How To Get A Job In Start-Up In 6 Steps (Plus Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 6 November 2022 | Published 4 October 2021

Updated 6 November 2022

Published 4 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Working for a start-up is becoming an increasingly common goal and it can be an excellent career move for those looking for growth professionally and personally. From flexible schedules to the opportunity to learn in-depth about a particular industry, employment in a start-up offers several benefits. If you have a passion for working in a creative and interesting company, you may consider working in a start-up. In this article, we discuss how to get a job in start-up, explain a few benefits of working in these companies, explore a few tips to ace a start-up interview and skills required to work in such companies.

Related: What Is A Startup? (With Definition, Types And Advantages)

How To Get A Job In Start-Up?

To understand how to get a job in start-up, follow these steps:

1. Know your niche

Start-up jobs exist in almost every sector and industry. Based on your interest area and qualification, you may explore industries like healthcare, software, retail, hospitality, transportation or digital media production. Narrowing down the industry can make it easier for you to find a suitable job. As start-ups are typically growth-oriented and focus mainly on teamwork, try to find a passion for your job to grow with the company. It is important to keep your experience and current skills in mind as you can get hired faster for a job that requires skills you already have.

2. Look for start-ups in your field

After deciding your sector or industry, focus on the type of job role and the field you have an interest in pursuing. Ensure to choose a field in which you already have knowledge and experience as it helps you get hired for a job faster. Review lists of start-ups you want to join and those that match your skill set. Also, when looking for a suitable start-up, review their location. Also, try to understand the current business phase of the start-up. This can help you understand the type of role and salary you can expect from a company.

Related: How to Get the Job You Want

3. Use job sites

To search for jobs in a start-up company, you can use online job sites. Using such sites, you can view the potential salary to expect and the details about your potential employer. To narrow down your search only for start-up companies, use the keyword “start-up” to filter such companies. If you want to work in a particular location or work remotely, you can add these terms to your search query. This can help you find a job based on your requirement.

4. Use social media

Look for social media profiles of entrepreneurs and employees working in a particular start-up. Follow them on different social media profiles because most start-ups advertise their positions and opportunities on these channels. You can promptly apply and respond to job openings.

Related: 23 Interview Tips: How to Get the Job

5. Reach out to companies directly

To expand your reach and contact some top start-up companies, considering mailing your cover letter and resume to them. As most start-ups are in their growth stage, you need only their email to contact a decision-maker. Write a professional CV giving details about your skills, qualifications and experience. It is an excellent way to get hired in a start-up.

6. Attend conferences and business events

You may attend business conferences and events to learn what kind of businesses operate near your location and the potential start-ups in your area. This helps you connect with prospective employers, increasing your chances of getting your dream job. Also, even start-up companies use these events to find potential candidates because they lack time to focus on hiring efforts. While a well-formatted and nicely written CV makes you a desirable candidate, networking can help you seek employment faster.

Related: What Is Business Networking? (With Benefits and Types)

Benefits Of Working In A Start-Up

Working in a start-up differs from working in an established company. As a start-up thrives on innovation, the work environment of a start-up is simulating and full of energy. Apart from learning new skills, working at a start-up allows you to innovate and create ideas. Some other benefits of working in a start-up job are:

  • Flexible working hours: Many start-ups provide an option to work from home, while others may provide flexible working hours. It is an excellent job for professionals looking to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

  • Workplace benefits: From free gymnasium membership to a casual environment in the workplace, the most start-up provides many workplace benefits to their employees. Interestingly, many start-up companies also have an option for shorter workweeks and offer a pet-friendly workspace.

  • Increased job satisfaction: When you work in a start-up company, you handle its growth and evolution. The feeling of actively contributing to your company's growth and success instils a feeling of increased job satisfaction.

  • Minimal supervision: Often, employees work under minimal supervision. Usually, start-ups work with a few employees and it becomes difficult to manage and supervise every employee.

  • Growth opportunities: Mostly, start-ups focus on the incentive-based system and it is not usually in monetary terms because these companies focus on improving your skills and opportunities. As you learn new skills, you have a higher chance of accelerating your career.

Related: Different Strategies For Acquiring Funding For Startups

Tips To Get A Job At A Start-Up

Focus on these tips to get hired at a desirable-start-up job:

  • Practice interviews: Search for frequently asked questions in your domain and practice interview questions. You can ask your friends and family members to take your interview and record them on your phone to see where you went wrong.

  • Provide specific examples: When asked about any question during your interview, give answers using specific examples from your job experience. Prepare several examples that showcase your abilities and make you a desirable candidate.

  • Research the company: Before attending your interview, research in-depth about your company and its culture. Also, gain knowledge about the job role for which you are giving the interview.

  • Bring your portfolio: When you are applying for jobs like fashion design, architecture, web design or any other creative job, it is always a great idea to bring your portfolio to your interview. This can make you come across as a stronger candidate during the interview.

Related: How To Use the STAR Interview Response Technique

Skills Required For A Start-Up Job

Here are a few skills to master for a rewarding career:

Multi-tasking

As start-ups are usually still in a nascent stage, they work with a limited workforce. So, apart from handling your work, you may help others accomplish their job duties. For example, when working as a software developer, you may also perform the duties of a salesperson to explain products to your potential audience. The ability to work under different roles and multi-task is an essential skill for working in a start-up.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence affects the way you manage behaviour, make personal decisions and deal with social complexities. This skill is essential because a start-up's workload and culture may be challenging for some candidates. Having the ability to reduce negative emotions and stress can help you excel in a particular job.

Communication

In a start-up company, you work together cohesively with other team members, which requires strong communication skills. Apart from managing day-to-day activities, it helps in streamlining your workflow. Employers prefer hiring candidates with excellent written and verbal communication skills, as you may require them to interact with customers and clients. From composing business emails to negotiating a deal with customers, strong communication skills are essential for this role.

Related: 13 Effective Communication Strategies To Implement At Work

Ability to accept failures

As every start-up is in a growing stage, you may encounter failures along the way. While there is no harm in failing or making a mistake, what matters is how quickly you learn from your mistakes and adjust to move in a better direction. Employers prefer candidates who do not get upset about encountering failure because such candidates see every failure as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Ability to take risks

Most start-ups prefer candidates who can take calculated and intelligent risks. The ideas these candidates offer can help a start-up give an edge to outshine their competitors. Also, usually, such individuals are problem-solvers and can help you solve a lot of business problems.

Relentlessness

Every start-up employee requires relentlessness because there are inherent obstacles in a start-up environment. The ability to understand this and remain productive is a desirable skill for this job. For instance, when working in the sales department, you may face rejections of many proposals. Instead of giving up, you create another proposal after learning what went wrong with the previous ones. That is why employers prefer candidates who have a never give up attitude because such individuals turn every failure into a new learning opportunity.

Related: How To Keep a Positive Attitude: A Complete Guide

Self-motivation

In a start-up environment, employers want candidates who can develop solutions and take action without being told. This requires self-motivation. When a candidate waits for someone to tell them what to do, it results in non-adequate utilisation of resources and employees, eventually resulting in stunted company growth.

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