“Expertise” and Startups

You don’t have to be an industry expert to be a great asset

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash
  1. Your perspectives are valuable
    If you are working in a company that has ANY customer-facing content, you can rest assured that the way you perceive a product is important. Why? You embody the characteristics of a certain type of customer, and can provide insights and feedback on how someone with your background may understand something. This is a great way to help communications, product and marketing teams rework content to make it more accessible and clear, and less jargon-heavy.
  2. Your background is more than the subjects/industries you were exposed to
    Needless to say, I do not have a background in Fintech, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have the skillset needed to be a good part of the Fintech industry. There are heaps of concrete skills that you pick up during the course of your educational journey and early career that you have leverage elsewhere.
    For example, as a Biology major, I have a certain knack for writing reports, conducting and presenting research, and decoding complicated processes. As an English major, I have the stamina to read and interpret long documents, unpack dense language, and edit content for grammar and clarity. What are your strengths?
  3. You can learn ANYTHING
    Everyone went through a process to get where they are today. In the case of Fintech, some are career bankers who are now getting the opportunity to build products from the ground up. Others have tech backgrounds and are encountering terms like “SIP” and “dedupe” for the first time. If you are willing to dive in, do the research and make a few mistakes, you will pick up what you need to. Plus, being able to pick things up quickly makes you a great candidate for companies in other companies incase you’re thinking about changing things up in the future!
  4. It’s important to interview beyond the industry
    Depending on the position at hand and the stakes of said position, sometimes you can make do with someone with a strong technical foundation who is willing to learn about the industry. This is especially helpful for entry-level positions and in departments where clear communication is vital to a product’s positive reception. Assess for your must-have skills thoroughly during interviews AND build learning opportunities into employee/intern training! You’ll find minds that you didn’t even think are out there.



Trying to make sense of the world, one word at a time

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