Boston Startup School: Dating for hackers and startups

Thursday Feb 14, 2013 by Shaun Johnson - Co-Founder, Boston Startup School

Around Valentine’s Day you tend to see people looking for love everywhere they go. But what about a job they’ll love? At Boston Startup School, we’re playing cupid and have a few arrows in our quiver to help you discover your one true calling. Here are a couple tips on how to fall head over heels in love with a career in startups and how to avoid the potential heartbreak and hassle.

Falling In Love
Just like dating, the best thing to do when getting into the startup scene is get out there. Whether you are ready to settle down into a salary plus equity startup, or just playing the field as a freelancer, you have to be in it to win it. There are many different options to suit your needs, from startup career fairs, to speed dating equivalents, even services akin to escort agencies. Go with whatever floats your boat, but be sure to pick the right setting for the outcome you’re looking for.

Staying in Love
Being in a relationship isn’t easy. It takes hard work and commitment to stay in love. While the number one reason for interpersonal break ups may be communication, my guess is the number one reason people fall out of love with their jobs is the lack of challenge.

Always be growing and contributing. Finding opportunities to gain the skills for tomorrow’s economy will keep you stay sharp and in demand. It will also keep you on your toes and in a position where there’s always something new to master, or some challenge (and opportunity) to take on. This is a good thing no matter what your career status is.

Avoiding Heartbreak
As a developer, the good news is, you are in high demand. Like, extremely high. The bad news is, the signal to noise ratio you’ll receive with career prospects will be the exact inverse. Don’t believe me? Go to you nearest meetup and announce that you are open to exploring new startup opportunities and coding for free...queue stampede.

At any rate, having a filter to separate the viable positions at startups can be tough. Name recognition is one way to do it, but it prevents you from being a meaningful part of something early. Rely on your network or another trusted actor to help you select what’s right for you, all while keeping the trolls at bay.

At Boston Startup School, we provide you with the network, skills and access to be immediately effective in the startup you’ll join. In the Web Development track specifically, we take folks like you, whether cowboy coder or pragmatic programmer and equip you with fundamental skills, access to resources across the startup community, and opportunities to join a startup team you’ll love.  All in an intensive 8-week experience.

You’ll have to be honest with yourself and what you are looking for. Is it a career in startups, or a corporation, or freelancing gigs? If you are looking for early career upside and acceleration, let us be your matchmaker.

Shaun Johnson is a Co-Founder of Boston Startup School.  You can follow Shaun on Twitter (@idealexit) by clicking here.

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