Believe it or not but finding a job after you complete your education is a daunting task. While your first instinct might be to shoot for the stars and try to get a big job at a well-known company, more opportunities now exist in the niche culture of startups.
With more opportunities and a potluck of benefits, the Millennials need to be aware of the advantages of working at a startup company.
Work with young people For starters, you’ll work with a lot of young people. You won’t be looked down on as a young millennial that doesn’t know what they’re doing. Most of the people with “seniority” in the company will be only a few years older than you. You’ll need to learn to balance work life and friendships with your co-workers because you’ll actually like the people you work with.
Growth opportunities Startups are always hiring. Even if they’re not hiring for the department you want to work in, you have a good chance of getting your foot in the door. Similarly, there are a lot of growth opportunities since the company will be moving quickly. If you work hard, show your value and loyalty, you’re going to have more responsibilities and earn a better position.
Valuable experience Thus, the most important reason for why you should work at a startup is the amount of experience and new skills you will gain. You will do a lot of networking, both within and outside your company. You might wear a lot of different hats in the company but you’ll love it because there will always be something exciting happening.
It might feel really busy and a little crazy, but it’s amazing to see how much the company will change in just a few months. And you’ll really feel like you’re contributing to that. Working at a startup gives you the opportunity to experience multiple areas of interest to help you develop in the right direction.
Because it’s awkward explaining where $3 million dollars went. No?
Getting venture capitalists to invest in your startup is an exciting prospect. For one, it validates the precious idea you’ve spent hours trying to put into words over countless pots of coffee. It also means you can focus solely on growing your business without the stress of worrying about generating enough revenue to pay your bills.
However, it’s the lack of this stress that very well might keep you from paying attention to, arguably, the most important part of your venture ‒ being profitable.
Whether it’s $3 thousand or $3 million, here are a few questions you should ask yourself before running your startup with ‘other people’s money.’
Can you answer the simple question? Unless you’re launching a business that has high entry costs (like a restaurant or an asteroid mining complex); it’s best to stay away from external investors in the early stages of a venture.
This is the time to see whether or not your idea can sustain itself on its own. Venture capital is not a substitute for a business model and it is easy to confuse one for the other. So before you go kick-starting and picking out a suit for the big VC meeting, can you answer in one sentence the following: How does your business make money?
Why can’t you achieve your goals without an investment? Think hard about this. Do you need the investment to grow or do you need it to survive?
If it’s the latter, perhaps the answer to your problems isn’t financial. It’s structural. Now is the time to figure out if your idea isn’t financially lucrative ‒ if so ‒ end It! There is no failure in entrepreneurship, only opportunities to learn from mistakes and integrate them into future ventures.
How much control are you really willing to give up? Say your business is self-sustaining, profitable and it is indeed time to expand ‒ should you?
Like most entrepreneurs, their startup is their love. However, when you accept venture capital, you’re about to begin sharing joint custody. If your aim is to grow and sell the business, this might be ideal.
However, if you’re looking to hold onto to your venture for the long haul, a slow growth method might be more appropriate. Although you may get lucky and find an ‘Angel Investor’ who pats you on the back and sends you on your way, generally, you’re going to find someone who wants something in return. That’s either equity, a cut of the profits or ‒ managerial influence.
So unless you’re very confident you can get people their money back, stick to the bootstrapping method. You’ll sleep a lot better.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s StandUp India StartUp India initiative has made it clear that the government is gung-ho about entrepreneurship. A Nasscom 2015 industry report reveals that India is now among the first five largest StartUp communities in the world and over 80,000 jobs were created by startups. But while StartUps may be hiring in large numbers, they don’t always advertise job openings through the usual channels. Plus it’s no easy task to find a job at companies with no recruiting budgets and where the number of team members can be counted on fingers.
If you’re looking for that great startup job, you need to get creative. Here’s how:
1. Make connections Most entrepreneurs don’t have the time or funds to recruit strategically. In most cases, they simply network or ask around to fill their open positions. So if you’re looking for a great startup opportunity, you need to make sure you are moving in the right circles.
