Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.
When you think of startups, you may picture teams of people pulling all-nighters in a shared office space. The hours required to get emerging tech firms and other startups off the ground might also seem like the antithesis of flexibility.
But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities to find flexible jobs with startups — particularly today.
“Startups once thrived on the open-office, all-hands-on-deck hustle culture,” said Taylor Palmer, owner of Roam Away From Home, who left the traditional in-office corporate world to become a digital nomad.
“The pandemic changed that. While the camaraderie among startup employees is necessary, the in-office approach is starting to fade.”
“Given that startups are known for being innovative and unpredictable, they’re often amenable to flexible working practices, such as four-day workweeks, flexible office hours, and remote working practices,” adds Aaron Gray, cofounder of the link-building and SEO platform NO-BS Marketplace.
Here are some of the best ways to track down flexible jobs with startups.
Use Job Search Engines and Sites
Many specialized job search engines can help you find flexible jobs with startups. “These engines crawl through thousands of job listings to find ones that match your specific criteria,” said Brenton Thomas, founder and CEO of the digital marketing agency Twibi.
“Look for remote-first companies on sites like FlexJobs, We Work Remotely, and Remote.io,” specifies Palmer.
“Start following companies that emphasize they are a remote workforce, like Scott’s Cheap Flights, FlexJobs, or Atlassian. The more you follow these types of companies, the easier it will be to spot other remote opportunities with startups.”
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Early On
John Li, cofounder and CTO of Fig Loans, a finance lending company and a longtime hybrid leader, notes that when you search for virtual and remote positions with startups, many will disclose the specifics of their flexible arrangements right in the job posting.
But other startups may not indicate their openness to flexibility in their listing.
“If you’re really interested in a role but aren’t sure if they offer flexibility, apply and tactfully bring up the topic once you land an interview,” Li suggests. “This isn’t something to approach before you’re a step or two into the process, when the company has moved a little closer to committing to you.”
Check Out Startup Job Boards
In addition to leveraging the job boards on Remote.io and FlexJobs for flexible startup opportunities, Thomas advised that another great way to find flexible jobs with startups is to check out startup job boards. “These boards are designed specifically for startups and often feature a wide variety of flexible job listings,” he said.
Startup Jobs is one such startup-specific job board.
Another startup job board, recommended by Gray, is AngelList Talent.
“If you’re looking for a flexible position within a startup, using a platform like AngelList can help you hone in on the most relevant opportunities,” Gray said.
“AngelList is for ‘jobs you can’t find anywhere else, at startups you won’t hear about anywhere else,’ and signing up is as easy as entering your email. There are over 130,000 positions listed, ranging from seed stage all the way to post-IPO.”
Network in — and Do Research on — the Startup Community
Another top strategy to find a flexible job with a startup is to network with people in the startup community. “This can be done by attending meetups and connecting with people on social media,” Thomas said.
Identifying potential startups through newsletters and other industry publications can also help you hone in on the ones that might have flexible opportunities.
“Sign up for all the newsletters that talk about emerging companies and create a list of [the companies] that you’d want to work for,” suggested Palmer.
Know What Startups Want — and Offer It
To gain more leverage for landing a flexible job with a startup, you need to be strategic in how you present your skill set.
“Startups look for people with varied skill sets that can work quickly and efficiently, so be prepared to highlight necessary skills,” explained Palmer.
Be Smart When Marketing Yourself
“Early startups are always looking for ambitious hires, but they don’t have time to hone you,” said Leslie Gilmour, CEO of BeFound, who has been running a fully remote digital marketing agency for over seven years.
“If you want to find a flexible job with a startup, you need to pick one thing you’re very good at and then market yourself accordingly,” said Gilmour.
Even though it’s necessary to be able to wear multiple hats in a startup environment, she believes that you shouldn’t emphasize this in your initial pitch for a flexible job with a startup. Instead, keep this for a later stage.
“Focus on your greatest asset and perfect your pitch around that,” Gilmour concluded.
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