fbpx

Insane End of Year Discount. Get 75% off on all programs! 🚀 Use coupon code: EOY75%

Preppally | Career Guidance | Find a job at a tech company

You have decided: you want to work at a tech company but you do not know for sure at which company you see your future self. Regardless of cultural fit, your first step will be to make a list of potential companies. Making that list depends on a couple of factors such as company size, maturity, underlying tech and potential IPO stage. This article will help you to define the right company for you.

Preppally | Career Guidance | Jeroen De Koninck | Founder

Written by Jeroen
Founder Preppally
May, 10, 2022

Preppally | Career Guidance | Jeroen De Koninck | Founder

Written by Jeroen
Founder Preppally
May, 10, 2022

3 Criteria to find a potential tech company to work for

You have decided: you want to work at a tech company but you do not know for sure at which company you see your future self. Regardless of cultural fit, your first step will be to make a list of potential companies. Making that list depends on a couple of factors such as company size, maturity, underlying tech and potential IPO stage. This article will help you to define the right company for you.

Preppally | Career Guide | Google Office Dublin

Google, Office Dublin
Large capitalisation company

Tech company size

The first decision you will make is about the size of a tech company and the maturity of the company itself. In order to create a list of companies, decide your preference. Do you want to work for an established large capitalization company or for a start-up? 

Large capitalization companies are companies with often more than 10,000 employees, with a market value of $10 billion or more. Think Google, Microsoft, Apple or Amazon. These companies give you the advantage of an extensive network, learning opportunities from their best practices, a strong brand on your resume, job security, international mobility or simply put: you will learn from the best. 

Nevertheless, these companies also have some disadvantages. Because of their well established position, career progress in these companies is slow. There is almost no opportunity to build a team below yourself or a new department opening up. This means career progress will be vertical-up, diagonal or by leaving the company. Additionally, you will very likely end up in a specialised role as everyone has a clear definition in terms of roles and responsibilities.

Preppally | Career Guide | Google Office Dublin

Google, Office Dublin
Large capitalisation company

Preppally | Career Guidance | Hopin Small Capitalisation

Hopin, virtual event start-up
Small capitalisation company

On the other side of the coin, we have small capitalisation companies or start-ups. Start-ups offer the opportunity to build and craft your own career path. If you feel like you want to have a serious impact and develop entrepreneurial skills, this might be the best option for you. Traditionally, these companies offer loads of growth potential if successful. If you are an early joiner, your career and value might progress together with the progression of the company itself. Roles are traditionally also more flexible, as not everything is defined yet. You will learn a broad set of skills, a master of none. 

Start-ups also come with a down side: you will never be able to tell at the moment you apply, that this company will make it. If the company does not live up to its expectations your job might be at risk and you will not benefit from their brand as it will never be very strong.

Preppally | Career Guidance | Hopin Small Capitalisation

Hopin, virtual event start-up
Small capitalisation company

Don’t be seduced by a brand name. Choose a size and environment that fits your profile.

The underlying tech of the company

What is Snap Inc.? When asking this question many people would shout ‘Snapchat’ and expect a prize at the end of the show. From a business-to-consumer point of view, this answer is completely right. But what’s more important is the underlying tech a company owns. Snap Inc. is a camera company which invested heavily in visual machine learning, augmented reality and virtual reality.

In five years from now, chances are small the company will still solely focus on Snapchat and the probability is high the platform will look completely different. Ten years ago, Facebook was nothing more than a platform to post text and pictures. Anno 2022, you can have your full storefront on Facebook, sell products directly, pay for products, chat with other people and even use it at your internal directory for your company. Products and companies evolve. 

The underlying tech a company owns, gives a lot of direction towards their long term plan. One way you can deep dive into the tech is by going in-depth in the company’s corporate pages. Another option is to go to Google Patents or Trademarkia to learn more about their current and future plans going over their patents and trademarks.

Never sign at a company for what it is today. Try to figure out what it might be tomorrow.

Preppally | Career Guidance | Snap Inc. a camera company
Preppally | Career Guidance | Snap Inc. a camera company

Snap Inc., more than Snapchat
Smart Glasses with AR/VR

Never sign at a company for what it is today. Try to figure out what it might be tomorrow.

Preppally | Career Guidance | Stripe Pre-IPO

Stripe, payment company
Pre-IPO Scale-up

Preppally | Career Guidance | Generic Template

Potential IPO stage

Your pay matters. In contradiction to loads of traditional companies, tech companies give employees Restricted Stock Units. Restricted Stock Units, or RSUs, are stocks from the company you work for that will vest over a certain period of time. When you join, you get a certain amount of SRUs. 

For example: 
You join a (fictional) company called EarthX. EarthX has a stock value of $100 and you get $40,000 worth of RSUs with a vesting period of 5 years. This means for the next 5 years you will get $40,000 divided by 5 years, divided by $100 which results in 80 (tradeable) stocks per year. This regardless of the price of the stock on that day as the price is fixed at $100. If you join a company and a month after you join the stock goes up to $150 you still get 80 stocks per year resulting in a total of $60,000 if the stocks stays flat at $150. That’s 50% more than what you initially signed for! Of course this can go in both directions. 

Well established companies often have less fluctuations and are publicly traded. Start-ups or companies pre-IPO (initial public offering) have no value yet on the public market. This means the company will give you RSUs based on what they think they are worth at this moment. In the pre-IPO stages the company might get in a new series of fresh capital, which often will double, triple or grow the value of your RSUs tremendously when they are doing well. By the time the company does the IPO, you will be able to sell the stocks (hopefully) at a much higher price as the general public thinks the company is worth way more or the company has gone through multiple series of capital injections.

Preppally | Career Guidance | Stripe Pre-IPO

Stripe, payment company
Pre-IPO Scale-up

Joining a pre-IPO company comes at a risk, but returns can be tremendous.

Preppally | Career Guidance | Stripe Pre-IPO

The Elimination Method

Knowing these three criteria, you can make an initial list of companies you might want to work for. In order to make a list of big companies in tech, Google and LinkedIn will be your best friend.

For smaller companies this might be harder. For these you will have to do your own due diligence, which we cover in our course. There are different sources such as TechCrunch, Launch Ticker and Y Combinator that can be used in order to find potential upcoming companies and technologies. It also helps to keep an eye on the tech news in the location you want to work.

Once your list is done, you will start the elimination method. Often people make a list of their dream companies. We will do the reverse. You will now have a list of all companies that fit the criteria above. The next step will be eliminating all companies you do not want to work for. I used this method a lot as otherwise my list of companies might be too limited and I would not have an open mind of potential companies. If you only start from what you know, the list will be narrow, and you might miss out on a serious opportunity.

In 2012, I applied for a small company called ‘Stripe’. No one ever heard of Stripe, while now it is one of the most anticipated companies in terms of IPO. The same year I also applied for Hubspot. I eventually decided to finish my studies first. If I would have signed for Hubspot back then and they would have given me a $40,000 stock grant (which is not uncommon for a starters position), that grant would have been worth $1,200,000 today. And this does not even account for potential stock refreshment…

What I am trying to say is, do due diligence and do not stick only to what you know.

Now you have eliminated the companies you absolutely do not want to work for, you will need to investigate cultural fit and open job positions. Both are extensively covered in our course.

Make a full list first and eliminate what you absolutely do not want.

Preppally | Career Guide | Elimination Method
Preppally | Career Guidance | Generic Template

Make a full list first and eliminate what you absolutely do not want.

Written by Jeroen
Founder Preppally
May, 10, 2022

Interested in learning more?

You might also be interested in:

2023-01-04T22:48:26+01:00
Go to Top