I wish someone told me earlier on in my “career” this handy bit of advice:
Startups will hire you if you can prove to them that you are valuable.
This is unique. Most jobs require you to apply formally: submit an application and write a cover letter, etc. But startups are different. No one has time to think of that stuff. People are moving fast and breaking things. Startups need to worry about one thing and that is survival.
So when I used to reach out to founders in hopes of getting a job, I was going about it completely the wrong way. I was asking if they were hiring, if they needed help. What I should have been doing?
Easy. I should have been just helping them. You do not need a founders permission to provide value. If you provide enough value, they will have no other choice but to optimize your help and “hire” you.
Why do you want to be hired anyway? (Make sure you know that).
Asking to help a small, fast growing company is also redundant. OF COURSE THEY NEED HELP. If they did not need help, they would’ve already scaled and taken over the world. Startups need help all of the time. But they do not have time to think about all of their problems and specific needs.
I made the error of coming to a founder asking what I can do. Instead I should have told the founder what I could do to help their business.
Anyways, hope this helps someone, or just me:)