Advantages of working for a startup

Ask any recent college graduate today what their number one worry is and it will no doubt be “getting a job”. Today we are bombarded with the discussion of a failing economy, record unemployment, and the impossibilities of landing a job.

It’s a terrifying thing to face when the past four years your life has consisted of all night study sessions in the library, drunken weekends, and the endless hopefulness of a soon-to-be college graduate.

Graduation papers and a graduation hat

Graduation doesn't guarantee a job

While landing a job is no doubt extremely difficult in today’s society for any individual, there are numerous opportunities available out there for young graduates.

One idea is to apply for jobs at startups and SMEs, rather than applying to those cushy jobs at the major corporations, which are in high demand.

Here are three reasons working for a startup company might be a better choice than that corporate office high-rise.

More Responsibility

Yes, more responsibility means more work, which can also mean more opportunities. Responsibility is a good thing in the working world. Not only will job functions and demands that require more responsibility look better on a resume, it will also make your daily work more interesting and rewarding.

One thing about working in an ‘entry level’ job at a big corporation that can be really discouraging, is how little control and say you often have in the operations of things. At a startup company you will likely be working with a small, close-knit group of individuals.

Startups look for individuals with specific skill sets and drive, that are unique and useful for their specific job description. This means that you will be unique among your peers. You will have a voice within the group that wants to be heard. Much of this has to do with the mere scale of the operations.

At a startup company, operations are small and groups are small – every voice and idea is important. More responsibility means more work, but more work means more experience and more experience means greater rewards – potentially money. The bottom line is that it is easier to move up and forward in a small startup than it is in an established corporate office.

That said, startups often have flatter organisational structures, so there are less chances for promotion than in larger firms.

The Startup Atmosphere

If you’re looking for buttoned down corporate America, a startup is most likely not the right path for you. Due to their size and calibre, most startup companies exude an extremely relaxed atmosphere.

You won’t have to go out immediately after graduation and spend a small fortune on business attire. Typically, jeans and casual wear will cut it at a startup company. Of course, this casual atmosphere isn’t always the case and it will depend on the type of business the startup is involved in. You do get big corporations that have similar relaxed or non existent dress codes too, but it is usually more common among SMEs.

Furthermore, in a startup, the offices are typically small, young, and cohesive, hence the atmosphere in the office is more relaxed. I’m not saying you should count on this and this should not be your sole reason for seeking a job at a startup company, but it certainly can be a perk for a recent college graduate, or anyone who doesn’t like the idea of always having to wear a suit and tie.

Work Will Be Recognized (Good and Bad)

One of the most common complaints you hear from those in the working world is that their constant hard work goes unnoticed. This can be an extremely difficult thing to deal with. Feeling like you are putting in your greatest effort and doing a good job at it, but getting no recognition in return can be extremely disheartening. It seems that big corporations are the biggest offenders for this.

Of course, it can be nearly impossible to give your employees due credit for the hard work when you have hundreds (if not more) of them to oversee.

At a startup company, because numbers are so small and every ounce of work really matters, it is nearly impossible for hard work to go unnoticed. Typically startup employees work in small teams where every task completed is essential and credit is given. Your coworkers and boss know what projects you’ve contributed to.

This is a great way to feel that your work is being recognized and is a wonderful way to stay motivated to do the absolute best job that you can.

If things are noticed when everything goes right, things are certainly noticed when they go wrong as well. This will keep you on your toes, so that you produce work that both you and your employer are proud of.

There are also advantages for working for big corporations, however your personality and preference will determine which you are best suited to work for. Don’t think startups are the answer, but don’t rule them out either!

How To Climb Up The Online Business Mountain

If you have ever participate in an outdoor activity, especially mountain hiking, you will agree with me that it has a lot in common with the strategic steps we ought to go through before expecting rewarding online business success.

Just like outdoor activities start from recording a list of the necessary gear to use, succeeding in online business also involves a strategic approach of proper self organization, from getting the required working materials to effective time management.

Even while there is already a lot of fun in working from home, it also comes with some time and self management challenges which often keep most of us from climbing up the online business mountain and achieving total control and freedom.

On top of a snow covered mountain

Climb the mountain to online business success

For an effective approach towards achieving online business success, we have to pay attention to the following:

Effective Time Management

This is the most important factor that determines the level we can reach as online business owners. Ineffective time management can ruin our progress and deter us from achieving the great heights. For effective time management, we need to:

Schedule our time: Doing the dishes, laundry, coking and some other household activities are going to steal your business time, if you don’t schedule them wisely.

