Jan. 31, 2022

#15 On Startups, Corporate and The Importance of Personal Branding with Dan Brockwell

Dan Brockwell is a Computer Science and Marketing graduate from UNSW.

He has worked in marketing, consulting, design, sales & ops at Amazon, Uber, Deloitte Digital, IBM + startups and is currently a product manager at Atlassian.

On the side, he is Co-Founder and Chief Meme Officer at Earlywork, which now has an audience of over 2.5k people and has been featured by the AFR, Startup Daily, Smart Company

He is part of the angel investing program at AirTree Ventures, an angel investor and also an Advisor at NinetyEight, a cross-continent Gen Z marketing agency.

Level Up Your Career

🤝 Connect with Dan

Twitter - https://twitter.com/DanBrockwell

Earlywork - https://www.earlywork.co/

Earlywork Substack - https://earlywork.substack.com/

Earlywork Slack Community - https://earlyworkcommunity.slack.com/

👇 Episode Takeaways

Content is King

Dan highlighted the importance of building a personal brand. Creating content requires no permission and can lead to great opportunities. Dan mentioned that he had been offered a job at Google through his personal brand.

Skill Layering

Something we've spoken about on the podcast before is the idea of layering. Dan has had crazy experiences in marketing, consulting, design, sales & ops that all give him a new way to look at and solve problems. The best time to get this width is early in your career. Try things and get exposure. This will give you an edge later in your career.

You Don't Need a Job Listing

One thing that I really wanted to discuss with Dan was the idea of getting jobs through unconventional methods in comparison to applying for a listed job.

He gave great examples where he had found opportunities simply by reaching out to people and asking if they were open to taking someone on.

He made some great points about the specifics of reaching out to people. In your contact with people, include the following 👇

  • Who you are

  • Why you're reaching out

  • What's in it for them

And use the following techniques

  • provide value (write a post, suggest an improvement to the business)

  • clear ask ("would you be open to ....")

Startups vs Corporate

Dan spoke about the pros and cons of each of these. I've listed the benefits of working in either corporate or a startup


  • higher breadth of learning, you are more likely to do multiple jobs

  • work more quickly, less red tape, unstructured learning

  • more autonomy and ownership

  • working on new problems vs iterating on previous solutions

  • equity in the company as compensation


  • Brand equity, people trust you will be good because you worked at X company

  • The big company structured training programs are better

  • Mentorship and structure

  • Products used by a larger audience, work makes a bigger impact

  • Higher salary

  • Higher job safety

📝 Show Notes

00:00 Dan Brockwell

00:37 Intro

01:35 Personal Brands in 2022

04:27 How Would Dan Start a Personal Brand in 2022

07:55 How to convert your personal brand into opportunities

12:07 Startups and Corporate Comparison

22:05 Dan's Thought Process behind going from Corporate to Startups

27:32 Getting Jobs without a job opening

37:11 What Dan Thinks Of Range

46:24 Dans' Advice to New Graduates

49:14 Contact Dan

50:29 Outro