Tips on Finding Startup Jobs

This article was updated from the original on July 27, 2017

When it comes to big career steps, sometimes you have to move out of your comfort zone and into the fast lane in order to achieve the greatest results.  Everyone loves working for the tried and true big “name” company, but landing a gig at a startup can be just the thing to launch your career down new and lucrative paths.  Sure, there can be drawbacks and uncertainties, but with a healthy dose of good judgment and a little bit of hard work working for a startup can also return exponential rewards.  

Deciding you want to work for a startup is one thing, but locating open positions at these cinderella-come-lately’s is an entirely other proposition.  So, how do you identify openings at startup companies, much less get your foot in the door?  We’ve got a few pointers on doing just that.

Do What You Love…

As the old saying goes, if your career and passions are in line work is less of an effort and more of a daily affirmation.  As an initial step, consider what motivates and drives you on a daily basis. Have a passion for cooking?  Perhaps a new food related venture would be up your alley.  Maybe you voraciously peruse the latest tech news before saying hello to your spouse every morning.  If so, perhaps an application or software development startup is for you.  Narrowing down your desired field is the first step to landing that startup job of your dreams.

Change of Scenery?

After identifying a field, it’s time to decide whether you’re willing to pick up and go in order to chase your startup career dreams.  Since these companies are fewer in number, chances are you may need to relocate in order to find that just-right goldilocks style fit.  Many companies are willing to consider telecommuting or other remote work arrangements, so consider pitching this idea as a temporary or permanent arrangement to save on physical office space costs if you find a job in a locale that’s just too far out of your physical comfort zone.

Assess Your Tolerance for Risk

Another threshold consideration before stepping onto the startup field is how much, or little, risk are you willing to assume in order to follow your work-related dreams?  Startups in generally tend to be less stable with shorter track records.  Working for one of these companies means that you’ll be forging a path along with the company and your prospects depend on their ability to execute.

In addition, certain startup fields are more proven than others.  Emerging industries may see you needing to take an initial pay cut in exchange for long term potential rewards.  A little bit of research into similar companies in your field can help reduce your liability, but a certain appetite for risk will always be needed in order to make it big with a startup.

Watch Those Trending Markets

Speaking of research, identifying a startup field that might be in demand and have a greater chance at success will be a much easier prospect if you follow emerging business and industry trends.  Online publications and prime time business shows are great sources of information.  Don’t lose site of big picture considerations, however.  Keep an eye out for industries, products and services that are in demand and then follow the breadcrumbs back to startup companies looking to capitalize off the popularity.  

Network, Network, Network!

Finally, since startup companies tend to be smaller and more fluid businesses, you won’t usually find job listings circulated in mass HR mailers or in a quick google search.  Specialty job search boards, such as Simply Hired, are great places to start the job search but shouldn’t be the only tool in your career bag.  Use your current connections to ask about potential opportunities.  Attending mixers, lectures and other events in your field is also a great idea for identifying a company that may be looking to hire someone with your skills.  Put in the leg work over a cocktail or hors d’oeuvre and you just may find that startup job of your dreams falling right into your lap.