. Your ideas, passion, values, beliefs have to be on the same wavelength as the start up, it’s founder and all that work there already. If the start up is to succeed it has to make sure everyone has the the same vibe and vision, it will not accept anyone who could throw a spanner in the works.
So you think working at a start up is for you, how do you get your foot through the door of one?
One thing to remember is that these guys don’t have money for recruitment so you need to find them.
How to be a “Start-up-er”
Join start up groups on Linkedin
Get your profile up to date on Linkedin and get into the many start up groups on there. Join in with the discussions, follow people from interesting start ups which align with your ideas and connect with them
Join meetup.com, it’s completely free to join, once you have search for start ups. It will give you all the start up groups in and around your area, you can check other areas too. When you join these groups you’ll get the facility to upload your bio and say what you want from the group, here you can mention that you’d like to network with start ups with perhaps the possibility of working for one.
Check out business networks, go along and get chatting. You’ll find that many business networks or either free or they’ll be a no charge for the first visit so make a point of getting to some. Business networks are usually held pre work hours so expect a 7am start or after work usually 6pm start.
Google start up shows, digital start up shows and business exhibitions, there are many of them, the best ones held in London, usually at The Excel or Earls Court or in Birmingham at the N.E.C. Get along and network, chat to as many people you can, collect their cards, their numbers, their twitter names, anything where you can carry on chatting with them and start to build a relationship with them.
Make a list of start ups and interview their founders on a Google Hangouts on Air. Tell them it’s a fifteen minute interview where you’ll ask them questions about what they do. Any founder of a start up will want to talk about their business, they’ll be flattered, plus it’s creating awareness for their business. Doing this will open doors for you, if you decide it’s a start up you’d like to belong to you can go back to them, you’ll find asking for a coffee and a chat will be easy.
Be an intern
Offer your services as an intern for a 3-6 month project, you may have to outline the project for them. They may offer you a position at the end of it, if not you’d have experience working with a start up which you could take with you to your next start u
What start ups can you think of where you’d like to work?
Julie Bishop Jobhop.co.uk
Follow Julie on Twitter @jobhopjulie
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