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Stefan RipplerStefan Rippler is the editor and author of several career books. Journalistic experience gained with the local press, later with Burda, Bertelsmann, Bauer and Springer. He is currently the editor-in-chief of the DIY and living magazines from Selbermachen Media GmbH and, on a part-time basis, runs one of the largest job exchanges for social media managers, berufsziel-socialmedia.de. In his spare time he likes to read philosophical and non-fiction books, is out and about with his camera or jogging and enjoys nature - preferably in the mountains.

3 X 5 Tips on applying for and starting a career in the startup: Applicants must be aware of this!

A young French woman is currently causing a stir in ZEIT, who has worked in 12 Berlin startups and says: Hip work culture - all bullshit. Working in startups has advantages - if you find the right company. 3 X 5 selection tips.

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Startups are job engines

Startup companies are often seen as the bright pioneers of a new, better working world. The Frenchwoman Mathilde Ramadier has worked in 12 Berlin startups and reported on it ZEIT ONLINE. Her sobering conclusion: “Participation, Sense and responsibility are nothing but bad promises. ”

The sometimes violent comments on the post show that there is at least a need for discussion. Because startups already employ an average of 3,5 employees in the first year. In comparison: 0,8 positions are offered by “regular” companies after being founded in the first year. In other words: Innovation means growth and needs motivated high potentials who live the idea of ​​the start-up, drive product development, react flexibly to challenges and have fun making decisions.

Innovation is risk

Sure: innovation can mean success - Google, Facebook and Co. all started as startups. Who doesn't want to be part of the next big thing? But an application for and the everyday job in the start-up scene differ significantly from the medium-sized or corporate world. What startup applicants and employees should know.

Innovation is also risk. Each day in the startup looks different. You do tasks and projects, of which you have never heard before - and in part despite the lack of expertise. In the background the pressure of investors - not to mention overtime.

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Startup Jobs: Top alternative to corporate career

How do you know if starting a startup is really worthwhile for one? Where can you find good positions? What are the specific requirements of a startup job? How do you establish yourself in the startup company and gain influence in the team? And is one the right type for such an unconventional career perspective?

Particularly young people are showing a steadily dwindling interest in the cooperation in corporations and are looking for innovative job opportunities created by the strong upheavals of the digital revolution in the labor market.

Startup employees are tinkering with the future of the company

Startups all over the world promise a new kind of lifestyle that does not exist in traditional and established companies. The independent work, flat hierarchies and room for creativity attract many of these people to pursue their career path in a startup company.

But they are not only working on their own careers, but also on the future of the society in which they live, if not on the way of life of many people in a global context. It's about making a difference; to create something big. Something that changes the world. And in a startup, this claim is not even so outlandish, considering that many new technologies have fundamentally changed the way we live.

There is no guarantee for success!

What can also be seen as an advantage for cooperation in start-ups: the people who are encountered in young companies are often the visionaries of our time, the rebellious, the brave, who want to do everything better, and therefore services and goods from the ground up rethink and revolutionize. These people often work together across national borders.

However, reality also shows that there is no guarantee of success in the startup world. While some startup companies, such as Airbnb and Spotify, are successful globally and generating millions of dollars, there are a considerable number of startups who simply can not make it and fail. This aspect should also be taken into consideration if you decide to pursue a career path in the startup world. It is essential to understand what you need to engage and hire to make the startup successful as well as successful and smart in shaping your own career path.

5 benefits of career in a startup

If you want to find out if the work in the startup is something for yourself, then you have to weigh carefully. The advantages at a glance.

  1. Much responsibility and decision-making authority: Ownership is a key skill expected from every member of the startup's team. The opportunity for employees in small teams to be able to achieve a great deal in a special way fundamentally distinguishes startups from traditional companies. “Just do it” - that is often the motto, which is also taken very seriously in this sense. This definitely requires a little courage. You have to take on unexpected challenges and areas of responsibility and try out yourself. However, this will not always be successful. The support from the founders is particularly necessary here.
  2. A high learning curve: Learn from mistakes - fail fast. This is important, as is the mantra learning by doing. A “trial and error” mentality is indispensable, since many processes and structures are not yet available in startups and you are often active in fields of work that you actually have no idea about. It means “doing and learning” - learning on the job.
  3. A special team culture with flat hierarchies: Flat hierarchies are also a feature of startups, which characterizes the workplace and is often classified as positive. Often the entire team, including the founders, sits in an office or office. It also happens that employees work independently of the location. In each case, the interchange is uncomplicated and usually digital.
  4. On the work result it depends: This is often the motto of success: It is not important which hierarchy concept is particularly popular in the management literature, or which hierarchical models were often practiced before 50 years. Only the concrete results of work are relevant.
  5. Quick career opportunities: The work motivated in a startup, because you can see very quickly and directly the results of your own work. These results, in turn, are often perceived and often celebrated by team members, unlike in large companies. In startups you work in a very performance-oriented environment. Due to the proximity to the managers, motivation and output are directly seen, often promoted and also rewarded. This creates the possibility to rise in much smaller time windows than would be possible in larger companies.

