Work at a startup

Pick the right opportunity for you

Lots of startups ask to list you as a collaborator, intern or expert. Some even write full essays about why you’re a good fit as a co-founder. But remember: your performance doesn’t matter as much as the value they are getting from using you.

Find a job at a startup.

Companies value collaboration the same way they value financial contributions. When we ask people to sign waivers and give up their non-compete clauses, they’re happy to do so. So make sure you are helping companies.

Sign a contract

There is no cost to you for signing a contract, but making sure that it covers all aspects of the job description will make it easier for your manager to use you and you to value the gig. You can sign a non-compete with a top lawyer or an angel investor if you need help.

I recommend not signing a non-compete clause unless you are sure about it. Not only does it make it harder for you to change jobs, but it gives the company something to think about if you do leave, which makes them think twice about hiring someone else.

Ideally, it will be in the form of a non-compete between you and the company, but some employees have created non-compete clauses with the hiring manager for all new hires. So be sure that you are signing your rights away only for the agreed-upon purpose, and not for something you could have done (or not done) at the company.

If the company says you have a non-compete, does it apply to any outside work? No. You don’t get paid for any outside work you might do, and you can’t sign anything for that work unless you are still employed by the company you’re working for.

Note that even if you are fired from a job you worked for, the non-compete can cover you for 2 years, and you can’t sign anything for two years after the termination date. So be sure to decide where to draw the line.

If you aren’t allowed to do any outside work for the job, then you could be using the work that you are doing for the company for work you would be doing for a competitor. Think about it this way: A competitor in every industry has the exact same capabilities as you, so all they are doing is getting cheaper money. The only difference is that you can’t work from home at your employer’s company.

Want a job with big revenue and lots of growth potential? Start high up

If you have no work experience, put your skills and experience on the table when you think about being hired. Companies don’t want people who don’t have a plan. If you start at the bottom, you’ll be afraid to ask for help because you might not get it.

You need to know your title, how to lead and be comfortable with giving advice to your managers.

Don’t just start accepting jobs right away. Take your time. After doing a bunch of research on every startup business, you will have learned the value they are getting from you and how you fit in their company culture.

It might take a couple of months to get through all of these steps. You can’t start working at a startup without financial support or capital. As long as you have these things, you can take the plunge and take your time.

Spend some time doing research on your own

No matter what stage of your startup you are at, you can find a ton of resources to help you figure out how to grow.

Google, ask people, check Reddit, look for opinions. It’ll be easier to find a suitable job for you once you do a proper research.

Have patience, network and research. You’ll find a great job eventually, especially if you’re willing to change cities, get into totally new work environment and simply explore what’s out there.

Written by

CEO Contentyze, the text editor 2.0, PhD in maths, Forbes 30 under 30 — → Sign up for free at

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