Job security, salary and benefits, regular hours and a sensible work-life balance are what most jobseekers look for in any new employment opportunity. Working at a start-up firm can throw these factors into uncertainty - it’s not all bean bags and avocado toast. However, with Ireland recently being ranked number three in Europe for start-ups, have you considered the possibility that the excitement, reward potential and personal development that are intrinsic to start-up culture could be exactly what you’re looking for? Here are some pros and cons of working for a start-up company to shed some light on the reality of the situation.
Room for Growth
The clue is in the name, but start-ups really are just starting out. That means that, as an early employee, you will be a key part of the company’s development and later success. You’ll be working side by side with the founders from the get-go, learning directly from your bosses and gaining invaluable experience in areas outside of your job remit. As everyone at a start-up is involved in the fight for the survival of the company, you’ll often be expected to take on responsibilities that push you out of your comfort zone and force you to expand your skill set fairly rapidly. As the company grows, so will your responsibilities, and soon you could find yourself in a senior leadership position at a successful firm.
‘Freedom’ is evident in two ways in start-up culture. Firstly, in the flexibility of working hours: employees are frequently permitted to choose their own working hours and to work from home, since so much business is conducted over the phone and online.
Secondly, start-ups are associated with huge levels of innovative freedom. Start-ups are under huge amounts of pressure to keep up in the fast lane or fail, and so grant their employees a considerable creative license to break boundaries and completely reimagine ways to capture consumer engagement. If dynamic, forward thinking in a collaborative, close-knit team is your forte, working in a start-up could be the ideal working environment for you!
When you join a start-up, you know that you will never be simply a ‘cog in a machine.’ As part of a small team driven by collaboration, the company’s mission will be at the forefront of your job description and decision-making process. In a regular office environment, middle management and sheer size of personnel can mean you often feel undervalued and perhaps unconnected with the bigger picture of what the company is trying to achieve. There’s no such issue in start-ups! In an intense, focused environment, you will see the impact of your work first hand and have a significant role in shaping the success of the company, giving you a sense of job satisfaction unlike much other.
You will Work…Hard
More responsibility means a heavier workload and while, in the long term, you may walk away with dozens of great new skills, learning on the job while likely being a single-person department is a tough undertaking. You might find yourself working long hours for little compensation, with only yours and your colleagues’ faith in the company’s mission to keep the candle burning. Work-life balance would likely be called into the mix (what balance?) as you are compelled to take your work home with you – who else will do what needs to be done?
Lack of Security
Harvard Business School estimates the start-up failure rate to be an enormous 90-95%. That’s an incredible (and terrifying) statistic. Tech start-ups are at particularly high risk, as there’s always the chance that a competitor could sweep the market with a brand-new development, cutting the legs from under competing companies. Leaving a comfortable corporate job with a steady salary, dependable benefits and little risk of redundancy in exchange for a high-risk, unstable work environment that could go bust at any moment is not a gamble one should take lightly.
Furthermore, while start-up founders may be excellent pitchers and have garnered piles of seed money from investors, that is no evidence of their leadership ability. With less rigid corporate structure and more direct interaction with the company bosses, you could find yourself working in close proximity to underqualified leaders that will not inspire you to commit wholeheartedly to a venture which requires your unadulterated passion to succeed.
Not Much Financial Reward
To begin with, at least.
Start-up employees notoriously earn significantly reduced salaries until the company begins to achieve real success. After all, it is in investors’ interests not to allow their ventures’ employees to get too comfortable. Spurring your team on with the promise of eventual riches is intended to be a large motivator for hard work and innovation within the company, although you may never end up reaping these promised benefits if the start-up crashes out, like so many do.
That being said, modern-age start-ups are ridiculed and envied in equal measure for providing their employees with perks such as free lunches (kombucha, anyone?) and wellbeing sessions. For example, personal finance company Credit Karma offers an on-site spa for employees, as well as nap nooks and music jam rooms, and Airbnb gives their employees a $2,000 stipend for annual holiday expenses.
There you have it – the good and the bad about working in a start-up. The stakes are high but, if you make your move wisely, the rewards could well outweigh the struggle you experience at the start. In an exclusive interview with David Dempsey, Senior Vice President of Salesforce, he told us that leaving his job in a well-known tech company was ‘the biggest risk’ he’s ever taken, leaving his stable job for a three-man start-up in 2000. Now, Salesforce employs thousands of people across Europe and America and is one of the world’s most renowned SaaS companies. It just goes to show – taking a plunge and embracing start-up culture could be your ticket to success too.
