How Do I Get A Job With A Startup?

A reader sent me an email several weeks ago with this question:

I have always wanted to work for a small start up that was growing form 8 to 20 people, but I never know where to find them. Everyone hears about the big companies and I can search Craigslist and Monster, but what is the best way to find small, fast growing companies? I always hear about them too late.

It’s a great question and I’ll attempt to give you all some pointers on this question.

First of all Craigslist is a good resource for startup jobs. Most startups don’t want to pay listing fees so I would venture to guess that more startup jobs are on Craigslist than any other job board.

But why search Craigslist when you can search Indeed.com?  Full disclosure – Indeed is one of our portfolio companies, but its value proposition is undeniable. One search, all jobs. But it doesn’t stop there. You can subscribe to Indeed job searches via RSS.  When that plum startup job hits Craigslist, you’ll be alerted via Indeed. I have no idea why everyone who is looking for a job doesn’t use Indeed.

I asked the Indeed team if they could create a custom search term for startup jobs and they did just that this past weekend.  So now, if you enter the word startup in the Indeed search (just like this), you’ll get only startup jobs. You can still filter by location, job type, etc as well. Hopefully, that will be great help to everyone looking to join a startup.

But waiting for the job to be listed isn’t enough. You need to become part of the "startup community" in the area you live in. In NYC, there are a bunch of networking events like the NYC Tech Meetup, NextNY, and a number of other networking opportunities. Go to them.  Meet people, build relationships, let people know you are looking for a young company to be part of. It won’t take long before you start getting calls and emails.

But a word to the wise, be picky about what startup you join. Do your homework.  Ask around about the founders. Ask the company about their funding situation. Make sure you meet more than the boss before you take the job. Find out what it is like to work there before you take the job.  Because as my former partner Jerry Colonna likes to say, "all startups are dysfunctional families". But if you get the right one, its the most fun you can have in a work situation. I am sure of that.