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How I landed a job at an early stage startup with zero experience

During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic I was looking for a side project to take up some of my newfound free time (no work commute, no going out on weekends, gym closed, etc).

Newsletters were beginning to be all the rage. I figured with everyone working from home it would be fun to see everyone's new WFH setups. The Workspaces newsletter was born. Since then, I have featured 60+ workspaces from startup founders, FAANG employees, writers, etc. The newsletter itself has grown to ~1,000 subscribers with a 50%+ open rate each week.

Along the way, people began to reach out to chat about the newsletter itself. Sam DeBrule from a startup called Journal reached out to learn more and we ended up collaborating on a tweet thread around the concept + some of the spaces!

I have always been interested in startups and the tech scene but growing up in the Midwest this just didn't seem to be a likely career path. With Workspaces getting some attention I was again excited at the idea of joining a startup or a smaller team. However, I struggled to get a job anywhere that had even the smallest resemblance of a startup or early stage company. I was applying everywhere. Anytime I saw a customer support/success or marketing related role I would throw my name in the hat. And then... nothing. Crickets.

Then Sam from Journal reached out again...

I now run a tech blog with 4,000,000+ monthly pageviews and a newsletter with 16,000+ subscribers working in a marketing related role at Journal.

I think my journey into tech/startups is proof that simply applying to open roles won't cut it. The work I am doing at Journal wasn't even on their jobs page.

Start that side project that you've been considering, build and share in public, grow your audience, and be open to feedback along the way. Who knows... it just might open doors that were previously closed.

  1. 1

    Congratulations @ryangilbert! I just finished browsing through some of the workspaces on workspaces.xyz and signed up.

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