5 disadvantages of the career in a startup

Working in start-ups does not only bring advantages. Of course, disadvantages must also be taken into account before deciding on the startup job.

  1. Poor (re) pay and little security: It is no secret that the start-up life provides little or no collateral for all the opportunities it offers. This is mainly due to the lack of revenue and the resulting bad, under-average and sometimes even in individual cases even a lack of remuneration. The decision to work in a startup is and remains a risk.
  2. Little structure, excessive demands and a lack of work-life balance: In start-up companies there is not a few structures due to constant change. It is planned for the youngest to be in the short term - often also because the necessary experience to build immediate structures is simply missing. Missing structures often involve long working hours and overburdening. This is often associated with the accessibility after the evening's work and a lack of work-life balance.
  3. Bad management style: Since the founders are often inexperienced in leadership, the team often suffers from an inadequate management style. This is also visible in the recruiting of the individual members in the team. Job interviews are conducted in an unconventional manner and when selecting personnel, value is placed on rather untypical criteria: Many founders, especially in the initial phase, call on friends and acquaintances to complete their team - for “professional recruiting” there is not enough experience or time.
  4. Lack of reputation: Startups do not have the reputation that established companies enjoy, and are even often ridiculed. You usually work on ideas that hardly anyone else believes outside the startup team, or even worse: visions that are so innovative that they do not really understand anyone yet. It goes with the fact that as a startup employee you often work on ideas that have a great chance of not being successful at all. This can lead to frustration and a feeling of failure.
  5. Bankruptcy and termination: A quite untypical scenario is the start-up insolvency, which can naturally occur with new, innovative company foundations without a securely tested business model. This means that you have to arrange yourself as an employee. It is quite clear that startups often have financial bottlenecks or uncertainties as compared to established and successful companies. Other risks include the termination, which may be attributable to the uncertain or difficult business development of the company. Here too, one must count as an employee. Specifically, in such a case, a certain stress resistance is useful, which is necessary in dealing with risks. This includes its own psychological resilience, which is linked to the general and special uncertainties of the startup life.

5 Selection criteria for startup selection

If the path to a startup future is clear, it's about finding a start-up company that fits your profile. There is a lot to be aware of, because startup is not the same startup - and just to avoid the problems of Mathilde Ramadier, applicants should look carefully.

  1. Attention whitewashing: Whether in an interview or in exchange with (ex-) startup staff (XING, LinkedIn): When you only ever tell the best, you need to be alert. After all, things do not always go smoothly in a startup. Every day there are new challenges to overcome, usually not just small ones but big ones.
  2. Lack of discussion culture: Caution is also advised if there is no culture of discussion - good founders get involved in a dispute, because they are concerned with the matter - the success of the product and finally of the company and not to be a second Mark Zuckerberg. However, if the startup is characterized by arguments, that is not a good sign either - because technical discussions are the one thing, broken founder or employee something completely different.
  3. Important is a good team: A startup needs a well-functioning team in which everyone can rely on each other and not a fragile network of employees with profiling. This means: best to talk to colleagues in advance.
  4. Diversity counts: The smaller the company, the more important the team is very divergent in its composition: the more different skills, experiences, background the individual team members bring, the better.
  5. Also crucial: The fact that the founders can translate their vision into tangible and understandable tasks, which serve the company's strategic purpose. To find out all this, one thing is particularly important: the exchange with (ex) employees and a well-founded discussion with the desired startup.

Where can I startup jobs?

Clear start-up capital, which houses 17 percent of all German start-ups, is and remains Berlin. However, the startup monitor from KPMG reveals that other regions are catching up: the Ruhrpott, especially Dortmund, Düsseldorf and Cologne are pulling with 14,1 percent, followed by Stuttgart / Karlsruhe with just under 9 percent, Munich with 7 percent and Hamburg with slightly more than 6 percent.

From an industrial point of view, all major conglomerates have to be wary of attack by small, powerful startup speedboats: According to a study by the auditing firm Ernst and Young, e-commerce is booming, with 2017 generating some 939 million of risk capital in the first half of the year. This is followed by the fintech industry with about a third of it and then the sectors health, software, automobiles, services, furniture, pets and media.

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8 responses to "3 X 5 tips for applications and a career in a startup: Applicants must pay attention to this!"

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