Don’t work at a startup if you don’t want to think about work before 9 am or after 5 pm. There simply aren’t enough people to do everything that needs to be done in order to hit the aggressive goals, so a heavy workload is inevitable. It’s not just the late nights in the office, it’s sending out emails during happy hour, being engrossed in endless to-do lists on Lyft, and before falling asleep in bed, Slack-ing with coworkers who are doing the same.*

Don’t work at a startup if you’re looking for a quick way to make money. Lots…


This post originally appeared on the Lever blog.

Imagine you come across an ad for your dream job. The day-to-day is exactly what you’ve been looking for, in the industry that you’ve wanted to break into for a while. On top of that, the gig would come with a significant pay raise and even reduce your daily commute. You submit your resume, wondering if it’s too good to be true.

Unfortunately, when you come in to interview, you realize it is. The recruiter proudly tells you, the company happens to be entirely left-handed, and it’s a huge part of the…


Adapted from my Twitter thread, 4/1/19:

Pretty much all startups/young founders struggle with firing, but we don’t talk nearly enough about it. It’s one of the most difficult parts of leadership, but we *can* make it a lot less painful with a little bit of process.

So here’s the advice I share regularly with founders, with the hopes it helps you examine your current process and see opportunities for improvement!

First, to learn to fire well, you must:

  • Accept your responsibility as a manager and avoid externalizing the blame. (“That person is just terrible” is a too simple of an…

Originally posted at Inclusion At Work, a weekly D&I advice column for startups. Submit your own question about Diversity & Inclusion here and subscribe to weekly posts here!

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Dear Inclusion At Work,

The leaders at my startup are pretty bought into the idea of diversity and agree that this is important. But a few people are pretty skeptical, and they’re not trying very hard to hide it. There’s a small group of people making some noise, implying there’s “too much talk about diversity.” …


Originally posted in Inclusion At Work, a D&I advice column for startups. Submit your own question about Diversity & Inclusion here and subscribe to weekly posts here.

∗ ∗ ∗

Dear Inclusion At Work,

My startup is 4 people, and we’re all straight, white men. I worry that we are / have already crossed some point-of-no-return where it’ll be near impossible to build a diverse team. The whole team cares about this and agrees that we need to make sure the first 10 employees are more diverse than we currently are. …


Originally posted in Inclusion At Work, a D&I advice column for startups. Submit your own question about Diversity & Inclusion here.

∗ ∗ ∗

Dear Inclusion At Work,

My team of 20 is starting to talk about what it means to have a diversity program. None of us have experience in this area, and to be frank, it’s all a little overwhelming. What are some starting points we should consider? Or, what do you wish you had known when you first started?

–Overwhelmed Founder

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Dear Overwhelmed Founder,

I was recently at a conference where Patty McCord was…


Originally posted in Inclusion At Work, a D&I advice column for startups. Submit your own question about Diversity & Inclusion here.

∗ ∗ ∗

Dear Inclusion At Work,

My team is looking for D&I inspiration. Specifically, we want to try initiatives that focus on inclusion for existing employees, as opposed to attracting a more diverse population of potential candidates. Can you give an example of a successful inclusion initiative?

–Hoping For A Strike of Inspiration

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Dear Hoping,

I really appreciate the phrasing of your question — the focus on culture/engagement (“inclusion”), not just the hiring (“diversity”). …


Image credit: Rosie the Riveter (Modern)

It’s ok to admit you’re not yet comfortable with the concept of intersectionality. It took me awhile to fully wrap my head around it, too.

For Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) efforts at any organization to be truly impactful, we all need to better understand and apply the concept of intersectionality. It’s a key part of my work — as previous Head of People at the tech startup, Lever, as well as my current D&I advising work with companies who want to build better organizations.

So what does intersectionality (coined by scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw) mean? …


Book Review: “A Uterus is a Feature, Not a Bug” by Sarah Lacy

In tech, Sheryl Sandberg is your perfect, honor-roll eldest sister with the long list of accomplishments and extracurriculars that colleges love. She’s your parent’s favorite, and adored by everyone over 30. “Why can’t you be more like Sheryl?” they say.

In contrast, veteran tech journalist Sarah Lacy is your cool middle sister. She wears dark lipstick and black boots. She shares the details of all of her ugly breakups, with the hope of you not repeating her mistakes. She’s the enabler of your teenage rebellion and has your back no matter what. …


My colleague Rachael has a degree in Electrical Computer Engineering, has built apps for Fortune 500s, helped a previous startup scale from 50 to 250 employees. She’s the most tenured engineer at Lever and has played a key part in building and scaling the platform on the infrastructure side.

However, three years ago, after a less-than-stellar interview performance, a hiring manager told her: “Maybe you’re not technical enough. If you want to work for a startup, you should try sales.”

Jennifer Kim

All things Talent, building better startups, & future of work. http://jennifer.kim/ & http://inclusionatwork.co

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