The number one reason to join a startup is not money. It’s certainly not money. So why join then?

For me, there were a couple of reasons:

  1. Escape the big company bureaucracy. Certainly, after 10+ years in a massive corporation, going to a startup is a freeing experience.

  2. Pivot. PIVOT. The benefit of a small company, is being able to gain new experience out of your comfort zone. Because there are so few people, you often get given opportunities that do not exist in a large organisation.

  3. Having a say in the direction of engineering. Creating something from scratch. Launching a product from start to finish.

The reality, and this goes for any job change, is that you choose your current move in order to enable the move after this one. I tried to ensure that I picked a startup opportunity that moved me in the right direction. Specifically I wanted to have day to day experience in “big-data” and object oriented programming.

The money aspect, ah, well there’s always a possibility of making money if you IPO or get acquired, I guess. Remember that most startups fail, so why are you special? Don’t forget about the pay cut you will take on going to the startup, which if not in salary, certainly includes bonus and pension (401k) benefits. So then as you bleed lost earnings, you should certainly not move thinking it’s some “get rich quick” scheme.

Finding the startup

Ideally, the startup is with people you know; more on that in the next post; but if you’ve exhausted your circle, then other than the normal job search sites, there’s a couple of possibilities:

  1. Make your LinkedIn a perfect profile.
    • Subscribe to premium.
    • Ensure it says you are looking for new opportunities.
    • This will take some time to generate contacts, but there will eventually be a deluge.
  2. Find recruiters.
    • Reach out to people who’ve just moved and ask them who theirs were.
  3. Trawl the tier-1 VC firms you “like”, and look at their job openings.
    • Go find their recruiters on LinkedIn.

Remember that this is going to be a several months process. Always accept that recruiter on LinkedIn, and always take that call.

Make sure that your Resume/CV is up to date, and ready to be sent to them after you start doing this. You updated it all for the LinkedIn profile anyway, didn’t you…