Jobs in Web3: Are they all gigs?

February 7, 2022

With Nik Kalyani, Kendyl Key and Denise Schaefer

And we’re back! In our fourth session of BlockChai ’n Chill, we explored the exciting new world of job opportunities on Web3.

Featuring Decentology CEO and founder Nik Kalyani and SURGE co-founder Denise Schaefer, along with moderator Kendyl Key, a web developer at Decentology, the conversation took a look at the myriad job opportunities within the burgeoning world of Web3 and the blockchain. 

For those who are unacquainted with Denise Schaefer, she is the co-founder of SURGE (along with Juliette Chevalier), an organization with a mission to educate and create equal access for women and non-binary people in the male-dominated world of Web3. 

In case you missed it, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the thought-provoking insights that were discussed:


The five-part journey to a successful Web3 career

1. Become really comfortable with Crypto: While there is a huge misconception that all work within Web3 is technical, it is important to understand the basics of the technology. Once the basics are in hand, it will be easier to find your area of expertise, whether it’s NFTs, DeFi (decentralized finance) or joining a DAO (decentralized autonomous organizations). 

2. Join several communities: It is important to join various communities, to first understand the vibe and the nature of these communities and why they specifically appeal to you. Once you’re familiar and more comfortable, engage within the communities. To get hired, you must build your reputation with meaningful engagement.

3. Look for bounties within your area of expertise: Bounties, simply put, are rewards in tokens that a DAO or project gives away after a user completes a given task. And while that may not sound very different from a traditional freelance job, bounties differ in that most of it is done without any geographical preference. It is also not about your resume and about your reputation within the community, which you built in step two, with meaningful engagement. And because you’re getting paid in tokens, this will also give you voting rights and access to governance decisions within the specific community you’re a part of.

4. Once you’ve successfully built competencies with some bounties, the next step is where you are most likely to be invited to work in a part-time capacity with the specific DAO or similar organizations, where you will have a more fixed role and will be expected to complete regular tasks. 

5. The fifth and final part is about going from part-time to full-time. While many people currently enjoy juggling several projects on a part-time basis, DAOs and other organizations are constantly hunting for full-time users with specific skills. So, once you’ve reached a trusted echelon with your part-time work, you transition to a more dedicated role.


Examples of roles/jobs available on Web3

- Content creators

- Project managers

- UX/UI designers

- Business developers

- Grants co-ordinators

- Community managers

- Marketers


Fellowships and why they can help

Denise Schaefer, in her personal testimonial of her experience with the KERNEL fellowship, said that fellowships are one of the great ways users can find the community and people to execute their Web3 ideas. The KERNEL fellowship, an eight-week programme, invites users to fill in an application form. About 100-200 users are picked for each programme. Those selected will have access to optional classes, talks and weekly fireside chats where you’ll be allowed the opportunity to grow your skills to be compatible with Web3 and the blockchain. There’s also a Slack channel where all the participants can communicate and find like-minded people. Incidentally, this is also where Schaefer posted looking for like-minded women who wanted to learn more about Web3 and SURGE was born!

The more involved you are, the more opportunities that will come your way. 


SURGE and its Web3 jobs board

The mission of SURGE has always been to secure women’s place in Web3, and as an extension of that, onboard women into Web3 jobs. From their research, SURGE found early on that from all the leadership positions within Web3, only 5 per cent is held by women and non-binary people. The SURGE jobs board is a space created by SURGE for Web3 companies to come and hire solely women and non-binary people to increase diversity in their organizations. 

The key to wider adoption of Web3 in the mainstream is to make sure that a diverse set of people and skill sets are hired within these organizations. 

As of now, companies like Coinbase, MetaMask and Forefront have their presence on the SURGE jobs board. 


From zero to whirlwind: Kendyl tells all

Kendyl Key, who is a web developer at Decentology, also shared her unique experience with Web3, where she went from not knowing that Web3 existed as recently as last year, to having a full-fledged job within the space. 

Said Key: “If you went back in time to this time last year, and told me that I would work in Web3, I would look at that person and say, ‘I don't even know what Web3 is’. I think I had heard of the term blockchain. I had no idea that this kind of space even existed, I was working as a software developer; it was my very first internship for a healthcare company. I was really new within the Web2 space. So it's been quite the whirlwind to make the jump to Web3, which I did back in September when I was hired with Decentology. To say that my life has changed would... it almost sounds like not even enough. I've learned so much about how these systems work. And even in Web3, as a whole, all these sub-communities that are within it, like with DAOs, and all the people that are really into DeFi, all these companies that are building all these tools to fast track people... I will say that my favorite is getting to see companies like SURGE Women — these organizations that are really focused on making sure that people who are underrepresented in spaces like tech are finally getting platforms to build and to speak.”

On a more personal level, she said, “I've learned so much about working for a startup, working within Web3 and learning about all these really weird Web3 words that you hear every day. I think when I was hired, I made a Twitter account because Nik told me that Crypto was really big on Twitter. So I made a Twitter account and I just started following a bunch of people. And I felt like it was a whole new language, I didn't know any of these terms or anything... For me, it's just been a huge learning opportunity. And you sort of just learn without really knowing how to learn, you're just in it now. And that's what it is. And it's really cool. I get to meet all kinds of really cool people, I get to do really cool things. And I really hope that a lot of you that are in this space right now. And that if you want to be within Web3, you get to find your space, just like I did, and get to experience the whirlwind.”


Q&A:

Q: How do you apply for jobs when you don’t have experience but have knowledge of Web3 and smart contracts?

A: If you have knowledge of Web3 and smart contracts, you're already in a really good position. And there's no industry standard, right? It's such a new industry. You have to just apply and whatever company or organization or DAO you end up getting hired at, people will teach you the ropes because all of these crypto organizations are really doing things their own way. So just getting yourself to a place where you're prepared enough to understand Web3, you're in a good place.

And it's not just about experience, it's also about reputation. So if you have experience, you probably have a GitHub, and you've done projects, etc. More than Web2, which has ridiculous, made-up tests and things like that, in Web3, you're going to find that people are more likely to look at what's your reputation and how engaged you have been in this community. And that is the basis of which decisions are typically made more so than having any ridiculous kind of interview process and all that kind of stuff, just because we are talking about a very young ecosystem. And so we don't have a lot of history. So it's more built upon, ‘Hey, you're cool. I've seen you in the Discord. You've asked some good questions in the spaces, etc. And oh, look at that, it turns out that you've been doing development and your GitHub looks great. You're on board!’. That's it!

We loved bringing you this BlockChai ’n Chill session and look forward to catching you on the next one!


As always, to continue this conversation join us on the Decentology Discord.