We’re celebrating 20 years of magic this week--the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is upon us! You and your co-workers have definitely been influenced in some way by J.K. Rowling’s literary wizardry (whether you like it or not). There may or may not be a few of us in the startup world who grew up with Harry Potter, who considered themselves a part of Dumbledore’s Army. Some of us might want to name our future children after Severus Snape. Maybe we wrote our honors theses on Harry Potter.
So, in celebration of this hallowed anniversary, here are some important lessons we learned from The Boy Who Lived (and his squad) that you can apply to your new startup job if you want to win those 10 points for Gryffindor.
We get it. Bosses can be some of the most intimidating people in your life. As we’ve all experienced during our time being the youngest, smallest fish in our workplace ecosystems, it’s all too easy to freeze up and communicate awkwardly and ineffectively with your boss, particularly if you really envy their position and experience. But talking to your superiors shouldn’t have to feel like you’re toeing the line with a drill sergeant or translating hieroglyphs in real-time. That’s why we’ve thought up a few strategies to take you from workplace Urkel to office Fonzi in no time at all.
If you melt into a giant pile of feels and goo every time you see a pupper, we’re right there with you. Dogs don’t care if you forget to wash the dishes or pay the cable bill, and they don’t care if you spend days without showering or wear the same shirt four days in a row. They love you unconditionally for you, and that’s why we love them back. So it should come as no surprise that there are startups out there that set out to improve the lives of all the floofers and woofers, smol and lorge.
Being young is awesome. You (hopefully) have fewer responsibilities, you’re bounding with energy, and you don’t need to ask your younger coworkers how to convert next week’s presentation into a PDF. But it also has its downsides; you’re often taken less seriously because you’re young and inexperienced. It’s not uncommon for older folk to think of you as lazy and over-protected just because you’re a millennial. Apparently, baby boomers were given explosives as play toys--hence the name.
While the stereotypes attached to millennials are false, reductive, and, quite frankly, condescending (millennials are recognized as the hardest working and most well-educated generation in history), we have no choice but to work with the cards that we've been dealt. Here are some tips to make sure that no matter who you meet, you'ill be taken seriously and given the respect you deserve.
Let’s state the obvious: job hunting is kinda hard. No matter how accomplished you are, you’re inevitably going to get a whole portfolio of rejections. This is the first time you’ve received this many rejections in a row since joining Tinder. You might have started to doubt yourself. You might be experiencing lower self-esteem. But what if we told you that rejections are a normal part of the job search? It’s important that you find a way to stay positive and not let those rejections get to you. As Rocky Balboa once said “Life isn’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
Drones are quickly becoming the hot new commodity of 2017. From taking awe-inspiring photos to enhancing the safety of civilians, startups are creating drones that can do just about anything and everything. Within the next few years, you’ll have drones dropping off pizza at your doorstep and taking out your trash. Startups are proving that drones aren’t just one-trick ponies, and they’re coming up with new and innovative ways to use them to solve society’s day-to-day problems.
If you ever wanted to work at a drone-related company, now is your chance-- no technical skills necessary! We’ve compiled some of our favorite drone startups from around the country. Every company on this list is hiring for nontechnical positions, so no matter what your background is, there’s a company in this list with a job for you!
Social media is great for documenting some of the best and coolest moments in our lives. But while we might look back at our photos and tweets and laugh at the things we did, potential employers might look at them and go “aw HELL no.” We’re talking about that photo of you when you were clearly plastered at 11pm in the pub, or that snarky tweet you sent mocking that one company or celeb after a PR blunder. Believe us, we’ve all been there, and it’s okay if you’ve done these things. The problem is that first impressions matter, and if your employer’s first impression of you is negative, they’re not likely to spend any more time on your application. Employers aren’t like your friends who understand what your lifestyle was like. They don’t know that you’re a very kind and helpful person 99% of the time. All they know is what they saw online when they went to see if you were a real person.
Have you ever worried that you don’t quite fit the description of someone who works at a startup? Are you secretly afraid that you’re destined for corporate life because you just can’t seem to nail the interview process? Do you have questions about startup life that you’re too afraid to ask? Well--worry no longer, because we’re not ashamed to ask those questions (and then some) to get the intel for you!
We’re so lucky we got the chance to pick the brains of some awesome hiring managers at very cool companies (including SeatGeek, Zola, Sweeten, CourseHorse, and LiveLike!) last month during the Breaking Into Startups panel, hosted by Planted and General Assembly. The panelists shared with us the things they had wished they’d known when they were making their moves into the startup world.
