3 Mantra’s To Rock Your Startup Job

Ok so you did your homework on the company, convinced the team you’re a genius and owned the interview that got you your first startup job. But… now what do you do?

Startups are notorious for hiring fast and firing fast. Just because you got the job doesn’t mean you’re safe because most companies need someone that’s going to jump in on the first day and hit the ground running. Here’s three mantras I’ve kept that has helped me be successful at all my previous start up gigs:

1.       Don’t be afraid to say no– There’s a lot to do in a start up company and there’s always a project you could be working on. But don’t be afraid to be honest about your skillset and to only take projects on that you know you can accomplish.

2.       Google- Nothing says you’re not resourceful like asking a question that you could have easily found the answer to on your own. If you’re not sure of a technical solution or which competitor just announced a funding round- Google it! Then go ahead and ask about what you couldn’t find online.

3.       Ask for forgiveness, not permission- A common motto among many early stage employees and rightfully so. Finish what you were paid to do and if you still have energy find something else that adds value. If it works you’re a hero, and if it doesn’t you’re a go-getter!

A couple quick stories:

My first startup job was as an unpaid intern for a digital co-creation platform. My job was to attract users and populate the site with as many ideas as possible. One of my ideas ended up being picked up by our client and I ended up working for them too. I balanced both and came out of it with an awesome experience in Costa Rica, some money in the bank and a boat load of social media experience.

The initial role in my last startup job was as a campus rep for an education technology company. I ended the summer by killing my beta test quota, representing them in Mass Challenge and being their biz dev lead. All because I made it a point to keep my job description flexible and helped out however I could.

So go ahead and be a hooligan to every problem. Don’t stop asking insightful questions and keep your job description flexible. You’ve been given a shot at creating something awesome so milk it for all its worth!

Disagree or agree with any of the points? Have another mantra you’ve learned to live by? Share them in the comments!

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