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4 Signs You Are Working for the Right Startup

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When you’re a first-timer, it’s easy to get disillusioned. After all, the startup world is presented as a utopia by the media. In reality, that’s not always the case.  Some startups have ineffective leaders, while others are headed nowhere.

Don’t just work in any startup because it’s in the industry that you love. Be extremely picky.  Your startup job should be worth it. After all, you deserve to spend 40 hours or more at the right place. However, what kind of startup should you strive for?  How do you know you are in the right place?

Here are four signs you are working for the right startup for you:

1. Great leadership

The parting words my first boss told me were, “don’t pick a job, pick a boss.” When I applied to startup world, I changed it up a bit. Now I say, “don’t pick a startup, pick a Founder/CEO.”

When you hear the word startup, you’ll probably imagine Airbnb, Uber, WhatsApp, Amazon and the success stories that come with them. In reality, not all startups succeed. Results from the Startup Genome Report Extra on Premature Scaling found that within 3 years, 92% of startups failed. That’s basically a 9/10 chance that you won’t be keeping your job in the next three years.

One sure way to avoid this is to know your startup is being led by the right kind of CEO/Founder. What I recommend is to check LinkedIn to learn the credentials of your boss. What’s his experience? Did he work for another company or startup in your industry? You can even research on press releases and interviews with your startup’s CEO/Founder. What’s his vision for the startup? What is he doing to reach his vision? You’ll know you are with the right leader, when he has logical plans on how to make the impossible possible.

If you are in doubt about the startup you are working for, then observe your boss. Does he listen to the suggestions of his colleagues? Is he evaluating every success/failure of your startup? Is your team consistently motivated to contribute their ideas in his meetings? You know you’ve hit the jackpot, when you have a founder or CEO who listens and acts.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

2. Collaborative environment

A little competition is a good thing, but too much may be harmful for you in the long run. After all, it’s a lot more fulfilling to work together to solve problems, compared to blaming or outdoing each other.  Just imagine if you are working with colleagues who are hell-bent on outshining each other.

You’ll focus a lot more on how you are doing, compared to how your startup is progressing. So, you know you are in the right startup when there’s a fun and collaborative environment. When you are in doubt, you can observe your own team. Let’s say you are in a meeting. Your team is looking for ways to market your startup.

Is everyone contributing their ideas and listening to the ideas of others? Are your co-workers evaluating your suggestions? You can rest assured when there are intelligent and insightful conversations.

 

3. Flexibility and freedom

In corporate jobs, you’ll have to go by the 9 to 5 rule. No absences allowed. This means that if you have a family emergency or if you need a break, you can’t just leave. Other times you are forced to do overtime. It can get very frustrating once your schedule revolves around your job. Fortunately, in the right startup this is never an issue.

It’s not such a big deal if you are not in the office. It’s also not a big deal if you are not working 8 hours straight. As long as you’ve finished your assigned tasks, your colleagues will cut you some slack. That’s because the right startups understand that a bit of time and freedom can raise your productivity.

 

4. Growth opportunities

At the right startup, you are not tied to a strict job description. Either your boss might make you write your own job description, or you might have the initiative to try something new. Who knows? A startup environment is often so fast-paced that in the right startup, you are forced to learn new skills.

Sure, it’s a lot more comfortable to do the tasks that you are actually good at and have no chance in screwing up. However, it’s a lot more fulfilling to keep learning on the job. Not only is it challenging, but you also gain experiences that can enhance your CV. Let’s say you are marketer who’s a complete newbie in graphic design.

I know it’s difficult when you are asked to design promotional materials. You’ll probably screw up the first few times.  If you are working in a big corporation, then an artist will most likely takeover. In the right startup, you’ll be encouraged to keep designing as long as you have the initiative.

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning” – Benjamin Franklin

In fact, in successful startups everyone’s busy learning the latest trends and updating their skills. To catch up, you’ll have to take tons of opportunities or you might have to create them on your own. Therefore, the next time your colleagues encourage you to learn or apply your knowledge on future trends, you know your job is worth it.

