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How to Find a Startup Job That Won’t Suck the Life Out of You

It’s spooky season, but there’s nothing spookier than realizing your job — That thing you spend about 40 hours a week doing — is slowly but surely sucking the life out of you. Let’s face it; work is work… But it doesn’t mean you should be stuck in something that feels like it’s draining you. However, when you’re in the market for a new job, it seems like everyone is putting their best foot forward, plus a lot of businesses are scarily good at marketing. We have a few tips for cutting through the marketing shine to figure out where you want to work. Here’s how to find a startup job that won’t suck the life out of you.  

 

1. Pay attention to the company culture

Oftentimes, your gut will tell you what you need to know — Just like when you watch the main character of a horror movie walk into a dark room without turning the lights on. If you go for an interview and things feel off… You might not want to work there. Try to chat with other employees before or after your interview to get an honest report of what it’s like to work there. Good work culture should be palatable when you walk into the office (or virtually join the team)! If you’re doing an online interview, make sure you read reviews online for the company, including the employer’s responses. It will often give you invaluable insight into what to expect. When it comes to company culture, take a page out of millennials’ books: They prioritize culture fit over most other job factors.  

 

“Company culture is often overlooked — and yet among the most important criteria for evaluating a job offer.” — Harvard Business Review

 

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most important red flags to be on the lookout for. BEWARE the bad company culture. 

 

2. Listen to the interview questions they ask   

How a company interviews you can be very telling about numerous factors. It shines a light on their expectations, culture (see above), the role you’ll fill, and what they are looking for from you. It can also show you if they’ve updated their hiring practices and are looking at hiring for diversity and inclusivity. If they’re still asking these four questions, you might want to lace up those running shoes.  

However, the interview alone might not tell you everything you want to know, so keeping your spidey senses firing throughout the process is essential. About 60% of respondents on a survey said their job was not what they expected after the interview process. 

 

 3. Look for longevity 

While the immortality of vampires can be a little freaky, you do want to work for a startup that has the potential to last. Nothing sucks the life out of you more than being in an endless job-hunting cycle. 😱 Triplebyte walks you through how to decide if a startup is the right type of company for you and then what to look for to know if it has a chance at success. If a company is going down, they may start working their employees extensively to desperately try to stay afloat, draining them for all they’re worth. So, while it may seem like a lot of research to conduct when simply taking a shot at a job, the payout of landing a long-term position and escaping the job hunt maze is worthwhile.  

 

 

4. Analyze the job descriptions

This is where the sneaky powers of marketing come into fruition: The job description. While sometimes short and vague, a job description will tell you a lot about what the company actually expects from you. “An exciting, fast-paced environment” likely means you’re expected to juggle many things and be highly available. Some people thrive in those environments, and other people don’t. Every job description is laced with beliefs and priorities that they may not be forthcoming with otherwise. You need to take the old saying “read between the lines” seriously here and decipher what they’re really saying. It could save your life… Er… Work-life balance. Read more about what we mean in this blog post. 

 

5. Look for pay transparency  

You want a salary discussion that’s like a ghost — Transparent. Look for job descriptions that include the expected salary, so you’re not wasting your time with an interview process that leads to a disappointing bottom line. About 79% of respondents in a recent study said they wanted pay transparency from their employers. With it becoming a benefit for businesses to do so, you’ll see more and more jobs popping up that do exactly that. So, if you’re entertaining a place that seems to withhold information about salary and compensation, feel free to politely decline the next step especially if you feel other components already aren’t the right fit. A culture built on honesty, trust, and transparency will likely be the healthier bet in the long run. Just make sure you don’t ghost them.  

Wondering what we tell employers when it comes to pay transparency? Check out this blog post we wrote and why we think it’s essential. 

 

6. Become the stalker 

55% of businesses use social media to decide if they want to hire someone, so why not turn the tables? A little bit of light stalking when it comes to a potential employer is encouraged. Most businesses have social media these days, which can tell you a lot about the company culture. It also helps you discover their values, see other employee experiences, and view the type of information and content they provide to their valued clients and potential customers. All of this adds reassurance to that culture fit tip from above. Plus, you can ensure they follow and engage with other companies, people, and groups you agree with. If you’re unsure where to start, check out this past blog post that covers all the basics of what to look for in a potential employer’s posts.  

 

7. Don’t wait forever  

By the time you’re extended a job offer, you shouldn’t feel like the crypt keeper. How a potential employer communicates throughout the hiring process indicates what you can expect once you’re on the team. If you felt disrespected at all throughout, it’s unlikely to get better! Ultimately, they’ll be digging their own graves in the job-seeking world. Especially in a job-seekers market, don’t wait forever while a company makes a decision. 

 

Whether you’re a seasoned job seeker or are brushing off the cobwebs to begin the hunt anew, the thought of landing a life-leeching job should give you the heebie-jeebies. There’s nothing worse than landing a role that slowly sucks the life out of you. Avoid becoming a worker-zombie and follow these tips to make sure that you make a good decision on if the startup life is the life for you. As always, drop us a line if you’re stuck and check out our other resources.  

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