These are uncertain times in tech.  

If you’re at one of the many companies in the news recently, think back to why you joined.  

Was it the people?

The tech?

Or maybe… the perception of a rock-solid, not-going-anywhere, totally-guaranteed position?

Things have changed lately.

Whether the rounds of layoffs hitting the valley hard are truly necessary to address unsustainable pandemic-era over-hiring - or, put more cynically -  balance-sheet improvements slipped under the rug to boost profits at the expense of people… the illusion of big-company stability is no more.

Now…. might be the best possible time to join a startup.

In fact, a startup might be the most stable place right now.

But not just any startup though. As Liam Neeson might say, one with “a very particular set of skills.”

If you have a few minutes, I’d love to explain.

In general, startups will offer something different. Here’s a starter list:

But for the tiny subset of startups that have just raised a funding round in one of the most challenging quarters in memory:

Add Stability to that list of attributes.

Also, 👏.  

Especially for later-stage companies (C Round, D Round, etc.), where scrutiny on business fundamentals increases: it’s less about the potential, and more about the reality. Fewer stories, more metrics.  

Like everything, a job there is no guarantee. But unlike that big company in the news, the specter of layoffs won’t be your concern anytime soon.

So, that later-stage startup whose raise you just heard about on TechCrunch, whose funding can power years of growth? That company might just be the best, and most stable place, for you.

If your spider-sense sensed a pitch was coming - you were right!  

I’m proud to work at Forward Networks, and we just announced a $50M raise

We’re in the “sweet spot” for startups: money in the bank to power growth, referenceable customers you know, and an impact-oriented culture from the beginning. We’re building a product category so new that it doesn’t have a Magic Quadrant, with a tech lead so vast nobody else would be in that quadrant anyway. 😀 🤷 We enable companies of any scale to secure and assure their network, and, increasingly, their entire digital infrastructure, which helps the people and the company.

People matter, and when they experience those attributes of a startup - excitement, influence, growth, and equity - in a low-drama, no-moral-qualms, customers-get-excited place, they tend to stay. 15 of our first 21 are here, each with 7 yrs or more on this shared journey; today, every one of them leads a team.

Take a look - we’re hiring in a range of areas, from sales, to engineering, to support tech, and more.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Great Place to Work and Fortune magazine have honored Forward Networks as one of this year's Best Workplaces in the Bay Area. This is Forward Networks' first time applying for and being named to this prestigious list. Earning a spot means that Forward Networks is one of the best companies to work for headquartered in the highly competitive Bay Area.

This year's Best Workplaces in the Bay Area award is based on employee feedback collected through America's largest ongoing annual workforce study of over 1 million employee survey responses and data from companies representing more than 6.1 million U.S. employees. In that survey, 100% of Forward Networks' employees said Forward Networks is a great place to work. This number is 43% higher than the average U.S. company.

"We're thrilled and humbled that every one of our employees have said we're a great place to work," said David Erickson, Co-founder and CEO, Forward Networks. "Creating an outstanding company culture has always been a priority for the founders; being named to this prestigious list in a region known for taking care of employees the first time we've applied is a phenomenal recognition of our efforts."

The Best Workplaces in the Bay Area list is highly competitive. Great Place to Work, the global authority on workplace culture, selected the list using rigorous analytics and confidential employee feedback. Companies were only considered if they are a Great Place to Work-Certified™ organization and headquartered in the Bay Area. 

Great Place to Work is the only company culture award in America that selects winners based on how fairly employees are treated. Companies are assessed on how well they are creating a great employee experience that cuts across race, gender, age, disability status, or any aspect of who employees are or what their role is.

"As employee demands and expectations have dramatically changed over the past year, these companies have risen to the occasion—and it's not been easy," says Kim Peters, executive vice president of global recognition, research & strategic partnerships at Great Place to Work. "Their hard work and dedication to listen to and care for the well-being of every employee, and support them in a way that's meaningful to all, is the standard all organizations will be held to."

