What is it like to work in Silicon Valley?
There is a reason why Silicon Valley is considered the tech hub of the world and why so many engineers and tech entrepreneurs come to Silicon Valley to start their own companies or join an exciting one.
For one thing, the people you work with are brilliant. It is a well known fact that talent attracts talent. So do the world’s leading tech companies like Apple, Google and Facebook. But there is so much more in Silicon Valley than the giant tech companies. Thousands of new tech adventures begin their journey right here at the epicentre of world innovation. There are so many intelligent people living in San Francisco, Mountain View, Palo Alto, and the rest of the Valley who come from either Ivy League educations or world-famous international institutions, who have established themselves in the community even before graduating.
Being in Silicon Valley and living in this tech entrepreneurial culture will require you to work hard and not expect that things will be just given to you because you are in the know.
Working and living in Silicon Valley can be a dream come true for many. But, it is also a place where the cost of living is through the roof, workweeks could be rather long, especially if you are building your own start-up, given that there is a chance that at the end … it may fail.
San Francisco is frequently cited in the top five most expensive cities to live in the U.S. As such, it should come at no surprise that a major concern for potential candidates is the exceptionally high housing costs. Even though tech salaries in Silicon Valley are arguably the highest in the U.S., many people live with two, three, four or more roommates to be able to live in an affordable, nice house.
Silicon Valley is not the place for you if you are looking for a typical 40-hour workweek. As you can imagine, basically everyone here works a lot more than 40 hours a week, and expectations are high. People love what they do. In terms of work expectation, meritocracy trumps seniority. The type of people who make it in Silicon Valley are the ones who are willing to put in the work, hustle hard and are able to hit above their weight.
Silicon Valley is a unique place which will push your comfort zone and make you make friends with uncertainty and risk. You just have to be prepared to fail and fail fast, as well as accept that quickly and learn how to grow with success.
It is also worth noting that even though there are predominantly tech engineers in Silicon Valley, the area is also home to a lot of business people with skills in operations, finance, digital marketing and business development.
To be able to succeed in this world of high energy one should put a lot of emphasis on networking. Knowing the right people can open doors and unlock opportunities not posted online. And also with the need for individuals to be brands, extroverts tend to win disproportionately over people who aren’t natural extroverts or willing to put on the pretence.
Whatever your perception of Silicon Valley, there is no argument that there is no other place on Earth quite like this.
So take the plunge … if you dare.