The Job Hunt, the Inspirational Video and the Quirky Little Company

Inspiration to get a startup job

I think I can. I think I can.

Two things inspired me this week. The latest viral video by someone I don’t know, but think maybe I should. And a reader who contacted me because he desperately wants a job with a startup.

And I think both will inspire you. 

For the last week, one of my readers has been emailing me about his quest to land a job at a startup. His background, from what I can see, is fairly corporate. Fairly standard. But his attitude is all startup.

He doesn’t just want a startup job. He wants a job with a specific startup. Quirky. No that’s not a reference to him, that’s the company’s name; Quirky.

If you don’t know Quirky (I didn’t) it’s a very cool, you-invent-it-here, site. People submit new product ideas and Quirky helps them come to life. Then they sell them online. And maybe elsewhere, I don’t know.

What I do know is that my reader is doing it all right. His emails are filled with language like “the company does something I whole hearted believe in” and “I left my job with [redact large corporation’s name] and all their sought after benefits because I wanted a career where I could think for myself, and my will was all that came between me and what I could achieve.”

Nice stuff. In fact, great stuff. Great, startup stuff.

The Right Stuff

He’s backing up all the right talk with all the right actions. He didn’t just apply on the company’s website; he Tweeted the CEO directly. He didn’t just send in a resume; he wrote an action plan for how he could immediately help the company. And, when he didn’t hear back right away; he FedExed his plan right to the CEO.

Way to go [redacted reader name]. Way to go.

So, in honor of [redacted reader name]’s courage to make such a major change in his life, and to do it so boldly, I’m sharing this inspirational video by [not redacted, just don’t know his name].

It’s about new beginnings, and moving forward, and good stuff like that. My favorite line:

“There’s no need to sharpen my pencils anymore, my pencils are sharp enough. Even the dull ones will make a mark.”


Good luck making a mark [redacted reader name]. I know you will.

Pssst– know anyone at Quirky? Help [redacted reader name] out and send them this way. Don’t know anyone at Quirky? Why not just offer up some words of job search encouragement for [Redacted reader name] in the comments. I know he’ll appreciate it.

[Photo credit: SweetOnVeg via Flickr]

About the author: Kathy Ver Eecke works with startups in the early stages, where the good stuff happens. Download a free copy of her ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Getting Any Startup Job, if you’re trying to break into a startup or if you’re hiring employees for your startup.


  • Sam Smith

    Reply Reply April 13, 2012

    Nice bro. If not them, then someone else. You got the attitude right. Good luck.

  • Corinne Edwards

    Reply Reply April 13, 2012

    You are attractive, smart – and yes, quirky.

    Just keep throwing it on the wall. Don’t limit yourself.

    Keep an eye out for your spot. It does not look like you are sitting on the couch staring at the ceiling.

    Keep moving. And good luck.

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply April 14, 2012

      Sam & Corrine – Thanks for the words of encouragement. I’m sure Brad (he named himself below!) will appreciate it.

  • Brad

    Reply Reply April 13, 2012

    Kathy, Thanks for the support. I’ve still got my chin up. I like to remember a quote from Ernest Shackleton, the great Antarctic explorer, in times like this. He said “I love the fight and when things are easy I hate it.”

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply April 13, 2012

      No problem [redacted name]….I mean, Brad. We’re all rooting for you.

  • Kathy

    Reply Reply April 13, 2012

    I love this post – YEAH to he who can’t be named for figuring out what you want and going for it. It takes confidence to chuck the known path to explore something new. I also think this video rocks. Good writing and delivery. Thanks for the reminder Kathy that its all there to win, all we have to do is go for it.

    Your courage and your confidence can be lured, here’s a post to help you find your’s so you can pursue your dream!
    Now Where’d I leave my confidence

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply April 13, 2012

      Kathy –
      Thanks for the link, I love that post. It’s the perfect compliment to the messages here.

      And thanks for supporting ‘he who shall not be named.’ Though I think he just outted himself in the comment above. So we’ll call him Brad now.

  • Debbie@happymaker

    Reply Reply April 13, 2012

    Great kathy and thanks for sharing. love the video and there is so much truth in it and inspiration.

    However i wished I was that creative when it comes to making video. LOVE IT!
    Blessing to you and we all have to keep moving forward. No couch sitting. Well, maybe for a little while to just regroup at times.

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply April 13, 2012

      Debbie –
      No kidding on the video skills, right? He makes it look so easy, like you too could do this with your iphone. I don’t think so.

      And….how’d you know I was sittin on my couch?


  • Michelle Rundell

    Reply Reply April 14, 2012

    Let the “Cheese Monster” rule!!

    The one good thing about losing everything is that you are broken free from “the box” (willingly or unwillingly). “The Box” of expectations…the expectations of society…your family and friends…the expectations you have imposed on yourself all these years…because…well that is what you were supposed to be or whom you were supposed to be or what you were supposed to do with your life. When you lose everything…all the expectations go out the window…well because you did it…the cardinal sin…you’ve failed everyone’s expectations. Now you are at ground zero, expectation free and truly ready to begin living YOUR life.

  • Brad

    Reply Reply April 15, 2012

    Thanks to all who have added their kind and encouraging words. The job market is turning for the better, but it is still tough out there. Making a career change is never easy no matter what the economic climate is like. While Quirky’s culture and open positions were places I saw myself as ideally suited. No one can hold out forever for that “perfect job” and to date I have gotten no acknowledgement from them. This morning though, I received some encouraging news in the way of an email from another startup hiring for an operations manager. The hiring manager also stated in their email that should I not work out for this particular position they work in what sounds like a startup incubator setup with many other startups and many other positions. All the best to all of you and I will keep you posted with new information as it becomes available to me.

  • Amy

    Reply Reply April 15, 2012

    Wow! I hope I can be as creative with my job search. Good luck!

  • Peter

    Reply Reply April 26, 2012

    I just wanted to say that the cover image rocks !! Didn’t read the article cause the image made me smile and that was enough 🙂

  • Brad

    Reply Reply April 28, 2012

    For all following the story. While I am disappointed I never received any acknowledgement from Quirky for all my efforts to engage them, I have an interview with a new prospective employer this coming Tuesday. The company is Thumbtack Technologies in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn. I made the connection with them at the NYC Uncubed startup job fair last Thursday. They provide cloud based solutions to some well recognized clients and specialize in NoSQL database systems. My role would be that of a project manager, interfacing between the development team(s) and the client, and ensuring projects remain on target for completion. Here is a link to their web site The company operating principals and culture nearly parallel what I came from at Toyota. This is no doubt the selling point that will likely land me the job. Wish me luck and I will let you know how it goes.

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply April 29, 2012

      That’s great news Brad! We’re all cheering for you. Good luck.

  • Justin Lee

    Reply Reply May 17, 2012

    Oh bugger… what a great post.

    I tell you… I wont brag and I should not… but believing in yourself is the best thing you can do to yourself.

    The guy after Quirky is truly an awesome example – and I bet he will be very very successful there too.

    Justin Lee,
    SEO Manager, (A top class Career Blog – launching in 2 days)

  • Kathy Ver Eecke

    Reply Reply May 29, 2012

    Thanks Justin!

  • bandrivilan

    Reply Reply June 27, 2012

    I have made solid connections using social networking sites. So much so I now do social media for a living. I believe the social media manager position is here to stay. I it a great time to get in. Companies are looking for a variety of skills and backgrounds. No degree specifically required. Take a look at it.
    job search

    • game ufo

      Reply Reply April 25, 2013

      Just keep throwing it on the wall. Don’t limit yourself.

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