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9 Reasons Why Working for a Start-Up Leads to Career Success

9 Reasons Why Working for a Start-Up Leads to Career Success

You earned your degree, you sent out your job application packets, and now you have a tough decision to make: Do you accept the position with the famous mega-corporation, which offers a high starting salary and amazing benefits, or do you go with the tiny start-up with the heart of gold? Though your parents might not understand, you should be leaning toward the start-up, despite the low paycheck, because of the invaluable skills you will pick up during the first job of your career. People who work at a start-up rarely regret their decisions, and most are proud of their first jobs for the rest of their lives. Here’s why.

1. They Have Worked Every Company Position

Even if a start-up employee was hired as a marketing assistant, it is more likely than not that he will also work as an accountant, an IT tech, an HR rep, a product tester, and so much more. Start-ups like to keep costs low, which means staff is usually exceedingly tight, and a single employee is likely to do the work of two or three. On the one hand, this means employees have heavy loads; on the other hand, it means employees have first-hand experience with a number of positions, giving them unprecedented insight into the efforts of different departments and allowing them to interface more easily with different teams.

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2. They Are All About Newer, Faster, Better

The goal of a start-up is top-end revenue and growth potential, which means a successful new company is fresh, fast, and formidable. A start-up with a hackneyed idea is doomed to fail, and employees soon learn that familiar tried-and-true solutions simply will not do. Innovation and creativity are two qualities most start-up employees have in scores.

3. They Are Diverse

Big companies like to stick to the status quo; as a result, staff positions are bloated with the stereotypical American employee: namely, white, middle class, and male. Conversely, start-ups tend to seek talent wherever (and whomever) it is, which means start-up workforces tend to be comprised of a varied mix of races, genders, ages, and experience levels. Exposure to such diversity weakens toxic biases and encourages unfamiliar viewpoints, which is useful throughout life.

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4. They Are Smart

Entrepreneurship is a science, and only the brightest minds have the ability to excel in this challenging field. Start-ups tend to produce a multitude of data, and employees must be capable of analyzing that data quickly and correctly. Perhaps it should be no surprise that start-ups with an Ivy Leaguer on staff tend to perform roughly 220 percent better than other teams. There’s no other way to cut it: start-up workers must be ridiculously smart.

5. They Play Well With Others

Soft skills are those unquantifiable abilities that allow workers to manage their emotions and behave properly in any situation — and start-up employees tend to have them in droves. Because start-ups rely on communication and cooperation perhaps more than diligence and productivity, emotional intelligence is a skill employees must display before they even get an interview. Honing people skills while working for a start-up can set an employee up for long-term career success.

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6. They Fight for Their Lives

Every employee of a start-up knows too well this terrifying statistic: More than 90 percent of start-ups fail. If a start-up fails, its employees are plumb out of work. Most start-ups are entering into incredibly competitive markets. Thus, every start-up employee is accustomed to paddling hard to keep the ship afloat — or else everyone will get eaten by sharks.

7. They Can Sell, Sell, Sell

All businesses sell something — especially start-ups. For start-ups to survive in such a competitive world, they need employees who can sell well. Start-up workers must be able to master the traditions and trends of marketing early in their employment. Fortunately, most soon learn that being a sales guru is beneficial in more than business; selling is an invaluable skill in nearly every aspect of life.

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8. They Get Technology

An overwhelming majority of today’s start-ups rely entirely on technology — perhaps in development, sales, and more. Thus, to work in a start-up, employees must gain a strong command of modern tech. Being adaptable to new software and hardware is crucial to survival in our digital world; plus, it allows workers to be technologically innovative when faced with any problem.

9. They Have a Strong Community

When an employee can count his coworkers on one hand (and his bosses on one finger) he has little choice but to get friendly with them. It is inevitable that start-up staffs grow close with one another, and usually it grants employees a strong community that extends outside the workplace. Even when workers move on to a bigger pond, they will likely retain their friendships (and networking contacts) for the rest of their lives.

Featured photo credit: HighwaysEngland via flickr.com

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Last Updated on June 25, 2019

How to Ace an Interview: 10 Tips from a Professional Career Advisor

How to Ace an Interview: 10 Tips from a Professional Career Advisor

Wondering how to ace an interview? In this article, you will learn everything you need to nail your dream job — from resume submission to the end of the interview cycle.

In order to land a job interview, you must start with submitting a great resume. Submitting resumes is generally done by, “apply now”, the way many apply for consideration to a job requisition. Even if not applying the tradition way, let’s say, emailing someone in your network about an opportunity- you will still need a great resume.

So first thing first, work on your resume.

Today in the United States, 98% of organizations use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to extract information from an applicant’s resume to build a digital applicant profile that can be searched, filtered, and/or ranked.[1] So, a resume that is ATS friendly is part one for landing and acing a job interview.

To do this, a resume must have certain formatting and keywords to get the resume through the scan and into the hands of a recruiter. Without a resume that works with and for today’s technology and requirements, an interview can be difficult to land.