Feel like you push the snooze button a few too many times and dread morning small talk with your coworkers, no matter how much sleep you got? If that sounds like you, you’re not alone. Tons of people struggle finding the connection and motivation they seek in their career, and it can start to spiral. When you’re in a rut like this, loving your job sounds like the hardest thing ever (probably only second to running a marathon) -- but it’s actually a lot simpler than people think. When you love your job, you’re excited to wake up in the morning and ready to conquer whatever your job throws at you that day. You spend many of your waking moments focused on work, whether you realize it or not, and it’s common for you to replace your #showerthoughts with mapping out next steps on that month-long project you’ve been working on. Beyond all else, loving your job is about finding purpose in what you do and being proud of it. Each workday is basically your daily dose of endorphins!
From our first concert to our first kiss, music holds some of the best memories we have ever made. It should come to no surprise to you that startups are making waves the music scene. Whether you create beats in your apartment or want to find new and upcoming artists in your area (before they’re mainstream, we know), there’s a startup working on making it easier and more accessible for you.
From ticket sales to composing, startups are revolutionizing the way that music is created and shared across the world. Whether you’re into classical music or hip hop, selling or consuming, there is a startup for you! If you’re interested in a career in music, read up on some of our favorite music tech startups in NYC that are hiring for non-technical positions.
We take snacking very seriously -- when you get hangry, it can really feel like a matter of life and death. If that sounds like you too, you know it's best to have good snacks on hand when the munchies strike! Avoiding hanger at all costs is the goal, especially since being well-fed with healthy snacks can fuel your productivity on the job (or the job hunt). If you wait until it sets in, you won't be able to focus on anything besides finding food that satisfies that killer craving. Luckily for you (and us), there are startups dedicated to making sure you never have to go hungry.
Whether you’re into health foods, candies, or smoothies, startups always come up with ways to satisfy! Here are some of our favorites: subscription services that create personalized snack boxes and deliver them to your door, so you can have delicious snacks on hand whenever your stomach starts to growl! Yes please.
Interviews are a lot like a first date. Both can be awkward, nerve wracking, and just downright uncomfortable. By the end, you’re often both emotionally and mentally exhausted, and likely without a job offer (or a second date). But it doesn’t have to be that way! Interviewing doesn’t have to spike your anxiety, and it shouldn’t.
We’ve all been there. You’re at an interview for what you believe is your dream job and then as soon as you sit in front of your interviewer (or pick up the phone), your mind goes blank. You stutter. You sweat. If you’re lucky, you’ll come off as high-strung. If you’re not, you’ll come off as incompetent. We have all had interviews like that -- so what can you do before your next interview besides “be yourself” to help yourself stay calm and collected? Well, quite a lot actually! Here are some of our favorite pre-interview hacks to put your anxiety to rest. Whether you have an interview or a first date coming up, these should help drop kick your anxiety and make a great first impression!
As a college student, you’re gaining a wealth of skills and knowledge about the world, especially in relation to your major. But let's face it -- you might not necessarily use everything you have learned in the classroom in real life, and years from now you might wish you had a class on how to do taxes or choose a health insurance plan... things we still might be figuring out. There are some skills, however, that you can pick up both in and out of the classroom, and we think you need to master 'em before you get your diploma. These skills are more than just the baseline for adulting -- they're the qualities that will help you achieve the success you crave. College student or not, make sure you can check these indispensable tools off your list before heading into your next job hunt or professional setting.
If you’re an introvert, the whole concept of networking probably isn’t your cup of tea. Even if you feel like you’d rather do just about anything other than forced small talk with strangers, it doesn’t have to be a nightmare! Believe it or not, there are tons of ways to play to your strengths and interests, which means networking can be an actually enjoyable experience. You just have to find the strategy that works for you, and you can make the experience a productive and pleasant one (even if you’d rather be home with your cat). Plus, other people might feel just as nervous as you, and would love it if someone else made the first move! Whether its at speed networking, a happy hour meetup, or a job fair, the next connection you make could be your next mentor, or even your next boss. Here’s your cue to stop overthinking it and introduce yourself so you can start schmoozing with the best of ‘em.
Once upon a time you could just sit down and crank out a 6 page essay in eight hours, no problem. Now, it takes you eight hours just to write your name down on your senior thesis... which also happens to be due in 48 hours. If you look around, you’ll see you’re not alone -- senioritis is a disease that affects millions of college students world wide, and you’re just joining the ranks of classmates facebooking in the library (or avoiding the library all together). Don’t get us wrong, getting it together isn’t always easy (and you're definitely allowed to have a little fun), but it’s not impossible -- even second semester. No matter what stage of senioritis you’re in (or if you’ve been working for years but you still feel it because we feel that v deeply), our favorite tips can prevent you from becoming just another college cliche!