Getting Hired at a Startup or Early Stage Company

With most businesses expecting to growth rebound in 2012, startups and early stage firms are excellent prospects for the right job seekers. Here’s what it takes to get hired at the ground level of tomorrow’s high growth companies.

getting-hired-at-a-startup-or-early-stage-companyGetting hired at a startup or early stage company can be a crafty career move. If the company’s products or services gain traction in the marketplace, you could suddenly find yourself at the epicenter of a rapidly growing corporate enterprise.

But despite what many people think, growth conscious startups aren’t so desperate that they are willing to employ anyone with a pulse and a resume. In reality, the best startups and early stage firms are looking for employees who possess the types of characteristics that exemplify the entrepreneurial ethos.

  • Be assertive

    Don’t wait for startups or early stage businesses to list job openings. After you have identified worthwhile, young companies in your field or industry, take the initiative in establishing conversation with potential employers. Often, you’ll have the chance to interact directly with the CEO and if you’re in the right place at the right time, employment opportunities can literally fall into your lap.

  • Know the business

    During the early stages of the business lifecycle, companies face an endless litany of challenges and obstacles. So when they hire, they’re looking for employees who understand the business and are prepared to help the company overcome critical challenges. Increase your employment value by researching the startup and preparing a few bullet points about how you could be part of the solution.

  • Express passion & enthusiasm

    Successful startups are high-energy business environments. Although new companies are frequently staffed with young professionals, your age won’t necessarily disqualify you from employment. Instead, the critical qualities startup CEOs want to see are passion and enthusiasm. If you are approaching the position as just another job, working at an early stage, high growth company won’t be a good fit for your career goals.

  • Be fully committed

    The future rewards of working at a firm that is poised to achieve substantial growth through venture capital or other forms of investment are potentially enormous. But the downside is that you will be expected to be 100% committed to your job for the foreseeable future. If you aren’t willing to pour your heart and soul (not to mention nights and weekends) into the job, you should avoid early stage companies altogether.

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