5 THINGS YOU'LL LEARN FROM WORKING AT A START-UP

  04/09/2016

  Phạm Anh Cường

Working as the Content Marketing Manager at a growing and innovating startup has not only helped advance my career, it has also taught me some valuable lessons. Here are 5 key takeaways that I’ve learned over the past year from working at a startup:

#1: Ask and you will receive: Over time, I’ve learned that you must ask first in order to receive. Working at a startup has highlighted this notion. For instance, if I think that the company’s social media strategy would benefit from investing in a social media platform that focuses primarily on analytics, I will gladly express this to my CMO. I’m not afraid to speak up and ask for certain things that I think would help advance my career development as well–if I think that marketing books and training courses would help, for example, I ask for these things. Startups have created a culture that allows their employees to express their opinions–the outcome is usually positive.

#2: The importance of taking initiative: Working at a startup is great because it allows you to take initiative and make decisions that you think will be beneficial. For example, as part of our marketing efforts, I proposed the idea to host a DevOps meetup at our office. This decision was approved and resulted in a variety of benefits. Hosting this meetup, for instance, allowed us to invite thought leaders and industry experts directly to our office, giving us the chance to network, explain the technology behind our product and learn about other technologies advancing within the industry.

#3: You are always capable of growth: Startups are great for employees looking to grow within their job roles. Working for a startup has provided a foundation to help me grow as a writer by allowing me to work on a variety of marketing materials (user case studies, monthly newsletters, blog posts, etc.). Being able to write about machine learning, DevOps use cases, Big Data and more has provided me with a clear understanding of a variety of topics that are creating a major buzz in the industry.

#4: Learn from others around you: There is so much talent that can be found within a startup–from the engineers, to the product marketing team, to the sales professionals. One thing I’ve learned is to take advantage of the knowledge around you. For example, when I write a customer case study, I can learn more about the use case by asking the sales professional who was involved with that particular customer. Or, if I need help understanding something technical, I don’t hesitate to ask an engineer or product marketing team member. Working at a startup encourages asking others around you for help, not only providing employees with in-house resources, but also creating a culture that’s welcoming and encouraging.

#5: Don’t be afraid to fail: It might be common not to take risks in the workplace, but working at a startup actually encourages employees to try new things. For example, when I first started working at Moogsoft I had an idea to create a company video about how we are disrupting the DevOps industry. I had no prior video creation experience, yet I wanted to test my idea anyways. We created the video, and while it wasn’t the best piece of marketing material we ever made, I was able to still able to gain experience in video creation. The video wasn’t a complete “failure,” yet it wasn’t as successful as I was hoping. I did not feel discouraged, however, as I considered the video to be a “learning experience” that would eventually help me in the future.

Rachel Wolfson
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