Attend events or workshops where fast growing start-ups participate in order to promote their product and try and get some time with the speaker after his or her talk. Follow up this interaction with an email related to the topic discussed.
Don’t be shy about making contacts through friends and family. A recommendation is the best way to get hired by an entrepreneur.
At the outset, all of this may seem like a long shot. But eventually your initiatives will pay off.
2. Check online startup job listings Visiting a job listings website can give you a sense of the market as well as bring specific opportunities to your notice. Various resources are available on the web, where you can keep a tab on the StartUps scenario in the country.
3. Reach out to startups directly Tech blogs are always talking about StartUps that have raised money. That information is crucial for you as those companies are definitely going to be hiring soon and across different functions. If you find something that interests you, reach out to the founder or CEO directly. Connect with them on social networks. Email them about why you’d be a great fit for the company. StartUps are always looking for passionate people so if you make a good impression, you may have an “in” for future openings.
4. Create an online presence Posting a resume won’t be enough to land you a coveted StartUp job. You need to build a strong online presence for that. The first thing an entrepreneur perusing your application will do is to find more about you on the Internet. So ensure you have a strategic presence online that displays your skills and shows how you can make a difference in a StartUp.
Conclusion If you believe that you are cut out for a StartUp job, don’t stop looking until you get your foot in the door. Start here, we suggest.
For those on the outside, the term ‘Startup Job’ conjures visions of a blissful universe populated by employees in track pants and flip-flops playing ping pong and video games as they change the world. The truth is far from it. While the company culture at a StartUp is definitely more relaxed than that of a corporate job, there are several pressures and risks that jobseekers tend to overlook.
Here’s how you’ll know if you have what it takes to do the job:
1. You thrive on challenges
In a StartUp, job profiles are constantly evolving and employees are expected to adapt quickly to the new roles assigned. To come out ahead, you have to find a method in the madness. For people who function best in structured environments, the pace of change can become a problem.
2. You’re comfortable wearing many hats
Your job title may put you on the technical team. But don’t be surprised if you’re asked to pitch in with business development. Your daily activities are likely to vary, depending on the project that is underway.
3. You crave a creative work environment
StartUps are built around new ideas, so they attract people who think out-of-the-box. If you’re someone who thrives on collaboration of ideas, this is a good fit for you.
4. You don’t mind working long hours
They say they’re all about flexibility. But at the end of the day, a StartUp is also a new business and therefore, will demand a great deal of your time. Be prepared to put in long days and late nights.
5. You enjoy making friends at work
Non-hierarchical set ups like StartUps function best when co-workers experience a strong sense of togetherness and purpose. It’s like being part of a big family. If you’re a person who finds it difficult to build rapports at work, you may feel left out.
6. You’re comfortable taking risks
Billion dollar valuations notwithstanding, a StartUp career is rarely about the money. You may actually be asked to take a pay cut in exchange for equity. And don’t expect that to result in a big payout – very few people strike that kind of gold. The risk of failure is also high in a StartUp.
7. You function best under pressure
The pressure to achieve results creates a high-stress environment in StartUps. And there’s little time for mentoring, as most managers are too busy to handhold. Expect to be on your own and given more responsibility than you bargained for. Are you comfortable with that?
8. You think it’s important to #LoveWhatYouDo
Believing in what the company stands for is essential if you want your StartUp career to be a success. By signing up with an unknown entity, you’re taking a financial and professional risk. Why do it if you don’t feel passionately about the job?
A startup job will teach you more about yourself and how a business ought to be run than any other kind of company. But it’s important to realistic assess whether you have what it takes before you take the plunge.
As part of our ‘This is how I did it’ series for StartUps, we invite entrepreneurs to share their story of trials and tribulations, of successes and failures, of learnings and un-learnings, of grit and tenacity with our readers, who nurture a dream of making it big in the world of entrepreneurship.
We kick off this series with Maheshwer Peri, Chairman & Founder – CAREERS360, (www.carreers360.com).
Q1. The spark: When the idea of doing something on your own struck you?
