If you are driven by the need to create, a startup may be the place for you. But the thrills are conditional. To survive long enough to get to the prize you need brains, sweat, luck, persistence and a tolerance of near-starvation and chronic lack of sleep. Building a company from the ground up is sort of like the rush one gets from sky-diving. Adrenaline junkies know there is a risk the parachute will not open. And yet they still jump. If you understand the risks and you still want to jump, here’s how:
ATDC companies post positions on their websites, the Georgia Tech College of Computing Job Opportunities Board, the ATDC job board, and Career Buzz. Only Georgia Tech students and alumni have access to Career Buzz. ATDC.org and the College of Computing’s online job boards are available publicly.
Network, Network, Network
Or you could just hang out at the Tech Square Starbucks and start-up a conversation. Chances are good you’ll be talking to an entrepreneur, investor, or employee of an ATDC company.
What to Expect
ATDC companies, like most start-ups, need people who are versatile, hard-working, and willing to forgo industry-average salaries for the chance of a bigger payoff later. Demonstrate that you can make things happen. Construct your resume to highlight results and how you took initiative in prior positions. Be aware that some companies are able to pay salaries and benefits; others can only offer equity for your time. Show flexibility in your compensation requirements. Know ahead of time what you absolutely must have in terms of salary, benefits, and equity and be prepared to negotiate if asked about your expectations.
Start-up companies are cautious about hiring. A personnel mistake at a large company is a nuisance; a personnel mistake at a startup is a disaster. To quell fears, you might offer to setup a trial employment period of three months or so, after which you and the company re-evaluate whether the relationship is working. Demonstrating creativity and flexibility may help you earn credibility and good will.
Startups need dedicated, hard-working people to help them succeed. If you fit the bill and enjoy a dynamic, fast-paced environment, take the leap with an ATDC startup today.