Episode 246 – Join a Startup to Progress Fast and Build a Strong Skillset with Steve Kahan

 In Podcasts

Phil’s guest on this episode of the IT Career Energizer podcast is Steve Kahan.  Steve has helped to grow seven startup companies from early-stage development to going public or being sold, resulting in a total value of more than $3 billion.

He is currently Chief Marketing Officer for Thycotic, a cybersecurity company, which he has helped take from $10 million to over $60 million in its first three years.

And late last year his book “Be A Startup Superstar: Ignite Your Career Working at a Tech Startup” was published by Wiley.

In this episode, Phil and Steve Kahan discuss the benefits of working for a startup, how to pick one with a winning product and quickly track down the best jobs within the sector. They also cover how to give yourself the best chance of landing the job you want. Then what you need to do to progress quickly and take full advantage of the chance to grow your skillset.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

(3.06) CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR FIRST STARTUP EXPERIENCE?

Steve started by looking for startup companies in his area. He took a job with a company that was working to change the way applications were being developed.

On his first day, he noticed someone taking the coffee machine away. It turned out the company could not afford to pay the bill. But, with hard work, they turned things around and the business went public.

 

(4.54) WHY DO YOU RECOMMEND WORKING FOR A TECH START-UP OVER A LARGE CORPORATION?

Startups are usually run by mavericks. People who want to do something different and are highly driven. They don’t let bureaucracy stop them. Startups move fast and change the world. Someone who can deliver will quickly progress within that environment.

Steve also explains why some large corporations now try to create a startup-like environment within some of their departments.

(10.05) HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT FINDING THE BEST STARTUP OPPORTUNITIES?

In the podcast, Steve uncovers a source of startup jobs that many IT professionals don´t know about.

(13.15) WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR WHEN DECIDING WHETHER OR NOT TO JOIN A TECH STARTUP?

When it comes to narrowing down his options he starts by looking for firms with quality people, who share his values. It is the people who reflect the true culture of a startup, which is why, during a job hunt, he starts from that point.

Next on his list is the concept and product. In the podcast, he explains how to spot a winner.

 

(17.26) WHAT SHOULD YOU DO TO GIVE YOURSELF THE BEST CHANCE OF JOINING A STARTUP?

At this point, Steve shares a list of questions you should be asking. Questions that demonstrate that you are the right person for the job as well as uncover what you need to know about the startup. He also recommends engaging with the starters online and via social media.

 

(19.20) CAN YOU SHARE A CAREER TIP THAT WOULD HELP SOMEONE BE SUCCESSFUL AT A STARTUP AND PROGRESS THEIR CAREER?

Learn to protect your calendar, so you can achieve work-life harmony. If you have not scheduled time to do things you and your family enjoy, there is something wrong. Without that, you cannot do your best work.

 

(22.15) THE REVEAL

What’s the best career advice you received? – Before accepting a new job make sure you ask enough questions to establish whether you will be truly happy in the role.

What’s the worst career advice you´ve ever received? – Don´t acknowledge the elephant in the room. In the podcast, Steve explains why he ignores this advice.

If you were to begin your career again in today’s world, what would you do? – Steve would immediately start work in the start-up world.

What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far? – Communication. In the podcast, Steve explains how being a good communicator goes beyond just being a good listener and speaker.

How do you keep your own career energized? – By being a constant learner. Steve is always looking for something new to learn. Things that enable him to deliver something extra.

What do you do away from the world of tech startups? – Steve enjoys paddle boarding and learning the guitar. He has also recently started taking Cessna pilot lessons.

 

(36.55) STEVE, CAN YOU SHARE WITH US A FINAL STORY ABOUT WHAT IT’S LIKE ON THE INSIDE OF A HIGH-FLYING STARTUP, AND WHAT MAKES THEM SPECIAL?

In this section, Steve shares a story about a site security firm he worked for. He explains how they overcame what appeared to be an insurmountable problem and were able to do so at lightning speed. Something that enabled them to beat their competitors.

(39.04) CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR BOOK “BE A STARTUP SUPERSTAR”?

Steve´s book is all about attitudes, behaviors, and actions you need to take to be a success while working at a startup to be able to take your career to the next level.

 

(39.36) WHERE CAN LISTENERS GET A COPY OF THE BOOK?

The book can be bought from most online book retailers or from startupsuperstar.com

 

BEST MOMENTS

(6.46) – Steve – “When you work for startups, there’s a better chance of moving up quickly, provided you deliver.”

(10.30) – Steve – “When looking for a startup to work for, use the websites of technology accelerators to find jobs.”

(11.25) – Steve – “Engaging with the leaders of a startup online is a great way to improve your chances of landing a role.”

(22..17) – Steve – “During a job interview don´t stop asking questions before you have all of the information you need.”

(28.47) – Steve – “Working for start-ups, quickly broadens your skillset. Plus, potentially, your stock options can make you a lot of money.”

 

ABOUT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS

Phil Burgess is an independent IT consultant who has spent the last 20 years helping organisations to design, develop and implement software solutions. Phil has always had an interest in helping others to develop and advance their careers. And in 2017 Phil started the I.T. Career Energizer podcast to try to help as many people as possible to learn from the career advice and experiences of those that have been, and still are, on that same career journey.

 

CONTACT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS

Contact Phil through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/philtechcareer

LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/philburgess

Facebook: https://facebook.com/philtechcareer

Instagram: https://instagram.com/philtechcareer

Website: https://itcareerenergizer.com/contact

Phil is also reachable by email at [email protected] and via the podcast’s website, https://itcareerenergizer.com

Join the I.T. Career Energizer Community on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/ITCareerEnergizer

 

ABOUT THE GUEST – STEVE KAHAN

Steve Kahan has had a distinguished career. Steve has helped to grow seven startup companies from early-stage development to going public or being sold, resulting in a total value of more than $3 billion.

He is currently Chief Marketing Officer for Thycotic, a cybersecurity company, which he has helped take from $10 million to over $60 million in its first three years.

And late last year his book “Be A Startup Superstar: Ignite Your Career Working at a Tech Startup” was published by Wiley.

CONTACT THE GUEST – STEVE KAHAN

Contact Steve Kahan through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/stevekhan1

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/stevekahan

Website: https://beastartupsuperstar.com/

 

Recommended Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text.

Start typing and press Enter to search