The startup world is pretty unstable, so you need the right signs to assure you that you are working for the right one. Is your startup job helping you grow? Or is it pulling you down with it? Hopefully, these signs will let you know.

What tips do you have for other people to figure out if they are working for the right startup? Leave your thoughts below!

Monique Danao is a freelance writer, content creator and copywriter with an expertise in tech, food and digital marketing. When she's not creating her next big article, you'll find her enjoying funky food, listening to music, stalking startups and researching updates on tech. You may contact her through her website or follow her on Twitter @monique_pd.

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The Truth About Marketing Every First Time Founder Should Know

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While starting your own business is an exhilarating experience, many start-up founders struggle with successful marketing more than any other area of business. So if you’re thinking about starting a business, here are some of the key things you need to know about marketing before you take the plunge. (more…)

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Lessons I Have Learned About Scaling a Business as a Startup Founder

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When I set out to start my own business three years ago, I never imagined bright lights and private jets to New York or Shanghai for business meetings. Good thing I didn’t because it is nothing like that at all. It was a struggle from day one and I had to embrace the grind to grow. (more…)

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5 Hacks to Improve Your Writing Skills in English for ESL Learners

Phil Collins

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Studying in college is hard for everyone, but ESL learners arguably suffer the most. Moving to a foreign country, learning a new language, and keeping pace with the rest of the class may seem like an unbearable burden. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, but you have to pull through and not give up. 

In moments like this, it’s always a good idea to seek help. Whether you go to WriteMyPaper to order an essay or just talk to a friend, admitting vulnerability is an important step towards improvement. In this article, you will find some tips on how to get better at essay writing, even if English is not your native language.

 

Control Your Environment

Improving your language skills is all about constant practice. Living in an English-speaking community is the first thing you should do to start your practice. It might be tempting to surround yourself with people who already speak a familiar language. However, this way, you won’t be practicing English on a daily basis.

You need to make those lessons almost intuitive in a way that you don’t have to do anything to learn the language. If you live in an English-speaking community, for example, if your roommate speaks English, you will have to practice the language, whether you want it or not.

Still, make sure you don’t take it too far. Taking care of yourself is still as important as ever. Feeling like an alien for the sake of education is not worth it. Remember to keep in touch with your friends and family, talk to them as often as necessary.

 

Practice Constantly

Practicing language is not just about doing your homework. You can make practicing English a normal part of your daily routine by watching TV, listening to music, and reading books in this language. 

Yet, this is a bit tricky. When being surrounded by white noise, people tend to learn not to notice it. You need to ensure this doesn’t happen. As you watch movies or read books, maintain your attention on what you’re doing. If you hear or see a word that you don’t understand – translate it and write it down. Be mindful and remember what you’re doing this for.

 

Writing Is The Answer

If you want to specifically learn to write, you need to do one thing, and that is to write. Continuous practice will help you understand what mistakes you often make and, in time, eliminate them. Focus on your goal, and don’t get discouraged when something’s not working. After all, even Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Get a journal and write in it daily. Pick a new topic every time and note everything you can think of. It’s also important that you write by hand, a spelling checker in your computer is tempting, but it will not help you remember how to spell words correctly. 

Besides, journaling as a habit has multiple health benefits, and it can be therapeutic. It can help you get in touch with yourself and process your emotions better.

 

Learn In a Group

It’s proven that learning in a group is more efficient due to the sense of competition. Find a bunch of like-minded people who want to study with you or join an already existing one, like a speaking club.

The benefit of such activities is that you get all these people from entirely different backgrounds who are all good at various things. This will help you exchange experiences, which is impossible if you’re alone.

Schedule regular meetings, come up with topics to discuss and activities to do. You could watch videos or movies together, or talk about common things. Having assignments like describing an event can also be beneficial for the entire group. This way, while one person speaks, the rest think about how they would say the same things differently. 

This will help you feel more confident in your skills and, consequently, speak and write better.

 

Expose Yourself

The most important thing about learning a language is not to be afraid of making mistakes. It’s inevitable; you just have to take it as a natural part of a learning process. 

A child that is learning how to walk doesn’t give up after falling once, and you shouldn’t either. It’s most likely that your friends understand that you’re just learning a language, and they won’t laugh at you for misusing a word or a few. 

