Web3 is so much more than a place for speculators to try to get rich by trading volatile assets. It’s a burgeoning new sector of the tech industry that is full of job opportunities for people like you. Like any new industry or technology, there are always early and late adopters. By being an early adopter and getting a job in crypto sooner rather than later, you put yourself ahead of the crowd.
One of the reasons to get a job in crypto right now is because the space is still emergent. Often compared to the internet in the 1980s, there are many benefits to getting in on a new industry early. For example, you’ll get the advantage of building a huge amount of expertise in the blockchain space before the masses come in. You’ll get years under your belt before the industry goes mainstream, so you’ll be more attractive to other companies down the line.
Besides building up experience in an exciting new industry early, the high quality of talent in the crypto space is another reason to get a job in crypto. Great minds are flocking there, so you can work with the best of the best. Crypto is multinational, so you’ll get to learn from skilled professionals all over the world. Your closest co-workers may be from a different country, different time zone, and different native language.
The blockchain and web3 space may also come with higher salaries than you’d get in web2. The specialized skills you need and the technical expertise means your job could be higher in demand. Your crypto career could open doors you might not have had in web2 or traditional work. You might find yourself at conferences watching Vitalik Buterin speak, or maybe someday on one of those stages speaking yourself!
This presents an incredible learning opportunity and Crypto is a great industry to get started in now.
Finding your niche in the web3 world
You don’t need to be a blockchain expert to get a job in crypto. You just need to find the niche that fits your skill set. We’ll explore a few popular niches that you can use to guide your path.
- Developing and engineering: One of the most common niches is to become a web3 developer. By taking a few online classes and watching youtube videos, you can get up to speed on web3 coding languages quickly, especially if you already have coding skills.
This segment of the industry also typically pays the highest.
- Treasury management: If you have skills in growing and managing assets, there’s a job for you in crypto. Helping DAOs and web3 organizations’ treasuries ride the highs and lows of the crypto market is a crucial niche in the industry.
- Operations: Do you have a head for organization design, project management, Agile, and general operations? You may be well suited for an Ops role in a DAO or traditional organization.
- Communications and content: The marketing arm of DAOs and web3 organizations is typically comms and content creation. If you’re a writer, designer, social media marketer, or communications strategy expert, you’ll find a place in this niche.
- UX: Since most DAOs and DeFi protocols are entirely online, the products and services they ship must have great web UX. Whether you’re a UX designer, UX writer, UX researcher, or have a head for digital products, your skills are needed in the crypto space.
- Cryptography and distributed systems: Maybe you love talking about cryptography, zero knowledge proofs, proof of stake chains, and all the little details of blockchain. Or, you have a background in coding, game theory, or distributed systems. You’ll have a place on the tech teams of DeFi and DAOs.
- Security: From smart contract auditing to infosec to more basic web security, the crypto space is full of hackers and scammers that DAOs and DeFi need protection from. If you’re a security expert, this space is ripe, and is another very high paying sector!
Not all these careers are unique to crypto. In fact, you might have one of these jobs already! You don’t need to have a highly technical background to get a great job in crypto.
Understanding basics of crypto and blockchain
Before you apply for a crypto job, you first need to learn the basics of crypto and blockchain. In this course, we’ll cover some of the primary things you’ll need to learn about before taking the leap.
How blockchains work: First, you should read up on the basics of blockchain technology, proof of work vs. proof of stake, how Bitcoin was founded, and how Ethereum was founded. Next, go over everything you should know about wallets: Get a crypto wallet and get familiar with public keys and private keys, as well as onramping, offramping, and sending funds to contracts.
Understand what a smart contract is: Smart contracts are what make blockchains exciting, because you can trustlessly execute actions such as sending money. Think of a smart contract as an “if, then” statement: “if the vote reaches 10,000 in favor, then the funds are sent to the wallet.” Considering reading DeFi basics: staking, borrowing, lending, bonding? DeFi, or Decentralized Finance, includes all the financial tools of the traditional world (and more!) but in cryptocurrency, as well as unique tokenomics schemes that allow you to earn money in new ways.
Learn a bit on how DeFi works, so you’re not lost when these things are mentioned at work. DAOs are also an important part of the basics: The primary organizing unit of crypto, DAOs are organizations that leverage blockchain technology to coordinate people all over the world. They vote with cryptocurrencies, are typically non-hierarchical, and are autonomous (self-governing).
How can we forget about NFTs: Non-fungible tokens allow you to own a digital object. Think of it like owning a tiny piece of the internet. Learn about these ERC-721s and how they function in the ecosystem. Layer 2s, rollups, and testnets are also rising: There are different types of blockchains that you’ll need to be familiar with, including layers 2s, rollups, and testnets. They are cheaper ways to run or test apps. Think of Layers 2s as an extra layer on top of a blockchain that makes it cheaper to use.
This may look daunting, but don’t be discouraged. Everyone has to learn these basics at some point, so invest the time to learn them now and you’ll be much more prepared for a job in crypto! We are adding more courses to help you with this, follow us on Twitter for our app updates.
Remote work & coordinating across time zones
Unlike traditional jobs, web3 isn’t bound by geography. So, you’ll find that many web3 jobs are remote. That means getting familiar with the basics of web3 coordination is going to be very important to your success as a professional in crypto. Working entirely remotely means you’ll need to be good at keeping on task and completing your work. You won’t have a manager hovering over you telling you what to do, and you certainly won’t have someone checking in 24/7.
You need to self-manage.
Working remotely also means you can often be more flexible with your workday, such as when you start and stop, and when you take breaks. But, that means you also need to be self-disciplined enough to complete your work on time. You’ll also run into the issues of time zone coordination. If a large portion of your team is in a different time zone than you, you’ll have to get used to early or late meetings and messages. You’ll probably need to adjust your working hours to better fit the timezone of your team.
Working remotely and across time zones also means you might have a hard time setting work boundaries. You’ll need to think carefully about when you log on and sign off so you don’t overwork and get burnt out. You may also find that you need to closely guard your calendar so too much doesn’t get scheduled over your down time, lunch break, or deep work. Many calendars show the hours of meetings you’re in per week, and show you if you’re in too many and need to cut back.
It’s a good idea to get in the habit of asking for feedback on your work, since it can be harder to get in a mostly async environment. You’ll also want to optimize your workspace. Have natural light in your space, an ergonomic chair and desk, and a comfortable environment. And, don’t forget to give yourself breaks!
Working remotely and across time zones is the reality of working in web3. If you haven’t worked this way before, it could take some getting used to. But once you master this skill, you’ll get much better at your job!
This article was adapted from our course: How to Get a Job in Crypto.
In the course, we go over the importance of being flexible and adaptable, how you can gain tactical experience in Web 3 before applying to jobs, angling your web2 experience to better fit Web 3 and finding companies or DAOs that are a good fit for your skillset.
Download our app to start the course today.