It is true that these activities are necessary and have to be done, but you will be more productive both at your family duties and at your online business, if you schedule special periods in the day for everything you need to do in the house and for your online business as well.

Once it is the time for each of them, leave every other thing you are doing and focus on them. This will improve your concentration and ensure you accomplish more.

While these activities are inevitable, there are others, like online chats with friends, online videos and their likes are total time-suckers and should be avoided.

Stop procrastination: Once you have fixed activities for the day, don’t shift one to the next minute. If it is time to get something done, get it done. I learn this the hard way, but it is good you know that every minute of the day comes with some needs. Shifting any activity to the future will pile up with loads of other activities and eventually will overwhelm you.

Working place and passion for your job

It is critical to love your work and be able to do it in a nice and cozy place. For effectiveness in online business we need to:

Create a space and keep it organized: Even though you work from home, getting a separate office for your business will make you take it more seriously and ensure that you accomplish something on daily basis. Also, properly organizing your working space will ensure that it doesn’t repel your interest but instead, lure you to work.

Love what you do and let the others be aware too: Tell your family and friends that even though you stay at home, certain periods of the day are dedicated to your online business. They will respect this fact only when they see how bold and serious you are, and how important this is for you; hence you need to show them that commitment.

Measure your success and reward yourself: Most times, many online business owners lose hope and give up when they feel that nothing is working. Even that period is important, because you have found methods that don’t really work and you just need to concentrate to do things differently. However, find a way to measure your success, even if it is the little things you accomplish in your day, and reward yourself for that by taking yourself out, watching your favorite TV series, etc.

With all these been cleared up, you have built a strategic plan and you’re ready to go. Pack your backpack with all these necessary gear and with determination hit the trail to online business success. The path won’t be easy, but you will be prepared.

5 tips to help you recruit the right people online

Using the internet to recruit new employees for business has become the norm in a very short space of time. For people working in creative industries the internet is an indispensable tool and subsequently online recruitment appears a natural step in order to reach out to target markets.

Twitter, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn shown in browser windows

The internet has quickly become essential at recruiting the right people for your business.

Recruiting on the internet gives companies and candidates alike a great opportunity to secure the ideal employees and find themselves an exciting new job. Here are five tips to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access and recruit top talent for their organisations.

Use social networking sites such as LinkedIn

Career-focused networking sites such as LinkedIn are a goldmine of information for growing small businesses. It is a great way of viewing profiles of successful employees and entrepreneurs and engaging in discussion regarding their availability and/or interest in your vacant roles.

Many candidates choose to make their LinkedIn profile public, meaning they are indexed by search engines and can therefore be found in Google when searching for a particular type of candidate.

Extend your recruitment reach via job boards and online agencies

Don’t be afraid to submit your vacant positions across a number of online recruitment agencies and job boards. Instead of simply placing an advertisement in a magazine or newspaper, extend your reach online with the potential of millions of views rather than thousands a month offline.

A vast percentage of employers use the internet daily, almost exclusively and the ability to have your vacant positions online within literally minutes improves the efficiency of your recruitment campaign.

Reduce cost-per-hire and retain flexibility

One of the biggest challenges facing HR managers is to reduce the cost-per-hire within their company whilst at the same time maintaining the quality of new talent. It is said that companies who use online recruitment technologies save up to 90% more than those who use traditional recruitment agencies and methods. Online recruitment enables recruiters to streamline recruitment campaigns, whilst promoting the company’s brand and values to a wider, more diverse talent pool.

Recruit using your own company website

Depending on how your company website is built you may be able to advertise careers and vacancies through your own content management system (CMS). Your company website should explicitly portray the vision and values of your company and is one of the most underrated ways to advertise for new talent. Remember, your own website is your time to shine to new recruits as well as new clients.

Use Facebook to develop your professional identity

Facebook is increasingly used as an online recruitment tool, with platforms and solutions for small businesses recruiting via Facebook. Workplace groups, advertisements and profiles can be created to generate discussion about your company as well as encourage applications for vacant roles.

Now is the time to embrace online recruitment and social networking both as a research tool and as a cost-effective way of connecting users and potential employees to add value to your business.