How to Move
From Finance to
Tech
Everything I Wish I’d Known
The Single Biggest Difference
Tech Hiring ProcessFinance Hiring Process
Risk Management Extends To Hiring
Bad hire into a well defined role where hiring is
managed by an experienced HR team at a...
How You Help Them Find You in The
Chaos: Figure Out Where You Are
“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road
will get...
Questions to Consider (Plus, How I’d
Answer Them
Where Do I Want To Live?
● In the US, most tech concentrated in
NYC/SF
● Look at the types of companies that are in
each c...
What Kinds of Companies Are
Interesting to Me?
You wouldn’t go into banking without a strong
view on which of the industry...
What Do I Actually Want to Do All
Day?
There’s not much out there like Vault.com in
terms of resources.
But there are a lo...
What Stage/Size Company Do I Want
to Work For?
Seed Series A Series B or More
Your Role Generalist Specializing Specialist...
What Kind of Culture Do I Want?
Bank culture
doesn’t vary that
much.
Startups culture
varies a lot.
● Hours
● Location
● P...
So Now You’ve Done All This
Reflecting
Now it’s time to act on what you’ve thought
about.
The more focused you can be, the...
Get To Know the Landscape
● Know the major VCs & read their blogs
○ AVC.com
○ BothSidesOfTheTable.com
○ Launch.co
● Read t...
Make a List of the Companies that
You Find Interesting
Prioritize them.
Figure out what the 3 biggest challenges are for
e...
Rewrite Your Resume
Financial jargon will impress no one.
Rewrite your resume so that it actually
communicates your skills...
Get Social
● LinkedIn: for sure, and grandmother-proof
● Twitter: yes, even if you’re just sharing
articles, etc you find ...
Be Proactive
There is no hiring cycle.
Jobs are rarely listed on company’s websites.
So your job is to skate where the puc...
Reach Out & Make It Easy for Them
To Say Yes
● Be passionate but focused
● Offer value before you ask for anything in
retu...
Bad Email
Hi there,
I spent two years as a derivative trader on a
desk at Morgan Stanley and really want to work
at a star...
Good Email
● Uses the product
● Did research
● Has personality
● Explains
background
clearly
● Clear rationale for
passion...
Other Ways To Interact
● Share relevant articles via Twitter/Facebook
● Retweet/reply to the company’s tweets
● Like/comme...
Interviewing: Prep
● Read everything you can get your hands on
about the company
● Be able to articulate the company’s mis...
Interviewing: Day Of
● Startups are informal...but basics still apply:
○ Be on time
○ Bring printed copies of your resume
...
Some Hiring Practices That Seem
Weird But Are Common in Tech
● You may be asked to do a project to
demonstrate your skills...
Mistakes to Avoid
● Reaching out to multiple people at a
company, especially if they have similar
roles
● Expressing an in...
Want More?
● Take my Skillshare class in NYC
● Take my Udemy course online
● Follow me on Tumblr: khuyi.tumblr.com
● Follo...
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Everything I Wish I'd Known When I Moved From Finance To a Tech Startup

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I spent five years in finance before moving to work at a tech startup based in NYC. The recruiting process in tech is very different, and this presentation shares everything I wish I'd known when I was making the move, including:
How to think about what I was looking for
How to approach startups
Whether or not I should be active on social media
Interviewing tips

There's a version with audio on Udemy: http://bit.ly/14Byvm2

Published in: Career, Technology, Business
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Everything I Wish I'd Known When I Moved From Finance To a Tech Startup

