Working at a tech startup in Silicon Valley can be a rewarding experience for you. “Can be” because it all depends on you and where you work. Working in Silicon Valley is nothing like the Bravo TV show Start-Ups: Silicon Valley where all they did was party in a multi million $$ house in SF powered by Bravo network and in between pressed few keys and walla, millionaires. Far from it. Hacking & Hustling is what working in Silicon Valley is about. It’s about doing whatever it takes to get shit done faster. No compromises. And if you get involved with the right startup, rewards in terms of accelerated education and potential financial returns await for you in the distance.
Things to get into order
If you just arrived to the valley or are planning to get here, I highly recommend you start with the basics. It by no means guarantees you a job but definitely increases your chances.
LinkedIn is the business professionals network you should be on. LinkedIn is the worlds largest professional network with 225+ million members. If you haven’t heard of it you soon will. They are the Facebook for Business.
- Setup your profile and fill it out listing your achievements. Anyone can just do a job under the wip. Few extend themselves. This shows through achievements.
- Location matters – add “San Francisco” as your location. Even if you are not in the valley yet. This way you end up in LinkedIn searches.
- Recommendations in your profile – this shows your work history is credible. People tend to fluff up their resumes and having credible people who aren’t your friends give you recommendation validates your story.
- Keep it up to date. Use your LinkedIn feed (like Facebook) to post regularly on business related content.
Here is my LinkedIn portfolio if you want to connect / check it out: http://www.linkedin.com/in/semerda
This is something which showcases you. Your identity. If you can get your name as the domain name e.g. ernestsemerda.com is mine, than even better and you will reap additional SEO benefits.
On this profile page throw up links to your social networks, links to prior work like portfolio sites you built/designed and how someone can reach you. You may also integrate your blogs latest post and/or twitter feed widget. If you code you should have a link to your GitHub/Bitbucket account. Shows that you can code and understand the basics of distributed version control systems.
Blogs are not dead. Nothing beats the education you will receive from this experience. Your communication skills will improve, dealing with people via the comments (good or bad) will improve and it will allow a potential employer to get inside your head to understand you better. Remember, this is your brand. Don’t blog about cats chasing ponies.
Quality Blogging requires attention, detail and skills. Anyone can throw up a rehashed article or something in 140 characters. However blogging in a world of attention deficit and over stimulated individuals is tough. Productivity requires focus. Focus leads to Flow. Flow leads to getting shit done. Blogs are not dead. Only focus is diminishing. So blog! If you can blog I am certain you are an articulate, focuses, productive peep.
Don’t forget to comment on industry related blogs so you can reap additional benefits of inbound links and show others you are an expert in your industry.
I never believed in Twitter until i started using it. Twitter is a good way to connect with people fast. Use “Lists” to group industry people and companies. Lists are great and help you maintain focus in a world of tweets. Then engage daily via replies, favorites and retweets. Read up on twitter etiquette for standard protocols so you get the gist of this ecosystem.
Relationship building takes time. Never forget this. So engage early and frequently with true intention. If you do not have true intentions then you will become disinterested and fall off the wagon. Why do you want to come to Silicon Valley?
Here is my Twitter page if you want to follow me: https://twitter.com/ernestsemerda
Klout calls itself as a standard of influence. Hook up all your online & social presence and use it as a guide to fine tune your social status of influence. This is more of a ruler than anything else. You always need a base to gauge your efforts.
You can see in the above picture my Klout score (58 as of writing this) and how it has steadily increased over time since I started using it early July. Remember this is a ruler to measure your social efforts.
A competitive landscape
In a competitive landscape like Silicon Valley, all this should eventually become habitual. Something you do daily to stay relevant & ahead in your industry. If this isn’t habitual, then build a habit of it. If this all feels too much for you than you are in the wrong industry. Or maybe you are not the right fit. Business in Silicon Valley is about people. You aren’t just selling your skills you are in the business of selling you. People want to know about you. So show and tell.
This is a city where you are measured by your works. If you have something to show then show it off. Otherwise go back to your room, close the door and hack something cool you can show the world that you are a doer and not another dreamer that cannot execute.
Good luck with your journey!
We are hiring @ Medlert!
We are hiring! Come and work at Medlert. We are in the business of SAVING LIVES. We are a Startup in the Health industry. We’re looking for world-class engineers and exceptional individuals, who are mission-driven, that want to help change the world. Visit our career page and apply today: https://www.medlert.com/about-us/careers