Maheshwer Peri: Pretty early, I must say. As an investment banker, I saw entrepreneurs with their stories of struggle, survival and success. The adrenaline rush is something I wanted to experience, at some time in my life. Can’t die regretting this, right?
Q2. Taking the plunge: What convinced you to take the dip and get it rolling?
Maheshwer Peri: From a Chartered Accountant to an investment banker to a media man, the changes were dramatic. However, it was as publisher of Outlook I realised that I can pursue my dream of being an entrepreneur while also making a difference. The main stream media was completely ignorant of education and used to look at it only from advertising perspective. The views were largely dictated from institutions. The coverage was sparse, hollow, shallow and many times paid for. And for most Indians, education and career is the biggest need. I realised that if we don’t hand hold our educated youth, the demographic dividend can become a nightmare. I saw a gap, a market, a business proposition and of course impact.
Q3. Fears: What were you major fears before starting up and how did you overcome them?
Maheshwer Peri: Ha. This is interesting. When I moved from Outlook, my only prayer was to ensure that I must be busy enough to be engaged for at least 4 hours a day with outside meetings. No one wants to meet unless it is of use and I wanted my product to at least get me 2 meetings a day. Now, I don’t have time to even meet what is being demanded of me.
Q4. Your Aha Moment! When did you realize you are on the right path?
Maheshwer Peri: When we started carrying stories exposing some institutions, some threatened to sue us and some actually sued us. If we can make them fearful of our reportage, we know we are on the right track.
However, the biggest Aha moment was when we went digital in 2012 and became the No.1 digital platform within 6 months. We were up against large, well-funded, deep pocketed players and still got there. We realised that we not just have credibility but also have reach of 9 million students visiting us each month to decide the best career option for them. Those numbers were stunning. It reaffirmed my faith that reach is digital and our credibility will ensure that students seek us all the time.
Q5. Motivation: What keeps you moving?
Maheshwer Peri: The average age of the team minus me is about 25. You meet each of these people who work passionately, you know that you cannot stop. I no longer drive them. It is they who drive us.
Q6. The Differentiator: What separates dreamers from doers?
Maheshwer Peri: bit of pragmatism. It is not about plans and excel sheets. You need to achieve at least the first part of the plan in terms of revenues – getting the first 25 clients trusting their monies with you.
Q7. One Advise: That you’d offer to a budding entrepreneur?
Maheshwer Peri: If you don’t have revenues, and can’t prove retention, your business isn’t worth the plan. And every plan, by the time your discussions are done with over 6-12 months get caught on its false premise. Be practical, be real while still dreaming to creating the largest impact.
Q8. Final Word: To Startups who nurture a dream to make it big?
Maheshwer Peri: If you can’t convince 10 people around you to invest in your business, if you can’t invest your own money and time in creating the business, you are climbing a wall.
And a business that creates an impact will always be valued. So, don’t pursue valuations. Pursue audiences, markets and impact.
In a startup, you’re never really off the clock. There’s even a joke that anyone who wants to leave at 6 pm will be asked if they’re heading out to lunch!
With any business that demands a lot of time, most people respond by putting in longer hours. Eventually, the work takes a toll on your physical, mental and emotional health. That’s why it’s important we all know how to get the most out of our time. And who better to advise us than the best in the business?
On World Productivity Day, here is a compliation of top productivity hacks from 10 StartUp CEOs:
Season six of Game of Thrones capped off last week, and it got us thinking — the Mother of Dragons is the ultimate recruiter. The character of Daenerys Targaryen has some serious leadership skills that gained the support of armies, fleets, and villages who followed her on her quest to the Iron Throne. Tyrion Lannister was recently recruited and Theon and Yara Greyjoy had their job interviews this season as well.
It begs the question, if you were applying for a role in the hot new startup, The Iron Throne, would you have the traits to get hired?