  1. 1. How to Move From Finance to Tech Everything I Wish I’d Known
  2. 2. The Single Biggest Difference Tech Hiring ProcessFinance Hiring Process
  3. 3. Risk Management Extends To Hiring Bad hire into a well defined role where hiring is managed by an experienced HR team at a 30,000 person company: not super risky Bad hire into a nebulous role where hiring is managed by founder at a 30 person company: very risky You need to de-risk yourself.
  4. 4. How You Help Them Find You in The Chaos: Figure Out Where You Are “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” -- Lewis Carroll Have you thought about where you’re going?
  5. 5. Questions to Consider (Plus, How I’d Answer Them
  6. 6. Where Do I Want To Live? ● In the US, most tech concentrated in NYC/SF ● Look at the types of companies that are in each city - they’re pretty different ● Obviously, personal factors play a big role here too
  7. 7. What Kinds of Companies Are Interesting to Me? You wouldn’t go into banking without a strong view on which of the industry groups is most interesting to you. Likewise, figure out what area of tech you’re most excited about: financial tech, advertising tech, online content, etc.
  8. 8. What Do I Actually Want to Do All Day? There’s not much out there like Vault.com in terms of resources. But there are a lot of job descriptions out there. Read a wide variety of descriptions and get a sense for what you find most exciting - both the general job functions and also which individual tasks. Write a job description for the role you want.
  9. 9. What Stage/Size Company Do I Want to Work For? Seed Series A Series B or More Your Role Generalist Specializing Specialist Hiring Process Founder involved Least structured Minimal onboarding Hiring manager leads More structured Minimal onboarding Hiring manager or HR person More structured Onboarding # of Employees Smallest Medium Larger Risk Highest Medium Lowest Salary Lowest Medium Market rate
  10. 10. What Kind of Culture Do I Want? Bank culture doesn’t vary that much. Startups culture varies a lot. ● Hours ● Location ● Professionalis m ● Values Pro tip: Founder’s personality = startup’s culture
  11. 11. So Now You’ve Done All This Reflecting Now it’s time to act on what you’ve thought about. The more focused you can be, the better people will be able to help you. FOCUS IS YOUR FRIEND.
  12. 12. Get To Know the Landscape ● Know the major VCs & read their blogs ○ AVC.com ○ BothSidesOfTheTable.com ○ Launch.co ● Read the tech press like you’d read the Wall Street Journal ○ Silicon Alley Insider ○ TechCrunch ○ AllThingsDigital ● Attend smaller tech events (<100 people, and ideally smaller than that) ● Find people in your network that are in tech
  13. 13. Make a List of the Companies that You Find Interesting Prioritize them. Figure out what the 3 biggest challenges are for each right now, and how you could help tackle those challenges. Figure out who you know at each company. Reach out to them.
  14. 14. Rewrite Your Resume Financial jargon will impress no one. Rewrite your resume so that it actually communicates your skills to someone who has never so much as opened a bank account. Your grandmother should be able to read it.
  15. 15. Get Social ● LinkedIn: for sure, and grandmother-proof ● Twitter: yes, even if you’re just sharing articles, etc you find interesting ● Facebook: people may look at it but unless you have really bad stuff, no one will care ● Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest: can be incrementally helpful ● Blog: awesome, but highest effort
  16. 16. Be Proactive There is no hiring cycle. Jobs are rarely listed on company’s websites. So your job is to skate where the puck is going: ● if they raise a round of financing, they’ll probably hire ● if they close a bunch of bus dev deals, they’ll probably add to that team
  17. 17. Reach Out & Make It Easy for Them To Say Yes ● Be passionate but focused ● Offer value before you ask for anything in return
  18. 18. Bad Email Hi there, I spent two years as a derivative trader on a desk at Morgan Stanley and really want to work at a startup. Can I get coffee with you sometime? Jeff
  19. 19. Good Email ● Uses the product ● Did research ● Has personality ● Explains background clearly ● Clear rationale for passion about the product ● Humble
  20. 20. Other Ways To Interact ● Share relevant articles via Twitter/Facebook ● Retweet/reply to the company’s tweets ● Like/comment on the company’s Facebook posts ● Share/comment on the company’s blog ● Follow the company’s employees on social media ● Look for introductions to people at the company ● Write a blog post about the company and share it across social media
  21. 21. Interviewing: Prep ● Read everything you can get your hands on about the company ● Be able to articulate the company’s mission in one sentence ● Be able to articulate 3-5 things about the company’s culture that stand out to you ● Talk to people in similar roles at other companies to get a sense for “a day in the life”
  22. 22. Interviewing: Day Of ● Startups are informal...but basics still apply: ○ Be on time ○ Bring printed copies of your resume ○ Don’t wear a suit, but don’t look like a slob either ○ Describe what you think a typical day would look like in the role you’re applying for ○ Articulate why this company, and why this role ○ Send a thank-you note
  23. 23. Some Hiring Practices That Seem Weird But Are Common in Tech ● You may be asked to do a project to demonstrate your skills ● You may be asked to intern or work on a contract basis before coming on full time ● Hiring process could move super quickly...or take months
  24. 24. Mistakes to Avoid ● Reaching out to multiple people at a company, especially if they have similar roles ● Expressing an interest in multiple roles at a company ● Not doing your homework about the company, including not being a user of its product
  25. 25. Want More? ● Take my Skillshare class in NYC ● Take my Udemy course online ● Follow me on Tumblr: khuyi.tumblr.com ● Follow me on Twitter: @khuyi

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