This guest blog is written by Serena Taylor from Talentpool.
Working in a startup can be an incredible opportunity to learn new skills and gain lots of experience very quickly. This is because when working in smaller, newer companies you’ll find you are given much more responsibility than you would have in larger, more traditional firms. This can be great – but bear these skills in mind if you want to avoid the feeling that you’ve just been thrown into the deep end and have no clue what you’re doing
Being able to work autonomously, using your initiative
While being able to use your initiative is a key skill that any employer would look for, it is especially important when working at startups. With only a few people doing a huge range of roles it may at first feel daunting to have responsibility when you have limited experience. It’s unlikely that the team will leave you completely in the dark, but you do need to try to solve problems on your own, in order to avoid taking up a significant proportion of other people’s time and adding to their workload. You should be able to balance using your initiative to solve issues when they arise with asking questions when you get really stuck.
Having good attention to detail
As with any job it’s important to take care when completing tasks to avoid making unnecessary errors. Again, due to the likelihood of more responsibility given to you in a startup you should to strive to complete tasks to a very high standard. This is especially true if you’re creating content for their startup or doing their social media. Your input really counts in a startup, especially if the company in its founding stages, so make sure that you have a clear idea about what the task entails before you start it.
Completing your work to a high standard is also vital if you want to have good references from your manager and generally excel in your career!
Start-ups and SMEs succeed when the company is founded on good business ideas. So if you’re thinking about joining this type of company you too need to have a few ideas about how the company can improve. Although there are range of different levels of startups, with some that are newly established and fighting to survive, and some more established with a number of clients, they all need to continually evaluate on their progress and what they could be doing better or differently in order to be successful.
It is likely you will be asked to give feedback on current campaigns so it’s a good idea to come prepared with some research on the company and how it operates.
ECC comment: Thanks Serena for writing this blog. Talentpool are a recruitment platform that matches final year students and graduates with job and internship opportunities in startups and SMEs.