Employee Spotlight: Matik's First AE

Sabrina Robinson
February 8, 2022
2 minutes

3 signs you have the guts to join a startup

Joining a seed-funded startup may sound fun and exciting...and it is! But like anything that’s worthwhile, it also comes with its challenges. I wanted to take a minute to share with you some insights I’ve learned along my personal journey from the world of large enterprise to Matik.

So, why should you trust me?

I’m Sabrina Robinson, Matik’s first account executive and eighth employee hire. After four years at LinkedIn (where I met and worked with some incredible industry leaders), I knew I wanted a big change.

At LinkedIn, we call this our “Next Play." After experiencing the structure and support of a large enterprise company, I had gained important confidence and skills, and knew I was ready to take the plunge and join an early-stage startup. If you’re in the same boat, and are having some of these same feelings, you may be ready, too.

You crave having a bigger impact

With my next play, my biggest desire was to find a role that gave me responsibility and autonomy, and that made me feel seen (and yes, I am an only child).

I didn’t want any “fluff” in my day-to-day: the unnecessary meetings on my calendar, painfully drawn out annual reviews, or any of the extra weight that large enterprises carry.

I wanted to be on a lean team where there’s no room for slack and the rewards are felt by everyone.

You can teach yourself how to fish

Wanting to be a critical part of a team is one thing, but actually being able to help is another. In a startup, everyone’s doing everything they can to push the boulder up the hill together.

When I joined Matik, there was one other sales rep, Caroline Caselli, our Head of Sales. She was doing everything from training a new SDR, organizing our CRM and closing deals. She needed someone who could jump right in and help.

Thanks to my previous experiences, I was able to play a vital role on the team from Day 1. I knew how to prospect, how to write compelling emails, how to cold call, how to sell with data, and most importantly, how to be a team player.

If you’re ok with being dropped in the jungle with nothing but a swiss army knife and a canteen half full of water, and the ability to learn what you don’t know along the way, you’ve got the guts for a startup.

You can “trust without fear”

This is both a great line from Taika Waititi’s Oscar-winning film Jojo Rabbit, and also my newfound philosophy for life, work and all things in between.

Trust (also one of Matik’s core values) is a crucial component for any team to have...especially when that team is single-digits large.

When I joined Matik, I really could trust without fear. I’d already worked with Matik co-founder and CEO Nik Mijic and Head of Account Management Spencer Davison when we were all on the Insights Team at LinkedIn. My manager and I clicked immediately. And after meeting our other amazing team members during the interview process, I knew I was making the right decision. I was ready to go all in.

So don’t start accepting candy from strangers, but if you’re curious about startups, keep your mind and heart open to opportunities that lay on uncharted paths. You might just find your way to your next new home.

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