Intrigued with my friend by the potential that blockchain technology could offer and pleasantly quenched by the open bar, we continued to chat for a couple of hours. Once I returned home, I began to dive deeper into Bitcoin and Ethereum. I read everything I could find, listened to podcasts, watched youtube videos, and tried to speak with anyone who had experience in blockchain.
Luckily, I was in the process of completing my Master’s in Business Management when I became fascinated with crypto which provided me free time to pursue this interest. Not wanting school to get in the way of my education, I decided to take on an internship at a local cryptocurrency exchange. Keep in mind: my experience prior to working at the exchange was as a personal trainer and research assistant in a sports performance laboratory. My degree was in business management, although I possessed minimal business experience.
Wow, talk about an uphill battle.
But I learned a lot. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who shared a love for the disruptive potential of crypto networks. My job description was undefined and included creating content, helping with email marketing, aiding the customer support team, researching initial coin offerings, and performing due diligence of companies with aims of listing cryptoassets on our exchange.
After interning for a few months, I noticed Ryan Selkis’ call for Messari analysts. Eagerly, I applied and was granted access to a valuable network of crypto enthusiasts. I assisted in writing a few asset profiles which were immensely beneficial to further my understanding of the crypto ecosystem. After graduating from my master’s program, I was committed to working in the crypto sphere. Instilled with a passion and some, now, relevant work experience, I faced the next part of the journey, applying to jobs.
Thankfully, with a lot of hard work, I received several job opportunities within a couple months. My job search was arduous and required crafting various written pieces of work to showcase my abilities and knowledge – eventually landing me a job at ConsenSys on the marketing team. Now, having worked at ConsenSys for over a year, I can genuinely say I’ve loved every minute. It’s a vibrant company, filled with weird and wacky people who are all passionate about making the world a blockchain place (Ha, get it, I replaced better with blockchain).
Now that you’ve heard my story, I’d like to share some advice that I believe can help you find a job in the weird world of crypto.
Advice For The Newcomers
There are only two types of advice: the advice someone passes on because it worked for them, or the humbled and ever-present advice learned through regret. Both are valuable, but you should only replicate the former.
My advice stems from both what worked for me and the things I didn’t do. While applicable to many people, my advice is directed towards individuals with little work experience, current university students, or those with a couple years under their belt looking to make a career change. In other words, if your name is Vitalik, you may not need this advice.
Think of this advice like a menu, pick and choose a couple of options that sound appetizing to you and commit to them. Consistency matters.
Become an Intern
If you’re a student at any level and have the chance to become an intern I highly recommend it. This is perhaps the best option for students looking to learn more about this strange world and get some experience. As I stated earlier, interning for a local cryptocurrency exchange in Hong Kong was a great initial experience to get my feet wet and become immersed in the crypto space.
Volunteering can be a great way to get some experience, build your resume, and create connections in the crypto world. I volunteer with Messari by writing cryptoasset profiles. Ryan Selkis’ initial call for analysts was exactly what I was looking for, a place to get started, to jump in and learn as much as possible. I learned directly about ERC20 tokens, layer 2 state channels, and more by writing cryptoasset profiles, as well as indirectly through osmosis. When you’re around exceptional people, their knowledge and experience flows from them to everyone else. The closer you are to those people, the more you learn. Period.
Derek Hsue, Myles Snider, Chris Burniske, Phil Bonello, Tony Sheng, and Kyle Samani all became names in crypto because they started writing blogs about blockchain topics, mostly related to investment or research. One of the highest skills you can leverage is your ability to write. It’s hard not only to write good content, but to have the guts to put your opinions out there. That being said, anyone can be a writer—never tell yourself otherwise. I never thought of myself as a writer either. Now, I’m a writer and marketer at ConsenSys and I author the ConsenSys Market Intel newsletter (like I said, leverage).
Join meetups, events, and clubs
If you’re in a locale teeming with blockchain activity, I recommend going to meetups or community events, most of which are free. Some common places to find events include Meetup and Eventbrite. For university students, check out your school’s blockchain club or start your own! I don’t recommend conferences if you’re looking for a job, as conference tickets don’t give a good ROI unless you’re incredible at networking (let’s face it you’d probably be employed if you were).
Move to a crypto city
By nature, we are all products of our environment. It’s no secret that if you want to be successful in tech, you should probably live where innovation is happening. I’m not saying you need to move to a major tech city like New York or San Francisco, but you should take advantage of it if you live there. Other up-and-coming tech cities in the U.S include Los Angeles, Denver, Austin, Dallas, and Seattle. If you’re willing to venture abroad, you have even more options. Asian, particularly China, Hong Kong, or Singapore would all be great places to move to and give you an edge. Also, I hear Berlin’s beautiful in the summer.
I will caveat this by saying where you live is becoming less important. There are many blockchain companies that have remote-first work cultures such as ConsenSys. As remote work becomes more popular with tools like Zoom and Slack, I expect remote to become the norm. If you’re remote or in a city that isn’t a tech hub you should still join your local crypto community!
YouTube or Podcast
Perhaps you’re not a wordsmith, but you excel at making videos, especially live content which is becoming increasingly popular. Start your own channel or make some intro videos. At least, watch live videos of your favorite YouTubers (CryptoBobby, Ivan on Tech, and The Crypto Bubble) and ask questions or make comments during their live streams. You’ll learn and will become more comfortable reaching out.
Find a blockchain buddy
Find a friend that is just as passionate as you are and work with each other on any of the above topics. Nobody makes it to the top alone, except Chuck Norris –– Chuck Norris gets to the bottom of it and makes the top feel alone.
Crafting Your Application
There are two ways to find a job. The easy way and the hard way.
The Easy Way
Be a human and go network. In all sincerity, networking is one of the best ways to find a job. Putting in the effort to reach out, go to networking events, or communicate online will help you more than you know. At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to make friends and people want to work with friends.
The Hard Way
The best piece of advice I can offer: you need to stand out and target your audience. The quality of your application is more important than the quantity of applications you send. Sending the same cover letter or application to 100 jobs may get you a job, but if there are only a handful of companies you really want to work at, you need to put in the effort to get that job.
A Note About Your Resume
Again, make your resume specific. If you’re totally lost on how to craft your resume or want to start from scratch, Harvard offers a lot of free material. Also, there’s no reason you can’t get creative on your resume or at least add some aesthetically pleasing template.
Where to look
- CryptoJobList – one of the best places to find a job in crypto, hands down.
- ConsenSys careers page – come join the Mesh.
- Linkedin – finding crypto and blockchain jobs on LinkedIn is becoming more normal.