Posted by Susannah Hunt on 26 June 2019
In-Demand Business Support & Customer Service Skills
In-Demand Business Support & Customer Service Skills
As companies work hard to stay competitive and provide exceptional experiences to their clients, the need for skilled staff in business support and customer service keeps growing. In this article, we'll look at the important skills businesses are looking for.1. Great CommunicationWhether you're talking or writing, it's vital to be clear. Nowadays, good communication also means being good with digital tools. Employers want people who can talk professionally with colleagues, clients, and customers, making sure everyone gets the right information.Top Tip for interviews: Prepare examples that highlight your proficiency in clear and effective communication. Share instances where you successfully conveyed complex information to non-technical stakeholders. 2. Problem Solving AcumenIn the world of business, problems come up all the time. The ability to think on your feet and adapt to unforeseen circumstances showcases your commitment to delivering results.Top Tip for Interviews: Prepare specific anecdotes showcasing your problem-solving skills. Describe situations where you identified a challenge, analysed options, and implemented a successful solution. 3. Technological ProficiencyFamiliarity with various software, tools, and platforms can significantly enhance your employability. Things like customer relationship systems, project management tools, and data analysis software are just a few examples of technologies that are becoming increasingly integral to business operations. Embracing technology shows you're ready to work in a modern business.Top Tip for your C.V: List the software, applications, and tools you are proficient in on your C.V. Make sure to also include any certifications or trainings related to these technologies on your LinkedIn profile. 4. Adaptability and FlexibilityThe Irish business landscape is always changing, which is why being flexible is so important. Companies want people who can handle change, learn fast, and switch things up when they need to. Being open to new challenges and being willing to upskill can set you apart in a competitive job market.Top tip for your C.V.: On your CV, talk about times when you changed and helped your team or company grow. For interviews, give examples of when you tried new things or took on jobs that weren't easy for you. Show your ability to thrive in dynamic environments. 5. Speaking Other LanguagesIreland’s strategic position in the European Union has led to an influx of international businesses and customers. If you know languages like Spanish, French, or German, this can be a significant advantage. It means you can talk to more people and understand more clients Multilingualism showcases your cultural awareness and ability to engage with a diverse audience.Top Tip for your C.V: Include a section that highlights your language proficiencies and any experiences where you effectively used them in a professional setting. 6. Being Kind and Focused on CustomersFor jobs where you help customers, being kind is important. If you know what customers want and care about their problems, they'll like your company more. Companies value candidates who prioritize customer-centricity, as it directly impacts customer satisfaction and long-term success.Top Tip for Interviews: Share stories of how your empathy positively influenced customer interactions, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction and/or conflict resolution.7. Time Management and OrganisationKnowing how to use your time well and organise things can make you get more done. From arranging meetings to handling administrative responsibilities, these skills demonstrate your capability to juggle multiple priorities and meet deadlines consistently.Top Tip for interviews: Provide examples of how your strong time management skills helped you meet tight deadlines or manage multiple projects simultaneously. As the business world in Ireland keeps changing, the demand for proficient business support and customer service professionals remains steady. Cultivating these in-demand skills not only increases your employability but also positions you as an asset to your employer. Whether you're already experienced or just starting out, getting good at these skills can help you find great jobs and help Irish businesses grow, even when they're competing with companies from all around the world. At Sigmar, we're committed to connecting top talent with businesses seeking excellence in business support and customer service. Get in touch to explore how we can help you thrive in these exciting fields. Email your cv to email@example.com or check out current jobs here
Navigating College Admission Setbacks: A Guide for CAO Students in Ireland
Navigating College Admission Setbacks: A Guide for CAO Students in Ireland
Receiving news that you didn't secure a college place through the CAO can be disappointing and even overwhelming. However, it's essential to remember that setbacks are a natural part of life's journey. Instead of dwelling on the disappointment, consider this as an opportunity to explore alternative paths and make the most out of the situation. In this guide, we'll provide valuable insights and actionable steps to help CAO students in Ireland navigate the uncertainty and turn this setback into a steppingstone towards a bright future.1. Stay Positive and Manage Emotions:Disappointment is natural, but it's crucial not to let it consume you. Give yourself permission to feel the emotions, but also work on maintaining a positive attitude. Engage in activities that make you happy, talk to friends and family for support, and focus on your strengths and accomplishments. A positive mindset will help you approach the next steps with determination.2. Consider Alternative Educational Paths:Not getting into your desired college doesn't mean the end of your educational journey. Look into alternative educational paths, such as enrolling in a different college or university, pursuing online courses, or considering vocational training. Many successful individuals have taken unconventional routes and still achieved their goals.3. Seek Guidance and Support:Don't hesitate to seek guidance from mentors, teachers, career counsellors, or recruitment agencies. They can provide insights into potential opportunities that align with your interests and skills. 