Entrepreneur

It's Not Just Tough Competition - What Startup Failures Can Teach Job Hunters

Now has never been the best time to start up… or the worst time.

The same thing goes for people looking for jobs in Singapore.

Even with the recent article on how the IT and engineering sectors are creating new jobs, it’s the sad truth that Singaporeans are finding it difficult to secure jobs nowadays, even if they might be armed with the most mind-blowing resume ever created.

Now in the past few years we have seen startups soar to heights greater than anyone could have ever imagined. But on the contrary, there have also been names that simply didn’t manage to make the cut.

Here are some of the ways that startups have fumbled, and how they can be things to avoid during your job hunt.

1. Not Having A Clear Pitch

Image Credit: Elle
Image Credit: Elle

Many a seasoned veteran of entrepreneurship will tell you that having a clear vision is extremely crucial.

Without one, there is no direction nor angle from which the startup can pitch their ideas. Neither will investors put their money on someone who does not even a clear goal.

The same thing thing goes for job seekers.

While it might be a slightly (note, very slightly) different story for interns, employers will not go for people who can’t even get their story right. It makes the candidate look incompetent and confused, and chances are, employers will not have the benefit of time to train him or her anyway.

2. Not Being Adaptable

One of the reasons why fledgling startups aren’t able to survive is because they were not able to adapt to the changing economic climate. It’s a headache-inducing truth, but people can be extremely fickle, and what we like today… well, might be in the bin tomorrow.

And that is something that job-seekers have to be in tune with as well.

Never get complacent with what you already know, but rather, learn to ride the waves of change.

3. Not Doing Your Research

Plenty of startups begin strong amidst the hype, but also fizzle out quickly because the market was already too saturated.

The team may form the support, but the founders need to have done their homework on what will work as well. One example of how a saturated market can kill a startup is what we saw with Novelsys, when the team did not manage to find the perfect product-market fit.

But this does not mean that the skills and ideas that you have are too common to let you stand out.

Image Credit: linkedin
Image Credit: linkedin
Image Credit: themuse
Image Credit: themuse

Just make sure to do research and then get creative with selling your strong suits, no matter how strange they might be.

4. Not ‘Selling’ Yourself

One reason why startups do not manage to hit the high notes is because they lack sufficient marketing.

Many rely on online marketing and word-of-mouth to get their name out, but that’s just what everyone else is doing as well. On the flip side, word-of-mouth might even risk friendships. (Think along the lines of having a friend in the insurance line).

And so they turn to offline marketing. Those are the ads that you see on trains and cars throughout the island.

Image Credit: Vulcanpost
Hailo’s marketing techniques worked beautifully, but not so much their promos / Image Credit: Vulcanpost

When it comes to job seekers, the same thing applies. Networking is important, but it is also essential that you prove that you can get the job done.

One tip for aspiring writers is by doing pro bono work to increase the chances that someone will see your name. And for those who want to work in management, helping to organise activities and events for others would be a place to start.

The youth corp would be one such example.

5. Not Being Prepared

Success can hit fast, and when it does, a lack of preparation blindsides many new startups.

It’s a sweet feeling to succeed, but it can also become overwhelming very quickly, especially when they are not able to keep up. They are neither prepared for the orders that flood in, nor do they have the necessary disaster preparedness procedures when things go south.

And in the case of job-hunters, some of us graduate feeling full of self-confidence in the skills that they have accumulated over the years.

Until they see this.

Image Credit: imgur
Image Credit: imgur

And that’s just the beginning.

No matter how much you love your job, there will have been at some points in time, when you felt that you were not prepared for everything. And then the anxiety sets in.

Image Credit: thumbpress
Image Credit: thumbpress

And that’s ok, because no one goes in perfect.

But what you can do to ease that self-effacing disappointment is by being over-prepared, enough to at least be able to leverage on it when the going gets tough.

No one begins out right at the top, but that just means that you have space to advance higher.

And while this list is never-exhaustive, it is a start, so start now.

Featured Image Credit: humanresourcesonline

 

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