Did you know about your role when you accepted the offer letter for your first job? Do you know answers to questions like "What your typical day at work would look like? How does your job help you grow?" or "Where will it take you in say five or ten years?"
If your answer is no, NextStop is for people like you. If your answer is yes, then I (along with a million others) am jealous of you.
Why I'm building NextStop?
I was like you in 2013. I just completed my master's degree in Bioinformatics with an 8.9 CGPA and was looking for a job. And, how much ever I tried, I couldn't get a decent job in bio-engineering. I lost hope when a big biotech company asked me to come work for five thousand rupees a month (I should find accommodation and take care of personal expenses in that salary). I badly wanted a job and I was lucky enough to land the job as an academic writer in a small company. My passion for writing offered me something my education couldn't.
And, my passion for writing propelled me further in my career. In 2015, I got a job as a technical writer at Zoho, one of the biggest SaaS companies in India. The world of SaaS taught me a lot and showed me a ton of opportunities. I saw a lot of people build amazing careers from scratch and understood that one can move to any job role in a SaaS company if they've got passion and the right skills.
Over the course of time, I moved from technical writing to product marketing and I am currently working as a Product Marketing Lead. After spending 6.5 years in SaaS I couldn't help but look back and appreciate all the help I got along the way. A lot of people including my peers and managers went out of their way to help me, teach me, and show me the way to build a successful career.
To sum it up, I was lucky.
But, a lot of people are out there not knowing that they would make a good technical writer, product marketer, or support specialist.
Also, I strongly believe that when someone is going to spend a couple of decades doing something, they should know what they're signing up for. And, most importantly, they should know what other options are out there before making a decision. That is the reason I am building NextStop. To give back to society by helping people build a career in SaaS.
How am I going to achieve this?
The primary goal is to educate people about the opportunities available in the SaaS space and prepare them for the role they're interested in. This will happen in two steps:
- An online assessment to help fresh graduates and professionals figure out their strengths and where they would fit in a SaaS/startup ecosystem.
- Self-paced courses (with certificates) to help them learn the basics of SaaS and each job role. This will help them approach interviews with clarity.
Additional streams of knowledge would include
- quarterly and yearly reports about the state of the SaaS ecosystem, and
- a Podcast where people from different educational backgrounds talk about how they built a career in SaaS.
NextStop would be taking a freemium approach to make revenue. Apart from the courses, everything else that comes out of NextStop will be free of cost. I'm even thinking of offering some of the courses for free in order to help more people learn about SaaS. I'm still figuring a lot of things as I go, so I'll share more details about this soon.
Who is this for?
NextStop is for anyone who is looking for a startup job or is passionate about building a career in SaaS. You can be a civil services aspirant who worked really hard but couldn't get through and in a point where you didn't know what to do; Or you could be a bioengineer like me who is looking for a better paying job to help your family or someone who is looking for a break in their career in terms of designation and money. My goal is to show you other opportunities out there so that you can make an informed decision.
The initial reception I got for NextStop is nothing short of magic. The LinkedIn post where I announced the idea for NextStop got close to 10,000 views and a lot of showed interest. I got over 218 people signed up for the early access program of NextStop. And, not just that! A lot of passionate SaaS professionals reached out to me offering to help. This helped me find a lot of like-minded people who want to give back to society. Thanks to each and everyone for telling their friends and colleagues about NextStop. If you haven't shared this with your friends, please do. This small action can help someone get a break in their career or land their dream job.
I'm building NextStop in public and I'll be sharing the progress of the project every week on my blog and on the Twitter page.
Watch out for more content in the upcoming weeks.
Until next time :)