4. Reflect and Re-evaluate: Take this time to reflect on your academic and career goals. Is your chosen path truly aligned with your passions and ambitions? Use this setback as an opportunity to re-evaluate your aspirations and make any necessary adjustments to your plans.5. Upskill and Enhance Your Profile:Consider using this time to enhance your skill set. Take online courses, pursue certifications, or engage in relevant projects that will bolster your resume. This proactive approach not only adds value to your profile but also demonstrates your commitment to personal and professional growth.6. Develop a Plan B:It's always a good idea to have a backup plan. Research industries and roles that are in demand and have a promising future. This might involve exploring emerging fields like technology, healthcare, or sustainable energy. Having a well-thought-out Plan B can help you feel more secure in your career prospects.7. Embrace Resilience:Resilience is a valuable trait that can help you navigate setbacks and emerge stronger. Remember that setbacks are temporary, and your ability to overcome challenges will define your success. Embrace the journey, learn from your experiences, and use them to fuel your determination.Not receiving a college place from the CAO might feel like a setback, but it's important to view it as an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. By understanding your options, staying positive, seeking guidance, and exploring alternative paths, you can turn this moment of disappointment into a steppingstone toward a fulfilling and successful future. Remember, your journey is unique, and the setbacks you encounter can shape you into a stronger, more resilient individual.
In-Demand Areas for the Future: A Guide for Leaving Cert Graduates
In-Demand Areas for the Future: A Guide for Leaving Cert Graduates
As the results of the Leaving Cert exams are announced, a new chapter begins for many young individuals. The choices made now can significantly impact their future careers. With the rapidly evolving job market, it's essential to be aware of the in-demand areas that promise exciting opportunities and growth potential. In this article, we'll explore the top industries and fields that are expected to be in high demand in the coming years.1. Technology and IT:In our digital age, technology continues to reshape the world, creating a surging demand for skilled professionals in IT and related fields. From software development and artificial intelligence to cybersecurity and data science, technology-driven roles offer a promising future. To maximize opportunities, consider pursuing courses and certifications that align with the latest tech trends.Average Salary Example: A software developer in Ireland can earn an average salary ranging from €40,000 to €60,000 per year, depending on experience and specialization. As of August 2023, Glassdoor states that the average salary for a software developer in Ireland with 2-4 years of experience was €63,006.2. Healthcare and Medical Sciences:The healthcare sector remains a cornerstone of society, and advancements in medical sciences are continuously improving patient care. From medical practitioners and nurses to biotechnologists and medical researchers, the healthcare industry offers diverse roles that are both fulfilling and financially rewarding. Pursuing a career in this sector ensures job stability and a chance to make a positive impact on people's lives.Average Salary Example: Registered nurses in Ireland earn an average annual salary of around €32,000 to €45,000, with opportunities for specialization leading to higher earning potential.3. Renewable Energy and Environmental Sciences:The global push for sustainability has driven the growth of the renewable energy and environmental sectors. As concerns about climate change intensify, professionals in fields such as renewable energy engineering, environmental consultancy, and sustainable urban planning are becoming increasingly vital. These roles contribute to a greener future while offering lucrative career paths.Average Salary Example: Renewable energy engineers in Ireland can earn an average annual salary ranging from €35,000 to €55,000, depending on experience and the specific area of expertise.4. E-Commerce and Digital Marketing:The rise of online shopping and digital platforms has transformed the way businesses operate. As a result, e-commerce and digital marketing experts are in high demand. Brands are constantly seeking individuals who can navigate the digital landscape, manage online stores, and create effective marketing campaigns. A solid understanding of e-commerce trends and digital tools is key to excelling in this field.Average Salary Example: Digital marketing managers in Ireland can earn an average annual salary ranging from €40,000 to €60,000, based on their level of expertise and the scale of the projects they manage.5. Finance and Fintech:The financial industry continues to evolve with the integration of technology, giving rise to the booming field of fintech (financial technology). Whether it's mobile banking apps, cryptocurrency, or robo-advisors, fintech is reshaping traditional financial services. Pursuing a career in finance or fintech opens doors to roles such as financial analysts, investment advisors, and blockchain developers.Average Salary Example: Financial analysts in Ireland can earn an average annual salary ranging from €40,000 to €60,000, with the potential for higher earnings based on experience and specialization.As Leaving Cert graduates embark on their journey into the professional world, it's crucial to be aware of the industries and fields that offer the best prospects. The future job market is dynamic and ever evolving, driven by technological advancements and societal shifts. By considering the in-demand areas mentioned above and equipping themselves with the necessary skills and qualifications, young individuals can position themselves for success and a rewarding career path.Remember, staying updated with industry trends, continuously learning, and adapting to changes will be key factors in thriving in the competitive job market of the future. Whether it's embracing technology, contributing to sustainability efforts, or shaping the digital landscape, the opportunities are vast for those who are prepared to seize them. Good luck to all Leaving Cert graduates on their exciting journey ahead!
