It may not come as a surprise to many of my tech and startup friends, but I was hired as PublicBeta‘s Editor & Chief Content Strategist during my first interview on Skype. I was literally hired overnight. [The bit where I was hired shouldn’t be the surprise though ;)]
PublicBeta is a learning platform for entrepreneurs by other (very) successful entrepreneurs.
This is what I love about working for entrepreneurs and startups. They spot an opportunity, hire fast and take risks (and sometimes fire fast too).
When I saw the advert for PublicBeta’s first employee, I actually didn’t know too much about the founder Adii Pienaar, (apart from some Google stalking) but I liked the way it was written and shared the company’s vision to ‘work with some incredible and successful entrepreneurs, and share their knowledge and experience to empower the next wave of entrepreneurs who aim to make a dent in the universe.’
I’ve been working in media, communications and startup land for over three years (running Hermione Way’s video production company Newspepper.com) but I’ve been looking for my next opportunity for months (I’ll still be freelancing as a video producer on the side).
I used all the usual routes; asking my friends if they knew of any roles going, scrolling the startup job boards and seeking out introductions via Linkedin, but I believe everything happens for a reason and this new adventure means I can sink my teeth into this role and bring something new to the edtech table.
When I did send my application to PublicBeta, I tailored my experience around the role and outlined the four areas I thought I could bring value to the team and the company.
Adii responded within a week or two, and suggested the Skype interview after he got back from his travels. What I did do is set a reminder in my calendar to chase and followed up with a short and sweet ‘Hope you had a nice break, look forward to chatting with you this week’ email. This worked and I had my Skype interview a couple of days later.
Now I have heard of people getting hired via Skype before, so this isn’t a revelation about ‘the wonders of technology’ but I do think it is a reflection of the growing trend of a dispersed workforce. Now this is what I think is exciting!
- Addi, who is based in Cape Town, SA, built a team of over 30 people across the world to run WooThemes.
- Hermione runs her business from her laptop and travels the globe supporting founders and entrepreneurs via Startup World.
- Kate Kendall, the founder of TheFetch.com (I’ve been The Fetch London’s curator for the last 18 months) has a community of city curators, ambassadors and supporters helping her grow her business.
So this is post a celebrate the next chapter of my startup life. I have sponged so much information over the years, that I hope to share my experience and perhaps teach a few lessons or two.
But mostly learn from this process and ask ‘How can I help?’