Omna Search: 6 Career Tips from Startup Leaders
Hey Omna Friends -
If you’ve been following our newsletter, you may know that we recently did an offsite in NYC. We got to meet our new coworker Isa for the first time in-person, and went to a magic show at the McKittrick as a team event (highly recommend, if you have not been!).
As part of the trip, we also hosted a networking event in NYC and enjoyed the opportunity to connect with over 60 colleagues in our growing network.
The event started with a panel discussion with leaders in the startup space, including: Mike Shebat - CEO / Founder at Traba, Virginia Graham - VP of People at Bessemer Venture Partners, Cabell Rosanelli - VP of Homes at Avant Stay, and Alessandra Powell - management consultant with past experience at a PropTech startup.
Topics included “take-home,” practical thoughts around scaling startups, overcoming challenges in the current economic environment, tips for breaking into the startup space and more.
In case you missed it, key takeaways included:
Be prepared for change. Your role at a startup will most likely be completely different in the next 6 - 12 months as the company pivots and evolves. You may even end up writing your own job description for your next role. Seize opportunities as they arise.
Reframe the concept of failure. Consider every failure as a learning opportunity and an opportunity for growth. It’s important for leaders to create a culture where it’s not only acceptable to fail, but baked into the company’s DNA. Create a culture where your team is constantly A/B testing ideas, gathering feedback, and growing.
Assess your career goals and timing. Should you leave a traditional job to join a startup? Reflect on where you’re at in life and on your personal and professional goals. Is now the right time? Building a startup is hard work and will most likely require more than the “typical” 40 hours a week (one panelist pointed to 90 hour weeks, yikes!). Determine if you’re ready for the grind and if you’re comfortable taking on more of the risk and uncertainty that often comes with a startup.
Do your own due diligence on the startup’s financial health before joining. Especially with the economic downturn, it’s important to understand a company's financial situation. While it might feel awkward, you should ask the team about the firm’s financial health (e.g., cash burn, runway, path to profitability) and make sure you feel good about where they’re headed.
Despite the current economy, now may be a great time to join a startup. You may have heard that many great businesses are built in recessions. Panelists mentioned that there are some real benefits to building a business in the current environment: it has required them to be more focused on profitability, they have become more frugal (i.e., do more with less), and have had to be even more focused on meeting their customers’ needs.
Treat your career as a series of stepping stones, with each role enhancing your skills and experience. Try to get out of your comfort zone and take on stretch roles. At each step in your career, surround yourself with people you can learn from. One panelist reflected on his previous experience at Uber, where he helped launch the app in various countries. He was able to gain valuable skills and experience that ultimately equipped him to successfully launch and scale his current startup.
Overall, great advice to reflect on when assessing your next career move. We’d love to hear from you about future events. Let us know what topics you’re interested in learning more about!
If you’re interested in any of these roles (AND you fit the profile indicated), shoot us an email and our team will tell you more/get you into the process if there’s a fit. You can also find a full list of opportunities on our Omna job board.
Head of Business Operations & Analytics @ SuperSummary, EdTech Startup | 5-10+ YOE, background in consulting with operational experience in a relevant biz ops / analytics role; you have managed teams
Chief of Staff @ WithMe, Seed-Stage Hardware-as-a-Service | 4-8 YOE coming from professional services AND tech / startup
Technical Product Manager @ Scratch, Series C Pet HealthTech | 2-3 years of digital product or technical product experience
Business Operations Lead @ ProjectDiscovery, Series A Open-source Cybersecurity Startup | 3-6 YOE, consulting or inv banking/finance experience and experience working in a startup environment
Chief of Staff to CEO @ Copper, A-List Talent Advisory & Investment Firm | 3+ YOE; either or, a combination of, consulting, in banking, and/or relevant industry experience
Sr. Manager, Strategic Operations @ Fresh Clean Threads, D2C Men's Apparel Startup | 2-3 years post-MBA consulting experience OR 5-6 years consulting experience
Strategy & Ops Associate/Manager @ Maiden Home, D2C Luxury Furniture Startup | 2 - 5 years in consulting, inv banking or tech / startup
Special Projects Manager @ Hedley & Bennett, VC-Backed Culinary Startup | 1 - 3 years in consulting or inv banking / PE
Strategic Finance Manager @ Hedley & Bennett, VC-Backed Culinary Startup | 1 - 3 years in consulting, inv banking / PE
Territory Operations Manager @ Traba, Series A Leading Labor Marketplace Platform | 2+ YOE; consulting experience and/or at a startup / high-growth environment
Biz Ops Associate @ Ubiquiti, High-growth Software & Hardware Tech Company | 2-4 years of experience in consulting
Operations Manager @ Sundberg America, Leading Distributor of Commercial Repair Parts | 4-5 years of experience in consulting / banking / supply chain / operations
General Manager @ Wilder Fields, Early-Stage Vertical Farming Startup | 1-3 years of consulting experience. MUST be willing to commute 4-5x a week to Calumet City office
Strategic Finance Manager @ SHINE Fusion, series C Nuclear Fusion Platform | 2-4 years of inv banking, PE, or corporate dev experience
Until next time,
Aaron @ Omna Search
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