Friday, October 4, 2013

Chris Haskell talks about making a career change to a startup

What is your group’s mission?
For every employee in Austin to be able to advocate for their career, resulting in a dramatic increase in productivity and employee engagement. 

What need does it fulfill?
A 2012 study of over 1,000 companies showed over 65% of the current workforce is dissatisfied with their job. A lot of this dissatisfaction comes from people not taking the time to plan a career that is a good fit for them. There is a better way to approach career planning.

What exactly does it bring to startups?
Someone about to enter the startup space can be blindsided by the reality of what they are entering into. We help with the most important step, the planning and preparation stage.

What type of startup would benefit from your group?
Because we are focused on the individual and their ability to understand where they fit in the world of work, we can benefit any organization.

What was the most challenging aspect of starting up the initiative?
Narrowing our target market and refining our ‘go-to-market message’

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?
Don’t undervalue the importance of engaging with a personal board of directors, or advisory board. The success or failure of your business may be up to you, but it doesn’t mean people won’t help you out if they have been through a similar experience.

What Austin-based resource have you found to be the most helpful and why?

Honestly it has been the spirit of camaraderie from other local business owners. It is good for Austin when businesses succeed, and local entrepreneurs really take that to heart. I have loved the ‘let’s go get it done’ mentality of a lot of the early stage community I have interacted with.

Where are you from originally?
Anchorage, Alaska. But I got to Texas as fast as I could! 

What university did you go to?
I have a BBA in Finance from University of North Texas and a M.Ed. in Counseling Education from University of Texas in Austin

What brought you to Austin?
I visited a few times when I was an undergrad and liked this city so much I moved here without a job two weeks after I graduated in 2005. I got a job in three quick, and I don’t plan on ever leaving! 

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