7 Places to find the perfect startup job
It can take a lot of effort to find the perfect job, but it exists
Finding the perfect startup job is no easy task, there are a lot of startups (as many as 1.35 million worldwide) and the great majority of them are going to fail soon after founding. However, what you might lose in job security, you gain in opportunity. Startups give you an unparalleled opportunity to grow with a company and shape it the in your image. Plus, since there are so many, once you have some experience working in the environment you can generally transfer those skills to another should the one you work for fail (this is one of the few industries that actually tries to celebrate failure!).
But where do you find the perfect startup job for you? I mean considering the number of startups out there it must exist, right? Probably even in your very own city.
As a Company Builder, we hire a lot of different people for different companies in different industries here at Le Studio. Here are some of the places that we, and others like us, look for people like you.
Nothing beats a connection
One of the best ways to find a great job is through people that you already know and have relationships with. So be social! Not only can you learn a lot from other people in your field, whatever it may be, but if you’re hard-working and likable people will come to you with offers. Many founders and early employees at startups begin as friends and later become partners. LinkedIn and AngelList haven’t always existed. Look at what the people you know are doing and see if it is something you are interested in.
The advantage here is, since you already know them, you’ll have a better idea of their work ethic and if you are compatible. Just be aware that just because you are friends/acquaintances/family doesn’t necessarily mean that you are compatible in the workplace.
The Alumni network
Obviously most people that attend university find their first job during or immediately after school. And modern universities tend to have extremely well developed career centers for helping you find the ideal job after you get out.
If you are a student then this is something to take advantage of. These centers are designed exactly for people like you. Further, most universities nowadays have entrepreneurial clubs, computer science clubs, marketing clubs, that can help you make some connections with current students and now-employed alumni.
This last one is extremely important. Even if you are out of school (even for many years), people often forget the power of a shared background. Alumni often hire alumni and, at the very least, it provides an ideal icebreaker when searching for a potential job. University takes a long time and is an important part of one’s life so if you both went to the same one, then you actually have a lot in common.
The Social Network(s)
These two are crucial and are often neglected by people that have succeeded in getting jobs through the above methods. But even if you are employed, building your AngelList and LinkedIn profiles (especially the latter) are extremely worthwhile tasks. The startup industry nowadays uses LinkedIn a lot. Having a well put together LinkedIn page can easily be the difference between a first interview or a pass.
LinkedIn in particular can be good for making connections even with people you don’t really know. LinkedIn has industry/job/technology specific groups designed to facilitate this kind of discussion and networking. You can also improve your prospects by spending some of your downtime getting certs in technologies that are used by the great majority of startups or that you just find interesting. This can then be added to your LinkedIn/AngelList page.
Take advantage of these. Even if you are employed now, start preparing these pages and get active. You’ll be thankful you were when you want to or have to change jobs.
While finding the perfect job may be difficult, finding the perfect employee can be even more difficult. Especially in certain industries or when looking for someone with a lot of experience in a specific technology.
To make things easier, startups often hire head hunters who then use their already well developed networks to try and quickly track down the perfect employee for the position, saving the company a lot of time but generally at a pretty high cost.
If you want to be found by these people you’ll need a polished LinkedIn page (as this is often how they find you). But you can also initiate by sending them your CV so they’ll have it on file should a profile match yours.
A great way to meet people, practice your skills, and even find potential employees (all while making the world a better place) is to volunteer your skills. Not only are people generally a little less demanding when you are doing the work for free and the hours are generally what you have time for, but this kind of work also lets you build a portfolio. If employers want to see a an example of the kind of work you can do, you can just point them to that site you built and maintain as a volunteer, etc.
Further, non-profit organizations and the like aren’t filled will full-time volunteers. They are filled with passionate people that already have a real job and volunteer because they care or enjoy it. You can build real relationships with these people if you are helping them with their passion, even more so than if you were just coworkers or students.
The people that have the time to volunteer also tend to be pretty successful — otherwise they wouldn’t have the time to dedicate to volunteering. So this can give you access to people that might otherwise be totally out of your reach.
Lastly, get involved with your local community. I’d recommend doing this even if you are currently employed and not looking for a job. Building a network friends and acquaintances in your city is crucial for job stability.
Local events are the best way to meet local companies and the people that handle the hiring at local companies.
So go to developer meetups, marketing meetups, hackathons, talks, after work get-togethers, etc. Not only will you meet interesting people, you’ll be building a network that will allow you to rapidly find a new job should you want a change.
Help others find jobs
This last one is crucial. Like the rest of the business world, the startup world also runs on favors. If you can help someone find a job or put two people in contact, they’ll remember and be a lot more willing to help you or go out on a limb to vouch for you in the future.
This costs you nothing except a little bit of time but can mean the world to the people you help —and you never know where they’ll lend up in the future. Maybe they’ll be hiring you.
Now get back to looking for your dream job
These are just some of the places where you can search for your perfect job. It is out there, probably even in your city (or available to work remote). Finding a job, especially at a startup, is a full-time job in and of itself. But if you play the game well you’ll find that job quickly and can get back to work doing something that you really enjoy.
Le Studio VC is a Paris-based startup studio. Providing seed capital, expertise, and guidance, Le Studio acts as a launchpad for startups. By both investing and participating in the initial stages of development, success is more likely and more rapid.
If you are interested in starting your own company or working with us — let us know at Le Studio