From the perspective of a startup founder, it’s important to realize a startup company is more than a business — it’s a team. And if you’re putting together a team to disrupt a massive industry, you’re going to need all the help you can get. As an employee, if you’re looking to break into the startup world but not sure what skills to focus on, it can be difficult to confidently choose a path.
Fortunately for both of you, there are a few key positions that need to be filled with top-notch talent in any good startup. Knowing what those positions are and what to look for in applying candidates can mean the difference between barely surviving another year and dominating your industry.
Profession: Data Center Engineer
Data center engineers are arguably one of the most important jobs in any successful startup business. Essentially, they’re in charge of the day-to-day management and operation of various aspects of the data center, including the deployment of power, cooling, and network systems, equipment, and applications.
If you’re looking to get into this field, you’ll want to get your hands on a data center certification ASAP. Data center engineers end up covering a wide variety of tasks in the data center. A certification can help data center engineers specialize in specific skills, technologies, and applications. A certification is also one of the easiest ways to advance your career and eventually move up to the position of data center manager.
Profession: Business Development
To put it simply, the people in business development are in charge of the fun features of your favorite products. When you use Square to pay for your coffee, send out a tweet with a specific hashtag to get a coupon code, or get a discount at a store for using a specific card, someone in business development helped broker the deal, pursuing new business opportunities and reviewing contracts.
Profession: Product Manager
A product manager is the person in charge of designing how a particular product should work. This role typically involves things like wireframing how products look and designing user journeys and paths throughout the sales and marketing processes.
Profession: Community Manager
A good community manager takes the time to make sure users feel appreciated and connected to the product or company. This usually looks like building the company’s online community via social media, creating content, running events, and encouraging users to give feedback.
Profession: Lead Developer
If you’re a tech startup in 2018, you’re going to need a programmer or two. These programmers will need to create functionality, know their way around major coding languages like Python and Ruby, and (ideally) be comfortable with the back-end of website management.
Profession: Customer Support
This job might sound simple, but rest assured that without strong customer support, a startup’s online reputation will take some serious damage. This person doesn’t just answer phones and reply to emails; they can also be in charge of creating content and addressing issues publically.
Profession: Graphic Designer
Design is massively important within the startup ecosystem, which means having a talented graphic designer on your team is going to ensure a positive overall experience waiting for your users on your business website. They should know their way around Photoshop, too.
Profession: Marketing Manager
Depending on the size of the startup, your PR and marketing manager may end up being the same person. This job all boils down to two concepts. First, a marketing manager needs to be able to excite users, and second, they need to figure out how to turn that excitement into actual engagement and conversion.
Profession: Growth Hacker
The term growth hacker gets thrown around a lot, but it’s actually pretty easy to explain. A growth hacker is someone who has deep analytical skills. Typically, they’re able to influence product and write some code themselves, which makes them invaluable when it comes to distribution.
Profession: Content Creator
Copywriter, blogger, whatever you want to call them — a content creator’s job is tapping into the brand voice of the startup, as well as working with the marketing team to ensure the content offers real value to users.
Profession: Business Intelligence Analyst
A business intelligence analyst should have experience in database technology, as well as analytics and reporting tools. Startups are typically going to go with someone with at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems, or engineering. This person should be able to understand a startup’s data needs and communicate them to stakeholders.
Profession: Network Administrator
A network administrator is responsible for handling LAN/WAN protocol and both the hardware and software needs of a startup. They usually spend a lot of time troubleshooting and problem solving in case of an emergency or failure. A network administrator is going to need analytic and diagnostic skills, as well as a willingness to be on-call after hours.
Which profession do you think is most impactful in the life of a startup?