Everyone hates job hunting, and that's mostly because the tools we have for it have always sucked.

 After scrolling through hundreds of listings that all seem to promise unique company culture and room for career growth, it all starts to sound the same. Sites like LinkedIn and Craigslist are saturated by spammy recruiters, and if you do find a decent lead, chances are the job description won't give you much information about what it's like to work at the company.

And one thing job postings definitely won't tell you? How the role will help you grow your career.

That's why, in the  startup world, there's only one thing you need to pay attention to when evaluating your potential fit for a new role, and it has to do with company growth.

Why Growth Is More Important Than Job Title

In 2001, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was offered a position at a 1,000-person company called Google. Her new title would be business unit general manager, but it was unclear what the position would entail. Worst of all, the title felt like a lateral move for her career.

But then-CEO Eric Schmidt stepped in and gave her the best career advice she's ever heard: "If you're offered a seat on a rocket ship, get on. Don't ask what seat." Sandberg took her seat, and the rest is history.

Today, growth potential is the No. 1 thing Sandberg tells people to evaluate when looking for a job.

"Look for the teams that are growing quickly. Look for the companies that are doing well. Look for a place where you feel that you can have a lot of impact," she explains.

Forget the company website, the title you'll have, or even the salary. The best indication of the potential of a new role is how fast the company is growing.

Month-over-month company growth tells you a lot about a startup. For one, as Sandberg says, you can have a lot of impact at a fast-growing organization. No one ever knows exactly what will take a startup to the next level, but anyone on the team could be the one to step up and figure it out--including you.

Growth means that the team is pushing itself to the limit every day and the company is on an upward trajectory. If you're driven and hungry, then a fast-growing startup like this means there's no limit to what you can accomplish.

How to Find Your Personal Rocket Ship

If you really want to know if a company is doing well and will launch your career, you can't rely on a job description. You need hard and fast metrics about company performance.

But until now, there hasn't been a way for job seekers to access those kinds of metrics. You'd just have to put a lot of blind faith in that hiring manager who tells you the company is getting more and more customers every month and growing like crazy.

For the data-driven generation, that's just not enough.

Enter Mattermark. Mattermark is a startup that has spent the past few years building out a massive database of information about startups around the world. What it has also done--somewhat inadvertently--is build an amazing tool for kick-starting your dream career.

Mattermark made a name for itself in the venture capital community by giving firms an edge on other investors with growth data. The tool provides reports on startup ecosystems and ranks companies by various key metrics tied to business health, employee headcount, monthly unique visitors, total funding, stage of funding, and more.

The bread and butter of job hunting with Mattermark is sorting by Growth Score.

The Growth Score is a metric that ties together all the critical indicators of a company's success--its traction in the market, online footprint, size, how much fundraising it has done, and how long it's been around.

This means VCs can see lucrative investment opportunities before their competitors do. It also means Mattermark is secretly the best damn tool for finding a job at a high-growth company ever invented.

That's why Mattermark's platform is such a stupidly simple way of finding your real dream job. When you can sort companies on the basis of how fast they're growing, you're essentially filtering out all the places where you're going to feel stagnant and trapped, and optimizing for the rocket ships, where there's a feeling of magic and limitless possibilities in the future.

Published on: Jun 27, 2016