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

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Steve Kahan

Steve Kahan 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.


Steve Kahan


Be A Startup Superstar – Check out Steve Kahan’s book!

2 Top Career Tips

1) 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. Steve also 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.
2) 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.

Show Notes

Worst Career Moment

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.

Career Highlight

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.

The Future

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.

The Reveal

What first attracted you to a career in I.T.?

Not asked because the question was not relevant relevant

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Before accepting a new job make sure you ask enough questions to establish whether you will be truly happy in the role

What is 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 had to begin your career again in today’s world, what would you do?

Steve would immediately start work in the start-up world.

What career objectives are you currently focusing on?

Not asked because the question was not relevant relevant

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

What do you do to 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 in your spare time away from technology?

Steve enjoys paddle boarding and learning the guitar. He has also recently started taking Cessna pilot lessons

Contact The Guest

Contact Steve Kahan through the following social media platforms:



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Accelerate Your Career Every Week - NOW

Tips & advice for advancing your career. Get my most powerful tips FOR FREE. No spam, ever.

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