If you’re working in the tech sector, hiring at a startup is something you’ve probably considered. Startups are booming in the UK: 38,240 tech firms were incorporated in 2021, up from 23,579 in 2020.
According to data from Dealroom, in the first quarter of this year, tech firms raised a record £9bn, up from the £6.3bn raised in the same period last year, putting the UK behind only the US in global terms.
If you are used to working in an established company, making a move to a startup is likely to be a change. Big firms come with traditional structures and processes, and everyone knows their place.
That can become predictable, and a startup can offer a lot more freedom, responsibility and room to learn. On the flip side, you might have long working hours as you strive to help the company become viable. Compensation can be lower, and benefits may not be as good either.
While your hard technical abilities will be essential, you can certainly expect to need other skills in a small, hungry business. Twenty-three percent of tech startups fail because they don’t have the right team running the company, according to fundsquire.co.uk.
Soft and hybrid skills are really important too: Here are three key skills you’ll also need to succeed at a start-up.
Startups are just that. They’re new companies, scaling rapidly, often suffering from growing pains. Because the processes and procedures – and often departments such as HR – haven’t been put into place, things can be chaotic. Prepare for things to chop and change constantly, and go with the flow.
In the heat of a startup, you want yourself and the people around you to be tempered, but not burnt out. Developing your emotional intelligence can help – the psychologist Daniel Goleman, who popularised the concept, says there are five key elements: Self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.
All of these have their place in team communication and leadership. When you have a high level of emotional intelligence you can apply it to problem-solving, building relationships and solving problems. All of these are key in a fast paced startup environment where knowing how to effectively communicate is going to be so important.
When you’re reacting all the time, it can be hard to step back, take a look at the bigger picture and draw up plans. Being the person in the business who is able to oversee strategy and planning is really important as it will help to drive forward your shared goals and define your purpose. Having patience is also really important because plans will change, and you’ll need flexibility in your planning and in your personality to be able to cope with that.
If you’re ready to look for a new job, whether it’s in an established business or an up-and-coming firm, we’ve got lots to choose from, and plenty more on the Job Board.
John Lewis & Partners is seeking a Lead Enterprise Architect – Financial Services to drive the technology strategy in this area, ensuring a credible investment roadmap to realise transformation outcomes whilst providing technology inspiration and thought leadership to business stakeholders. You will need extensive experience and deep understanding of multi-channel enterprise architecture across financial services capabilities and customer insight. Extensive experience generating and pitching proposals to senior IT and business leadership and engendering change is also required. Apply now.
The Risk Analyst/Risk Manager role requires an individual with strong mathematical/analytic skills and technical derivatives knowledge, who can thrive in a fast-paced, high pressure environment. You will provide independent and effective on-site monitoring, controlling, and reporting on the nature and extent of all material market risk on the RBC London Trading Floor – ensuring implementation of and compliance with risk management policies and procedures. You’ll need a Bachelor/MSc or equivalent in mathematics, statistics, physics, or engineering, and advanced knowledge of equity option markets and primary risk drivers of those markets/products. Apply now.
The Software Engineering Manager will lead multiple squads in customer operations, using Monzo’s in-house system (BizOps). Your squads will be working with BizOps and other tools to make it easy and efficient for our teams to serve customers. You will need to be comfortable operating with ambiguous problem areas with a high degree of autonomy, have delivery experience and are able to guide the squads in achieving their outcomes, can focus on outcomes over processes, and will optimise for the highest impact and leverage. Apply now.