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2014-06-12    来源:未知    【      美国外教 在线口语培训


Dear Annie: My dad sent me your column about how to find a job after graduation, but I have one further question. I'll be graduating in June with a bachelor's in computer science, and so far I have two job offers. One is from a big, well-established company with a famous brand, and the other is from a small company that was started about five years ago to market an innovative software product.

I really want to work for the startup, because it seems much more exciting, while the other company would be less risky but also less interesting, I think. On the other hand, friends tell me that three out of five new businesses fail, and I'm wondering whether the big company would just be a safer bet. Can you advise me on how to tell whether the startup is likely to be around a couple of years from now? --Undecided

Dear Undecided: Interesting question. I put it to Asim Razzaq, head of engineering at Silicon Valley cloud computing firm Axcient, launched in 2006. Earlier in his career, Razzaq was director of engineering at eBay (EBAY) but, before that, he worked for three startups -- including one he joined right out of college even though, like you, he also had offers from big-name companies.

"Beginning my career at a startup was the single best decision I've ever made," Razzaq says. "It gave me a chance to do a lot more things and learn more much faster than I would have at a bigger, more hierarchical company."

That's not to say your friends don't have a point. How can you tell whether a promising startup is the next Google (GOOG), or just a flash in the pan? Razzaq suggests you do enough digging to answer these seven questions:

1. What stage is the startup in now? "Joining a very early-stage startup, where it's just a few guys on a shoestring budget with no track record yet, is obviously a huge gamble," Razzaq notes. You'd be better off at a company that, while still small, has "a proven customer base and demonstrated revenues. Not only is it less risky, but you'll learn more."
1. 这家初创公司目前处于什么阶段?拉扎克称:“处在早期的初创公司仅有寥寥数人,预算非常紧张,没有任何以往记录,加入这样的公司明显要冒很大的风险。”如果找一家虽然很小,但“已有完善的客户基础和实际收入的公司,情况会好很多。不仅仅是因为风险更少,而且你也能从中学到更多。”

2. Has the enterprise shown fast growth so far? "You want a company that is showing some momentum, because you'll have more opportunities there," says Razzaq. Research the company online, looking closely at lists of fast-growing companies, tech blogs, and IT trade publications. "In tech right now, some fields are hotter than others," he adds. "You need to know the industry well enough to see whether this startup is in a business that is likely to keep growing."
2. 到目前为止,这家公司是否已出现过快速增长?拉扎克说:“你希望一家公司表现出良好的势头,因为这样一来,你就能有更多机会。”上网研究一下这家公司,密切关注增长迅速的公司列表、技术博客和IT行业出版物。“在如今的科技行业,个别领域比其他领域更热门。你需要对行业有非常充分的了解,才能确定一家初创公司所从事的业务是否会持续增长。”

3. Who's in charge? "In any small company, it's all about the people," Razzaq says. "Check out the backgrounds of the management team. What were they doing before they started this? Have they shown success, or better yet multiple successes, in the past?" This is one of the main things investors look for before committing funds, which brings us to the next question …
3. 谁是公司负责人?拉扎克说:“在任何小公司,人事总是最重要的。查看管理团队的背景。创业之前,他们都在做什么?他们过去有过成功吗?或有多次成功吗?”这是投资者在决定投资之前最为关注的事情之一。而这就引出了下一个问题……

4. Who's funding the company? "It's great if venture capitalists have invested, but in and of itself, that doesn't tell you much, because venture capital is fairly easy to get in tech right now," Razzaq says. "You need to look at the investors, who are probably also on the board, and research what they have invested in before this." A solid history of backing winners is a good indication that this firm has strong potential, too.
4. 公司的投资者是谁?拉扎克认为:“如果公司得到了风险投资,当然很好,但这对你而言,并不意味着什么。因为如今,风险投资家很容易便会选择科技公司。你需要关注的是属于公司董事会的投资者,还要调查他们在此之前进行了哪些投资。”一家公司是否具有强有力的发展潜能,可靠的投资记录就是一个很好的说明。

5. Will you have a mentor? "Particularly right out of school, it's essential to learn workplace skills like resolving conflicts and influencing people even though you have no authority yet," Razzaq observes. "A mentor can be a crucial part of this." Axcient, for example, has a "buddy system." All new employees are assigned a "buddy" they can ask for advice.

6. What will your role be? "As a new grad, will you be boxed in to a menial position, or will you have significant responsibility quickly?" Razzaq asks. Try to get an idea of what career progression you can expect, too. "If you see a lot you could be doing in six months or a year, that's a good sign," he says. "You should ask questions like, 'What would success in this job look like, and where would it lead? What will I need to demonstrate in order to get more responsibility?'"
6. 你的职责将是什么?拉扎克问:“作为一名应届毕业生,你是否会被困在一个底层岗位上,或者你是否很快便能承担重任?”尽量弄清楚自己在这家公司内的职业发展前景。他说:“如果你发现在六个月或一年之后,你可以做许多事情,这是一种好的标志。你应该问这样的问题:‘如果在这个岗位上做到成功,结果会是什么样?它能给我带来什么?为了能够承担更多责任,我需要证明什么?’”

7. Do you have the right personality to shine in a startup? "Unlike in a big company, you usually define your own role to a large degree. Instead of telling you what to do and when to do it, people will expect you to figure a lot of things out for yourself," Razzaq says. "So it's important to consider, are you good at spotting opportunities and seizing the initiative to get things done?" Not everyone is comfortable with that, so be honest with yourself.
7. 你是否有适当的个性,能够在初创公司大放异彩?拉扎克说:“与在大公司不同,在很大程度上,你通常需要自己确定自己的职责。人们不会告诉你该做什么,何时去做,而是希望你自己去弄清楚许多事情。所以你应该考虑,自己是否擅长发现机会,把握先机,把事情做好。这一点非常重要。”并不是所有人都乐意这样做。你是否乐意呢?在这个问题面前,一定诚实以对。

He adds that working for a startup "is more challenging and takes more energy, but if you're up to it, you will probably learn more at a startup in one year than you would at a big company in five." Partly for that reason, working for a firm that is still in its infancy is less risky than it might appear, because "you can always work for a big company later," Razzaq says. "Large corporations are looking for ways to be more innovative and nimble, so people who have worked in an entrepreneurial environment are in demand."

Good luck!

Talkback: If you've worked for a startup, or work for one now, do you agree that the learning experience offsets the risk? If you're a hiring manager, do you prefer candidates with an entrepreneurial background? Leave a comment below.

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