How Do I Get A Job In Digital Marketing?
How Do I Get A Job In Digital Marketing?
One of the most common questions we get asked by recent graduates or people looking to alter their career is about working in Digital Marketing. It is the Holy Grail for a lot of people coming out of a business/marketing qualification and is one of the mostly highly competitive spaces to go into when searching for work. It is difficult to get these positions but not impossible. First of all why do you want to work as a Digital Marketer? Are you techie, a nerd or a geek? To be successful in this space you need to be passionate about the tools you are using to reach the people you are trying to target. This is a space that moves so fast that knowledge gained can be redundant within 6 months and if you don’t have the desire to keep pace you will get left behind. Keep embracing new technologies, be an early adopter and don’t fall by the wayside. Now that we know you really want this career let’s see how you can gain an edge against your competition: 1. Get a qualification. You are going to need a qualification in marketing with a strong focus on digital in it. If it’s not in the title then mention the digital courses in your education. Any additional courses you can do for free in your spare time should be mentioned – Companies want you to be good with software packages like Hubspot – download it and play around! 2. Build an online presence! You are applying for a digital role so you need to have a digital presence – Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter – all should be up to date and active (especially Linkedin as this is the first place a recruiter or hiring manager will look). Blogs, digital portfolios or anything that shows contribution or activity online can be an effective tool. You want to stand out so blog about something you are passionate about! 3. Specialise in something. Social Media, Digital Content and e-Marketing are probably the 3 biggest areas within Digital Marketing and if you can show that this niche is your gig then you will fare better in applying to those roles.While having a broad understanding of digital marketing is important, it's also beneficial to specialize in a specific area that aligns with your interests and strengths. This can make you stand out in the job market and increase your chances of finding relevant opportunities. Determine which aspect of digital marketing you enjoy the most and focus on developing expertise in that particular area.4. Stay up to date with industry trendsThe digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving. Stay updated with the latest trends, technologies, and strategies by following industry blogs, subscribing to newsletters, attending webinars, and participating in relevant online communities. This will demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning and your ability to adapt to new challenges.5. Work experience This is the tricky bit. Most employers want to see some experience on your CV so where possible do internships and ask for work while there. Also look at volunteering to improve the online presence of local clubs or businesses – do they have a Facebook page and can you increase the amount of likes they get? Stay up to date with industry trends: The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving. Stay updated with the latest trends, technologies, and strategies by following industry blogs, subscribing to newsletters, attending webinars, and participating in relevant online communities. This will demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning and your ability to adapt to new challenges.6. Mention all of this on your CV! As a recruiter I don’t have time to read a cover letter from every applicant so if the info isn’t on your CV then I won’t see it. Be clear and concise but make sure I see – education, digital experience, and digital skills. Remember, landing a job in digital marketing requires a combination of knowledge, practical skills, and relevant experience. The key thing about getting work in digital is to realise that the person you apply to will immediately check out your online presence and level of activity. If I am looking for someone to publish content online and you can show that you do that on a regular basis you should be a step or two ahead of some of your rivals. None of the above will guarantee you a job in digital marketing, but it will certainly set you on the right path!