Crash Course: Working at an Early-Stage Startup

I spent 4 weeks creating order out of chaos in Operations.

Get a look into the eye of the storm.

Over the last month, I’ve been navigating the stormy, volatile, yet fulfilling waters of an early-stage startup.

There were many ups and downs, but I’ve emerged fully on board with the ever-changing startup environment. 

If you’re considering working for a startup (especially an early-stage startup), take a look at some of the new things I learned along the way. And avoid mistaking the same mistakes I did!

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4 Weeks of Goals

Learn how I worked directly with the CEO to create goals and make weekly adjustments.

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Task Prioritization

I provide a framework that’s simple and easily adjustable in the fast-paced environment of a startup.

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Working with me

I created a guide to working with me, inspired by High Growth Handbook by Elad Gil.

What did I accomplish, anyway?

Let’s say disembarking on this journey proved turbulent.

At first, I spent a week and outlined a project to implement a CRM to track candidates and automate various aspects of my work.

Sounds great, right? Nope.

It took me the next week to realize that wasn’t going to work. In my research, I discovered the lean startup methodology and realized we were constantly changing our workflows and processes.

So this tool would actually require more time than it’d save.

Take a look at the first outline and how it changed to better fit our approach as a startup.

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There are a few main takeaways from my experience working at an early-stage startup, especially in operations:


  • Be ready to adapt to something new. Every day.
  • Be thoughtful about your decisions, because the change you want to make happens immediately. Then, move on and re-evaluate when something’s not working.
  • Remember that you’re creating order out of chaos. Your workflows and goals will adjust.
  • If you’re successful, your results will set the standard for the next person to assist in your role. This is a huge responsibility, but way more rewarding than being told exactly what to do with no say in how it’s done.
  • If you’re not successful or make a mistake, know that’s part of the process. Then, look for a lesson (there will be one). Use that tomorrow or in your next role.