Tip for Finding A Job: Consider "start-up" Companies

Now is the time to work for a start-up company. Many displaced workers that still had cash and resources when their industry fell off a cliff have quietly started their own businesses and are now building their teams as they prepare for an economic recovery.

This is the place to look for jobs! Job recovery always starts with small businesses.

“Start-up” companies were the rage in the late 1990’s when technology companies were being created faster than employees could be hired to work for them. Venture Capital firms like Sequoia and Accel Partners where investing billions of dollars in companies, like Cisco. The technology revolution prompted people to leave their study jobs at traditional consumer companies and flee to the hip, fun and lucrative technology firms, where sign-on bonuses were the norm, along with getting a percentage of the company stock.

The demand for C++ programmers, database engineers, and software sales/management talent kept most people who wanted a job working and our economy was humming.

There was the undeniable excitement of being part of something that was being defined by you and where your contribution made a real difference. It was the perfect world of making money, investing in your future with generous stock options, and being recognized, respected and rewarded for your efforts.

This was the time where the fortune 500 firms were just not that exciting anymore. They couldn’t compete with these overspending venture capital/private equity backed firms. Many people left their jobs for a once in a life opportunity to become a millionaire by the age of 30.

Some did become millionaires, yet many others ended up unemployed and unable to get back into the corporate environment they left behind. During this time, I ran a start-up technology retained search firm backed by a man who owned a number of human resource related firms in Chicago.

I set up shop for my investor and hired six people to help me recruit some of the top technology talent in the world. This is when ABN-AMRO was hiring in droves, Peoplesoft was just being recognized as a relevant software company, and B-B, B-C platforms were discussed over dinner.

With the overheating of the technology market in 2000 and the failure of many tech firms who spent too much money on human capital and ideas that just didn’t work, along with the dreadful attack of 9/11, the era of making fast money in an exciting environment was over. Yet, our economy made it through the recession in the early 90’s, slowly replacing jobs that were lost.

We didn’t experience the high unemployment figures we see today, where it’s as high as almost 14% in some regions. We all know that as a society we were spending too much money, living way beyond our means and believing the value in our homes couldn’t go down. This cycle had to stop. It did and we are all trying to figure out how we are going to cope with the changes in our economy.

The great news is that over the past couple of years there are people who have made smart choices, have capital, and solid ideas for new businesses. They have spent the last 18-months building their brand while cautiously taking the steps needed to compete in these difficult times.

These companies, of which, there was many, are beginning to hire. You won’t find these jobs on the internet. It’s time to reach out to fellow co-workers, employers, and employees and find out if they have started a new venture. Don’t miss this opportunity.

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