Build relationships

Ruby Kolesky & Laura-Jane Booker
Ruby Kolesky & Laura-Jane Booker

12: Build relationships

Building relationships with people in the right types of organisations is important.

So we’ll help you understand the different types of organisations that are out there, and suggest two ways you might start to build relationships with people in them.

Earlier stage vs established corporates

It’s a good idea to compare the experience of working in a smaller company that is earlier on in the journey, such as a start-up or a scale-up, to that of a large corporate.

This will help you have a better sense of what to expect before accepting a role. There are two types of earlier stage organisations, known as start-ups or scale-ups.

A start-up is a newer organisation that is still determining product-market fit, usually they are younger than three years old.

A scale-up is an organisation that is slightly further along, has proven their product-market fit and is in the process of expanding.

A large corporate is an organisation that is already well established within their market and has a large number of employees.

What follows is a list of common traits you can compare between the earlier stage organisations and large corporates.

These are general experiences and don’t always apply to every company.

Trait

Earlier stage organisations

Established corporates

Opportunities

Wear more hats, try more, learn more

More departments/roles you could end up in

Impact

Less people, rules, and restrictions mean you’re more likely to have an impact on outcomes

Many people, rules, and restrictions can make it difficult to have a significant
impact

Career structure

Less structure but usually more growth 

Clearly defined career path

Flexibility

More flexibility

Less flexibility, but COVID is changing this

Job security

More risk the earlier the organisation, unless there is good capital runway, be sure to ask about this

Typically more stability and job security, however as seen in COVID-19 times, nothing is guaranteed

Brand recognition

Less known, more work to secure and retain customers and capitalise, but might not
have competition

Easier to sell and market stuff when people have an idea of who the company is, but
will have competitors

Autonomy

Less hierarchy so individuals at all levels can make more decisions that impact the
business

Hierarchical leadership means less individual decision-making

Process

Things move quickly due to fluid processes but there’s not always a process for everything 

More process heavy, things may move slowly, many are trying to combat this, but it’s
a hard challenge!

Resources

Typically less money and fewer resources available to you, however some start-ups are really well-funded!

Typically more money and more resources available to you, however more people to share it around between

Pay

Pretty well-balanced between start-ups and large corporates these days

Pretty well-balanced between start-ups and large corporates these days

Breadth

More likely to work on a variety of things, less specialist roles 

Less likely to offer roles with broad responsibilities, more likely to specialise

Create a LinkedIn profile

Use LinkedIn to create a profile that clearly indicates your desire to find a role in technology. Your profile is a simple way for someone to get to know you, it’s pretty much the modern day CV.

Put effort into writing a tag line and description that expresses where your interest lies. Add any relevant courses and job experience you have. Even if you do some volunteer work, that’s worth adding, and it says a lot about you.

Once your profile is updated, make connections with people in the organisations you are interested in by adding them to your LinkedIn network.

Don’t be afraid to message people on LinkedIn and ask them to meet for a coffee or have a short video catch-up. Many people are more than happy to listen and also give you their advice.

Slack groups

Slack is a popular tool that technical folks use to collaborate with each other, both inside their organisation and with external groups.

Below are a number of popular Slack groups where people share information with each other. Such as job openings, advice, events and new tools.

Install Slack, and join any group that aligns with your interest. It’s totally free!

Here are some slack groups you can join:

Slack group

Role type

NZ Tech Women

Tech

NZ Tech WomeNB

Tech

Product Aotearoa

Product

Mind the Product

Product

UX Auckland

Product

UX Christchurch

Product

DEVANZ (Developers of AU and NZ)

Engineering

JavaScript New Zealand

Engineering

Develop NZ

Engineering

NZ Data Science

Data Science

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