Let’s take a look at the pool of candidates within the Seven Kingdoms. Who would you be?:
Tyrion Lannister, CFO
Pic Credit: YouTube
After holding former positions of Master of Coin and Hand of the King at King’s Landing, the results-driven chief revenue officer has the perfect resume to advise the Queen on how to turn problems into opportunities. While Tyrion isn’t blessed with height, he makes up for it in intellect and a good eye for strategy. He taught Jon Snow how to use his bastardness to his advantage, and gives good counsel to Daenerys Targaryen at Dragon’s (formerly Slaver’s) Bay in Season 6.
Theon Greyjoy, the entitled intern
Pic Credit: YouTube
Some junior candidates can feel entitled to their job based on nepotism, educational background, or even a high-level recommendation. But, no one cares where you’re from in the workforce – it just matters if you can deliver results.
Despite not being raised in the Iron Islands, Theon boasted his title as Lord and expected the Iron army to follow him immediately after his arrival home. But no one cared! He hadn’t proven his worth. Every speech he made started with his title, but he was actually a poor leader, fighter, and crumbles under pressure when presented with problems.
Ramsay Bolton, the leader by terror
Pic Credit: YouTube
If you’re the kind of manager who threatens people to get things done, you’re probably not a leader. Ramsay’s signature move is to ‘flay’ people who cross him. While this may lead to people doing what they’re told, it’s not proactive and it doesn’t win him any friends – at all. In fact, he’s the worst of the worst. And then what happened? It backfired. Massively. Ramsey’s lack of empathy and viciousness got him to where he wanted to be, but he wound up betrayed by his own hounds and Sansa Stark, who was keen to get her revenge.
The High Sparrow, the brand evangelist
Pic Credit: YouTube
While the high sparrow is an antagonist in the show, you’ll definitely want someone like him on your team. If he was on Twitter, he would have a couple thousand followers. Everyone needs a storyteller and someone who is loyal to the brand. No matter what negative feedback the High Sparrow hears about The Faith of the Seven, he will make sure that the company message is heard loud and clear by everyone. Every CEO wants each staff member to be a brand evangelist.
Cersei Lannister, the office sociopath
This staff member will do whatever it takes to get what they want, and take over the culture of the office with their craziness until they have nothing left to lose. Even their closest friend or ally (i.e. Tomman) will throw themselves out a window to escape their levels of crazy. The office sociopath is a dangerous one.
Sansa, the intern-turned-manager
Like most interns, Sansa didn’t know much about the politics and roles early on in the series. She was a meek, gullible shy Stark who did what she was told and didn’t know how to play the game. But by Season 6 she had a hand in strategising the defeat of Ramsey’s army and smirked as he was devoured by dogs. When it comes to career development, it took some time, but eventually Sansa came into her own. As a junior, try be more like Sansa!
Margaery Tyrell, the cunning angel in disguise
This employee is good at playing nice and acting innocent when the boss is around, but behind the mask she’s already plotting how to bring others down so she can work her way up. Even if it means she has to be in a relationship with the bosses to get that promotion. But some angels eventually fall….
Jaime Lannister, the mediator
The mediator is good at his job, that’s how he manages to be on everyone’s good side. If he has a problem with his colleagues, he doesn’t go directly to HR and demand the other party to be fired. He is willing to talk and just come up with a civil solution than result to drastic measures.
Arya Stark, the apprentice
Arya was once an apprentice. Twice, if you count her training in Bravos. This is often the type of officemate who comes in on her first day without a single idea about what she has to do but has a strong drive to learn. She asks about everything and trains hard until she becomes the master herself and uses those learnings to her advantage. She’s smart, cunning and although young, has wisdom beyond her years.
Jon Snow, the future CEO
Jon Snow doesn’t have amazing leadership skills, so he leads by example. After all, he “knows nothing”, but his strong morals and values helps him make smart decisions. In Jon Snow’s case, he’s the leader that everyone wants to have, but because of office politics, it’s hard to promote him. However, he got there eventually, didn’t he?
In this video, Alok explains why sales are important. He says, sales is noble, sales is the fabric of life no matter where you work. Sales are so important for everyone – whether you make socks or you code :).
Highlights of the video: – Validation – Price Discovery – Process of Self-Discovery – Sofa Rule