How and why you should want to get hired by a start-up

By Neil Patrick

Warning: This post is an announcement (but doesn't contain nuts)

Not all start-ups look like this. Fortunately. Photo credit: Erin Siegal

Start-up activity in the US has been slowing since the explosion of the 80s and 90s which ultimately prepared the way for Google. Amazon, Uber, Facebook and many more of today’s biggest employers. But these giants of tech are by no means the only types of businesses which are creating jobs. Across all sectors, start-ups are springing up everywhere.

Meanwhile Twitter, Intel and Microsoft are shedding jobs – looking more like the disrupted than the disruptors.

But not all start-ups are tech companies, and not all tech companies are start-ups.

So the news about start-ups can be very confusing and off-putting for job-seekers. Yet I contend that it shouldn’t be so.

Start-ups don’t need to be successful for people to acquire hugely valuable skills and earn money.

I haven’t written a huge amount about start-ups. Which on reflection is odd, since I have been a founder of three so far, including the biggest ever venture capital funded start-up in the UK.

So I’m delighted to announce my new column about this topic which is being hosted by the very wonderful is probably the most comprehensive online information resource for job-seekers available today. It was founded in 1998 by career expert Susan Joyce, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a recent Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management

My friend Patricia Frame (also a contributor to introduced me to Susan Joyce at several weeks ago and we soon got talking about the subject of jobs at start-ups. Not only have I not written much about it, neither has anyone else it seems!

Which is doubly odd, because no business columnist can seem to stop writing about entrepreneurs, disruption and digital businesses. But the mainstream media are obsessed with the entrepreneur hero archetype, whereas I'm  more interested in the people that work in start-ups rather than just the people that start and lead them.

Anyway, the outcome was that I accepted Susan’s invitation to write a column at about the reality of working for a start-up. What it’s like. How to get hired by one and how to excel in this unique and exciting work environment.

And critically, how to tell the next superstars from the lemons.

Start-ups are not just for boys with beards, they are for everyone.

I honestly think there are way too many myths, assumptions and prejudices about start-ups which are hurting both job-seekers and employers.

It’s time to re-evaluate things and I hope this new column will assist people who are more interested in working for the disruptors than the disrupted.

If you want to know why, and how you can turn the risks to your advantage, head over to my new column at here, and find out.

See you there.

P.S. My weekly ramblings will continue as usual here.

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