26 Feb


Why startups will love your ski season


As February draws to a close, lucky ski seasonnaires are probably the only group of people who are happy that winter’s having a final hurrah: what in London means grey sludge and packed tubes just makes the Alps more Alp-y, and means there’s lots of soft white snow to zoom round in. And the freezing weather delays a gloomy prospect: spring, slush and mud, and packed Ryanair flights back to the UK.

At this time of the year, many people are entering the final few weeks before Real Life becomes an undeniable reality- and that means it’s time for a bit of planning. If your thoughts are beginning to turn to the kind of ‘proper’ job you’ll want in a few months’ time, you’ve probably already discovered that graduate roles, at this time of year, are thin on the ground: grad scheme applications won’t open until September for Autumn 2019, and big companies make the bulk of their hires either around the new year, or when a fresh cohort of grads enters the market in June.

But if you’re considering a career that’s a bit off-piste, you’re in luck: plenty of tech startups recruit grads all year round, into roles with high earning potential and quick progression- and what’s more, they love to see ski seasons on applicant CVs. Here’s why.

1. You’re not afraid of hard work.

Simultaneously the most challenging and rewarding thing about working in a startup is that, roles, and you’ll be accountable for your success from day one.  This means learning, experience and personal development that wouldn’t be available on a rigidly-organised rotation scheme- but it also means that startups are not for shirkers.

Small businesses want to hire people who aren’t afraid of a challenge- who, when the pressure is on to meet a deadline or close a deal, will be flexible and creative, unafraid to roll their sleeves up and get stuck in. The love to see ski seasons on applicant CVs because four months’ working in a bar or chalet probably meant late nights, last-minute schedule changes, difficult customers and more than a few unpleasant tasks (no boss you’ll work for, in any commercial role, will ever ask you to clean their bathroom).

2. You’re outgoing.

Broadly speaking, people who do ski seasons tend to have the energy, sociability and fun-factor that mean they thrive in business, especially in commercial roles. And what’s more, it’s crucial, for small companies, to hire people who will be a good ‘cultural fit’- who will fit straight into the team, and be a pleasure to spend five days a week around. Startups suit people who want to work hard and get things done, but who do best in a casual, friendly atmosphere.

3. You’re independent and proactive.

Planning and funding a ski season- the whole process of saving up, finding a job and a place to stay, and making things work- shows independence, tenacity and proactivity. Startups need people with these qualities for two reasons. First, bosses of small, busy teams don’t have time to sit over their employees and supervise their every move. They need people who can be trusted to get on with stuff on their own, get things done and solve their own problems. Second, dynamic, fast-growing companies continually create new roles and opportunities as they expand and develop- this means lots of opportunities to progress, and quickly. CEOs want to invest in people who won’t just be able to do the job they’re being hired for, but who will be able to handle the tasks and responsibility that come with promotion.

4. You’ve got a reason to earn.

It’s no secret- one of the best things about commercial roles is their high earning potential. Companies want to hire people with a fiery motivation to earn money that will mean they pull out all the stops to hit their targets each month. The more you can tell an employer about what motivates you to get up in the morning- skiing holidays included- the harder they know you’ll work.

Venatrix specialises in placing talented people into commercial roles at some of the fastest-growing disruptive tech startups in London, the US and Asia.

If you’re about to finish a ski season, and you want advice on the kinds of startups and roles you might be suited for, email your CV to stephanie.allen@venatrixuk.com. Alternatively, you can check out the roles we’re hiring for this week here: https://www.venatrixuk.com/graduate-job-search/

If you want to read more about what working in a startup is like, you can see our interview with Claudia here: https://www.venatrixuk.com/what-does-it-take-to-get-a-graduate-role-in-a-startup/