When I left University I was desperate to be a journalist and change the world through a lens! Whether it was from a wore-torn country, an inner city picket line or sat around the table with embittered firemen, I wanted to be there. But what I didn’t realise was that technology and start-ups were about to change the world too. Tiring, frustrating, challenging, but brilliant start-ups. Not always the best business idea may I add, but I loved the buzz and gradually changed my career plans.
Today I work for two businesses, whilst trying to still ‘moonlight’ as a video producer, although that does tend to take a back seat most days. The first is JournoLink and the second is a FinTech business also based in London. I guess they both involve a very different working day, but that’s what makes its so exciting. Some days, I’m presenting at a networking group, others I’m sitting in website design meetings and working on marketing strategies.
I often get asked how I work across two businesses because it does mean you tend to be working at 110% every day! If you don’t like being busy and occupied than the start-up world isn’t for you. But it’s also about managing your time and managing yourself, which are both as equally as important as each other.
Here are my top five ways to stay sane if you’re working for more than one start-up business:
1) Know when to stay NO! Your bosses AND colleagues will keep giving you work, but it’s your job to say when you just can’t. Prioritise, make lists and focus on what counts.
2) Make sure you take time to be you. Whether you love watching football, dancing late into the night or going to the cinema, block in time to give yourself a break from the computer screen.
3) Use project management software to keep track of your to-do lists. I used to swear by pen and paper notebooks until someone showed me Trello and Evernote.
4) Carry a charging cable AND/OR a battery pack if you can. These have saved my life countless times when I’m on a tight deadline and my phone has died. Or worse, when I’ve been using maps on the way to a meeting!!
5) Take time to get to know as many people as possible in your office. You never know when you’ll have to rely on them to help you out, or even better, they may have an untapped skill that even your boss is unaware of.
If you’re looking to work in a start-up then make sure you’re ready for long hours and hard work, but very few dull days. There are plenty of great websites to look for start-up jobs!
Written by: Emily Brown, Head of Partnerships
Emily trained as a broadcast journalist and worked as a reporter for The Voice Newspaper, Community Channel and The BBC, before starting her own video production company. She now heads up Journolink’s Marketing and Partnerships, taking a special interest in food and charity projects.