Get over that fear of error and make as many mistakes as it will take. Treat it lightly, and don’t beat yourself up for it. On the other hand, try to attend as many events as you can that will expose you to the foreign language. Not only will it boost your English skills, but also improve your social confidence!

 

Wrapping Up

Learning a language is hard; there’s no arguing about that. However, it’s going to get easier with time. Take every hard thing that life throws at you and turn it into a lesson. 

Watch your favorite movies in English, converse with native speakers, and you’ll see the improvement very soon!

Remember to be patient about it. Don’t give up, and don’t beat yourself up over something that you have so little control of. Good luck!

 

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Remote Work + Education: 3 Tips for Students Who Want to Have It All

Phil Collins

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remote work for students

Probably one of the greatest changes for the last year is the shifting to distant learning and working. There are many advantages to the issue, like, not having to commute every day, staying at a cozy home for a whole day. It makes our lives easier in terms of saving time and energy.

If you’re a student, you don’t have to bust out your textbooks every time you go to university. Instead, you have everything close and on the tips of your fingers.

However, within all the positive moments of distance learning, it is highly challenging for many of us. At college or in the office, we have a schedule, a plan which we simply have to stick to.

There is also a boss or a teacher who gives us tasks, checks and monitors our performance.

Well, now, we are our own bosses and teachers and have to come up with the plan and track our tasks independently.

So, how to stay tuned and efficient if you work and study from home? How to get the most of it and not drown in the ocean of procrastination? In this article, you will find three tips to help you out!

 

Set Up Your Workspace

When many think of a distance learning or work, they imagine themselves wearing pajamas and lying on a couch all day with the laptop. No more dress code, make-up, early mornings, coworkers or group mates, paradise!

This is a common misconception of remote work. If you want to work and study from home, it is crucial to create a space where you would stay focused and productive.

Still, if you have had a hard day and feel like having rest on your comfy couch, but there are assignments to be done, leave your worries to professionals in paperwritingservice, just place an order and enjoy your day.

When we both work and study from home, we stay with all those household essentials and, at the same time, have to focus on tasks. That is why a perfect workspace has to be created. So how to reach this ideal atmosphere at home? Here’re some pro tips.

 

Separate Spaces for Everything

This is a common problem for many that they sleep and study at the same place. Our body is a smart mechanism, which gets used to conditions very quickly.

So, as you sleep in your bed, every time you lie on it, your body gets ready to relax and concentrate is the last thing it is ready for. This principle is applied to any other space in your house.

So, your workspace should be particularly aimed at learning or/and work. Every time you get there, your brain will be ready to do the job.

 

Get Rid of All Distractions

This is a very important step if you want to stay productive at home. Your home may be a dangerous space in terms of concentration. To make it easier, help your brain and get rid of everything that might attract your attention and ultimately prevent good performance.

 

Plan Your Day

Every morning when you wake up, you approximately know what the tasks for a day are. So, what’s the sense in planning a day if you already have it all in your head?

This is one more important concept that helps us have everything done on time. Planning a day saves you time and boosts motivation and disciplines.

 

Here’s how it is done:

  • You write down a list of tasks that have to be done;
  • Prioritize them from less important to more important;
  • Hang this list somewhere, where you can always see it;
  • Mark completed tasks.

When you mark the task as accomplished, you’ll get a sense of satisfaction, which may be compared to some sort of praise. There are many tools to write a to-do list from paper to online apps.

 

Dedicate Time for Yourself

When you work and study from home, there will be a risk of abandoning our personal time in favor of more important matters. This factor leads not only to great results but also a concept called burning out.

When people face it, they feel exhausted, demotivated, and apathetic. To avoid this, it is crucial to have time for things you enjoy. It may be a sport, hobby, listening to music, watching movies, seeing friends. Your brain has to relax and get positive emotions to be more efficient in the long run.

 

Final Words

No matter if you want to work and study from home, these principles can be applied to any activity. To manage it all, just follow these basic rules, and you’ll see how your productivity boosts.

Good luck with all your endeavors!

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