Startup Jobs 101 – The Mindset Shift

Published by Team Spottabl on

A startup job isn’t everyone’s preferred career choice. It takes a certain kind of mental make-up and a set of character traits for one to not only survive but also thrive in a startup environment. The circumstances surrounding a startup are unique as compared to corporations. Even among the startups, the work culture differs widely based on their respective growth stage. Making a decision to work with a startup will require some soul searching on your part and this little investment of time can either save you valuable time and effort or it could set you up for the biggest break that you could have dreamed of for your career. If you are looking for top reasons to work at cool startups, read here.

Most startup founders take immense pride in defining the values that their company should stand for. These values essentially make up the DNA of the organization, now and in the future. While some of these top core values differ for each startup, here are the top three traits that most startups value.

  1. Belief & Passion– While this may seem like a cliché and is applicable for literally any job in any industry, this gets amplified in the context of a startup. The challenges and opportunities in a startup environment require one to not just have strong core skills but also tremendous belief and passion towards the idea that you are building and its place in the world. In fact, it would be safe to say that most successful startup founders and employees don’t just see their roles as a job but think of them as a mission. If you can bring this kind of energy to the table besides your core skills, you’ll find that you can do exceedingly well.

    💡 Interview Tip: You are definitely not expected to be bought-in on the company’s vision before you get the job. But make sure you take extra effort to highlight your passion towards your own career goals. It could be a particular technology, a book genre or anything unique that you stand for. Be sure to talk passionately about the same while giving multiple examples. It immensely helps ascertain this core DNA that every startup looks for.
  2. Wearing multiple hats- Startups provide opportunities for an individual to perform different kinds of roles. This experience can be career defining for someone who aims to lead large teams, innovate on new ideas and someday start their own venture. You will not just be required to follow a process but also quite often involved in co-creating these that may well lead to making or breaking the startup! An individual with the mentality of a problem solver and mental flexibility to take on different roles will find themselves constantly stimulated and excited to make things happen in this environment.

    Furthermore, in a startup you are expected to see an opportunity in every difficulty. This is also called a “High Agency” trait in an individual. Follow this twitter thread to understand more. The illustration below sums it up pretty well. Be more like the person in B.



    💡 Interview Tip: Jumping to a solution at every problem might seem enticing; make sure to find various opportunities (not solutions) in those scenarios you are presented with. This means, ask questions; break down the problems and only then present a solution while demonstrating the above trait. Make sure you think outside of your specialty area.
  3. Fail Fast- An idea or a product may have to go through multiple iterations before it turns into a winner in the market. Learning to receive feedback positively and being open to learning can prove to be a very strong asset while performing in a startup. Individuals who are self-assured and have their eyes and ears always open for information are most likely to emerge as successful with results that they can be proud of.

    💡 Interview Tip: Focus on the following two pointers.
    1. Practice the art of listening. This can be easily demonstrated by paraphrasing the interviewers’ questions or comments. Usually start with “Just to rephrase, what you mean to say is …”. 
    2. Secondly, most interviewers would probe you on improving your initial answer. Making a conscious effort of finding faults in your own answer is what needs to be demonstrated.

If you are someone who has shown the above traits and continues to do so, you will find some really exciting opportunities with the top startups that we have curated for you here at Spottabl. Click here to explore the opportunities.

 The Spottabl platform is intelligently designed for you to find the perfect startup story that is in line with your personal career journey. At Spottabl our goal is not just to bring the big and exciting opportunities but to also provide you with the insights that would enable you to make the best of them. Sign up on Spottabl and we will help you get spotted for the best startup jobs.


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