If you're looking to move forward in your career—whether that means stepping into more senior positions, or switching to a different role entirely—you need to use a completely different framework for evaluating this startup.

Instead of thinking of the money you'll make immediately by joining this startup, you need to think of how this startup will affect your career years from now. To do that, you need to do three things:

Chart your room for growth in this company.

Many startups suffer from overly flat structures, in which it can be next to impossible for a team member to step up and take on a more senior position. You want to avoid getting trapped at all costs.

Ask these three questions to understand your growth potential within this startup:

  • “What progression do you envision for someone in this role?” You want a company that plans for your growth.
  • “Does this role contribute to higher-level decisions?” The more responsibility you get out of the gate, the better.
  • “Will I be able to learn new skills and technologies in this role?” You don't want to get stuck maintaining legacy code.

Decide if this startup will open doors for you later in your career.

Joining the right startup will allow you not only to grow within the company, but will unlock new opportunities for you even after you've moved on. The network the startup gives you—and the brand it allows you to put on your resume—are incredibly important factors to consider.

Ask yourself... (More)