Six things I learned from my first week working at startup.

I was lucky enough to join a startup in the silicon forest. The first week on the job has been a whole different experience for me. There is a couple of things I learned in my first week working at a start-up that I never had to experience at a standard 9–5 job.

Through Facebook I knew of the company PICR. PICR is an on-demand photography marketplace designed to make the hassle of finding and booking photographers simple and convenient. We believe that moments matter and that everyone should have the opportunity to capture their quality moments with a quality photographer.

I saw that a couple of people from my church who worked there and it looked like a lot of fun. I had a thought of possibly looking into it and seeing if they are hiring but never ended researching.

Two days later, I got a text from one of the co-founders asking if I’d be interested in meeting up. I quickly responded and we had a good first interview. I was tasked with a “homework” assignment to bring to the second interview.

At the second interview, I screwed up completely. I had a misunderstanding on what I was tasked to do. I left the interview feeling heavy and thinking I blew my chance. Literally as I was buying food to stress-eat on, I got the call announcing an offer.

I come from a more technical background. Since 17 I’ve been working at various IT departments doing various roles from help desk to system administration to IT consulting. At each of these previous jobs, I had an on boarding process which prepared me for the role.

Monday morning, I come in and am given a couple of task already. Well time to roll up my sleeves and get straight into it.

1. You will be expected to find work to do

Nobody is going to keep nudging you that you need to continue working. You will need to find something to do. There shouldn’t be down time where you can just sit for endless hours doing nothing. Done with a task, great! Here’s more!

PICR Library

2. Grow when you’re not working

PICR is very open to helping the employees growing. Since photography is our business, I was given access to a account and was told to find out basics on photography. If I get bored of watching videos, PICR has a bunch of great books on self-improvement and on startups.

3. It’s not about the amount of hours that you work…

…It’s about the work you provide. PICR works on a 4-day work schedule. We use DaPulse to show what everyone is working on. You can provide statuses and due-dates. This is especially helpful so that way I can provide to my supervisor that I worked on certain things.

4. Ask questions

I was lucky and got put in a room with a bunch of socially active ladies. I started to ask questions on anything from company history, to who the person passing by was, to how I would get more information on something.

It’s important to ask questions because that’s the only way to get ahead. Never assume and if you’re not sure, ask twice.

5. Use your resources

Part of my tasks this week was working one a new help center. After getting the data, it came to the design aspect. A big portion was to fit in the company identity. I spent roughly 4–5 hours trying to figure out various HTML/CSS codes to implement the design before giving up and asking for help.

I learned a big lesson with this. If I feel I am spinning my wheels and not getting anywhere, I should use my resources and ask others for input as well. What I spent 4–5 hours trying to fix ended up being a 20 minute job for someone who is more specialized.

6. Believe in the product

I have high hopes for our product that we are launching. Since day one, I noticed that everyone who works at the company has high ambitions for the product. They have a common goal of building and releasing a product on the market that is very powerful.

I believe that in order to succeed in a startup, every single person that works there must believe in the product and do everything they can in order for it to succeed.

I think these are the most important aspects for anyone who wants to survive at a startup.

PICR is launching within the next couple of weeks in Portland, OR and we will be expending to other cities in the US then worldwide as well. I came at a great point right before launch. I believe in the product and am excited to see how we grow. Check us out at

Like what you read? Give Nik Kotov a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.