How To Make It At A Startup

Working in a high-growth company is stressful, rewarding, painful, and ... potentially great. When you work in a highly visible team like the digital advertising team in a startup, everything is magnified. Many startups lake the time or infrastructure to invest significantly into content/SEO and rely on paid media to spur movement, the teams can often be small and you're at the forefront of growth. I'm here to tell you today that more than just a knowledge of advertising channels and strategies is required. This is the first in a series of posts about this, but today I'm talking about attitude.

Hey, You Look Like You Don't Care

Surprisingly, when you're 8 hours into a day of staring at ad campaigns, spreadsheets, project management tools, and who knows how many meetings you can occasionally not look thrilled to be there. Startups are often high-pressure environments, there is a need for results today, not tomorrow. Because of this your team leaders are not only looking for performance, but are evaluating your attitude and cultural fit. If you appear low-energy, are not in meetings on time and contributing, rarely smile or attend after-hours shindigs it can be just as bad for your career as a month of tanking ad campaigns. 

The reasoning behind this is we want to work with people who want to be there, and a lack of passion about work may not be impacting results today, but what could growth be like if someone with fire and energy was in your spot? Could things be better? You're not just being measured on what is happening today in your ad campaigns, you're being measured on the opportunity cost of your continued employment. I'm here to tell you today that you can never get comfortable in your work, don't settle into spending all of your time tweaking ads and doing keyword research. Dig into the bigger picture, perform analyses before you're asked to, and if you're a low-energy person you're going to want to try faking it until it becomes real (or try sugar-free redbull).