Landing a Job in Tech: Is Start-Up Life for You?

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This is the fifth piece in our ongoing series, Landing a Job in Tech, fueled by Nitro’s own Talent Team.

Consider the following: Consistent pinging and ponging from the table tennis room. Long hours. Pony kegs. Continuous refining of the business model. Graffiti splattered décor. Being empowered to conceptualize and implement your own ideas with lots of runway given by senior management.

Life at a start-up is different than cubicle-laced, jeans-on-Friday’s-only companies. Before you make the decision to enter the epitome of the “work hard, play hard” environment, find out if start-up life is place you’ll thrive.

The one constant in a start-up is change

By nature, start-ups are fluid—they are founded with the purpose of developing and tweaking their business model. In these “pivots” nothing is off limits, from product to strategy to mission. For example, YouTube started off as a video-dating website, Tune In Hook Up—then pivoted to become the video sharing site we now know.

Even employees pivot

Working at a start-up means accepting that everything you know about the business might be turned on its head—and your role can pivot, too. Take Nitro’s own Spencer Jenkins.

Two and a half years ago, Spencer interviewed with Nitro for an Inside Sales position, and was offered the job. Fresh out of college, did not want to start his full-fledged adult life in sales. Impressed by Spencer nonetheless, Nitro offered him a different role: Marketing Coordinator. Spencer quickly grew out of that title, working in a wide range of areas – writing copy, managing social properties, and video tutorial production.

Now, he is responsible for Nitro’s global PR and customer success stories (along with whatever else is handed his way). He says his progression has improved his work. “Staying versatile in my job and having a fairly fluid role has helped me think quicker on my feet and make better decisions, not to mention helping the team wherever I can.” His team player attitude solidified his success at a start-up that has scaled into a mid-sized company.

More change is inevitable  

When a start-up finds itself somewhere between being bootstrapped and being acquired (or traded publically), more change is afoot. Call it a company’s adolescence, call it scaling—whatever you choose, it means shedding some of the start-up nature of the organization. Positions become more focused, management structures are established and adhered to, and there is far less, if any, pivoting. Still though, the atmosphere remains saturated in a work hard, play hard mentality.

If a scaling company sounds like the right fit for you, check out Nitro’s open careers – we’re growing, and we’re looking for talented and PDF passionate people like you!


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