Here’s a great DIY Resume Guide (Do it Yourself Resume Guide) to help you craft an ATS and Recruiter friendly resume:[2]

There used to be a time where a job application was enough, today, an ATS friendly resume leads all methods in landing a job interview.

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Now, let’s talk about acing that interview.

A job interview is part 2 of the job application process. An interview is where applicants that have met the minimum requirements are selected to discuss the job opportunity with the employer or hiring manager.

Interviews are generally conducted via telephone, in person, and or applications/technology such as Skype. When the interview is landed, these 10 tips will help you ace the job interview:

1. Going for a Job Opportunity That Speaks to Your Passion

Having a passion for the job/ industry is extremely important. Doing something that aligns with inner passion is important for quality of life.

People that have passion for the job that they are interviewing for generally have better interview experiences. When we talk about what we love, it is seen in our faces, our body language, and heard in our tone. Here’re 10 Reasons Why Following Your Passion Is More Important Than Money.

In short, consideration of talents, discovering the things that make you happy and sad, and what you love losing yourself in.

2. Study the Job Description: Essential Job Functions and Qualification Requirements

Doing this will allow you the opportunity to develop examples of past and present experience that relate to the essential job functions and required qualifications.

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Examples of experience is always a plus for interviewers, painting a full picture goes a long way. Even when not asked for an example, it is always a plus to tie answers to interview questions to examples from your experience.

If there is a portfolio (work samples: images, writing samples, published work, videos, awards, etc.) of work- that’s even better!

3. Research the Company and the Interviewer(s)

Being an employee means entering into a relationship with an employer. In many areas of life, research is done prior to committing; researching a company prior to an interview is no different.

It is important to determine if the company is a good fit and therefore makes it easier to answer “why do you want to work here?” It helps better verbalize how past experience, skills, and values align with the company’s mission, and it shows the interviewer that you are interested in more than just a job.

4. Think Positive and Tap into Confidence

Positivity exudes confidence and both are necessary, so the employers knows that trust can be given.

Thoughts lead to action, therefore, operating from a positive perspective will reveal confidence. The goal of the interview is to land the job offer; employers need to believe that you believe in yourself so that they can believe you. Here are a few tips for positive thinking.

5. Have Copies of the Resume Used to Apply for the Job

It’s always good to be ready for extra interviewers in the room; many interviews today are panel interviews/ multi-person interviews.

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Though a resume was likely submitted with the application, it is always a good idea to come with extra copies in anticipation of the potential need. If there was no resume submission, it is crucial that you provide a copy during the interview; doing this shows the employer preparedness and resolution to challenges.

6. Plan for Behavior Based Interview Questions

Most companies use pre-selected questions, often times having a list of behavior-based questions. Usually these questions start with: “provide an example of”, “tell me about a time when”, and/or “describe a time/situation when”.

Having examples of problems solved and strategies used, initiatives led, contributions to teams and departments, will help ace a job interview. Painting a picture to help employers see skills, qualifications, and experience is extremely important during a job interview.

7. Make a List of Selling Points

It’s important to be proactive about the selling points that you want to make in an interview. This is where a portfolio works great! It is a great idea to make a list of selling points that reaffirms and demonstrates skills, qualifications, and experience.

Consider: awards, programs/ processes launched that led to cost savings and/or profitability, training/education, etc.

8. Showcase a Mixture of Personality and Professionalism

Companies like to make sure that interviewees are a good match for the company culture. Having a good balance of personality and professionalism during a job interview is key.

Personality can be shown when discussing hobbies, community service or extracurricular activities in answers to behavior-based questions, when describing your passion, and when discussing selling points.

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9. Have Your Questions Ready- Interviewing Isn’t One-Sided

Interviews are two-sided, like all relationships (an employee and employer agreement is a type of relationship). Before entering in many relationships, we all have a set of questions that we need answers to, prior to making the decision to commit.

Beyond doing this for self (because asking questions helps reduce doubt and uncertainty), it also shows the employer that there is interest in the company and its future and, shows that you are informed.

Here are a few considerations: “Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?”, “Why is this position open?”, and “What qualifications/ skills are important to succeed in this role?” You can also take a look at this guide for more idea: 7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

10. Follow-up with a Thank You Note

Interviewers love gratitude. Sending a “thank you for taking the time to discuss the job opening with me”, is very important to acing an interview.

Interviewers discuss one job opening with many applicants. A thank you note can serve as gratitude and the final chance to showcase selling points. This is also the opportunity to address any concerns that the interviewer may have had in the interview.

Summing It up

Consider a job interview a house. the foundation for acing a job interview is passion. The frame is a resume that lands the interview. The plumbing and electrical are showing up with confidence, providing a list of selling points, having examples of your experience and qualifications, and engaging the interviewer. The roof is showing gratitude with a thank you note.

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Featured photo credit: Nik MacMillan via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Jobscan: What is an Applicant Tracking System?
[2] Veronica Castillo: New Job- DIY Resume

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