About Forward Networks

Forward Networks is revolutionizing the way large networks are managed. Forward's advanced software delivers a "digital twin" of the network, enabling network operators to verify intent, predict network behavior, and simplify network management. The platform supports devices from all major networking vendors and cloud operators, including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

Forward Networks was founded in 2013 by four Stanford Ph.D. graduates and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California. Investors include Goldman Sachs, Andreessen Horowitz, Threshold Ventures, and A. Capital.

About the Best Workplaces in the Bay Area

Great Place to Work selected the Best Workplaces in the Bay Area by gathering and analyzing confidential survey responses from its study of thousands of companies representing more than 6.1 million U.S. employees at Great Place to Work-Certified™ organizations. Companies must be headquartered in the Bay Area to be eligible. Company rankings are derived from 60 employee experience questions within the Great Place to Work Trust Index™ surveyRead the full methodology.

To get on this list next year, start here

About Great Place to Work®

Great Place to Work is the global authority on workplace culture. Since 1992, it has surveyed more than 100 million employees worldwide and used those deep insights to define what makes a great workplace: trust. Its employee survey platform empowers leaders with the feedback, real-time reporting and insights they need to make data-driven people decisions. Everything it does is driven by the mission to build a better world by helping every organization become a great place to work For All™.  

Learn more at greatplacetowork.com and on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and Instagram.

SOURCE Forward Networks, Inc.

Like many companies, we are adapting to and creating our new normal. At Forward Networks, this will be a hybrid work strategy, where employees will have flexibility but come into the office two or three days a week. Our new approach is based on employee input and designed to create a collaborative environment while protecting the work from home flexibility many employees have come to love. You may wonder, why are we opting for a hybrid workplace?

Benefits of a Hybrid Workplace

A hybrid work strategy offers a multitude of benefits that best creates a happy and productive environment for all employees. It enables employees who require in-person collaboration – such as engineering departments – to come into the office and work on projects as needed while affording the option to work at home on days when they need to concentrate on individual tasks.

This approach also helps us recruit the best talent for the job without being tied to specific regions. As we’ve embraced remote collaboration technologies, our teams are finding ways to build relationships and collaborate effectively no matter where they are located.

In the past year, we’ve proven that engineering can be done productively in a remote setting, allowing us to expand our recruitment pool nationwide. For these employees, a hybrid work environment may mean coming into the office monthly or quarterly so they can build relationships with coworkers from all departments without having to move. As a result, Forward Networks’ workforce grew by approximately 40% during the pandemic.

Security is in our DNA

While hybrid workplaces are beneficial, they can come with challenges. Cybersecurity is among the biggest concerns of hybrid or remote working and rightfully so. Cybersecurity risks have undoubtedly increased as a dispersed workforce makes data management trickier. With cybercrimes becoming more sophisticated over time, these risks will only continue to become more abundant.

Luckily, security is an inherent part of our culture, and employees help each other reduce risk. We believe that security is not only technology driven – it’s a mindset. Even the smallest efforts can go a long way. For example, reminding each other to use secure links for virtual meetings. It’s critical for companies, including ours, to have guard rails built into operations so that they can approach security and potential threats in a proactive manner.

Beyond cybersecurity, remote or hybrid work can bring new challenges for leadership. Management is going the extra mile to create an inclusive culture that has a conscious approach to relationship building.

A Bonded Culture

Transition is inevitable in the business world, but when companies need a stable culture, hiring individuals that fit is critical. At Forward Networks, even as we conduct a fully remote hiring process, we work hard to get to know the candidate beyond what was on their resume. This ensures that we hire individuals that are the right fit in terms of attitude and aptitude. New hires often tell management that they’re really happy to be here and the experience of joining is unlike anything they’ve experienced in their careers; they feel “at home,” which is the highest compliment we could ask for.

We’re also dedicated to creating an environment where people can work in the manner that allows them to be their most productive, while embracing their personality. This involves fostering good communication and creating an open, honest environment that embraces each individual’s personal and professional contributions. For example, we strive to emulate the in-person experience as much as possible, such as setting up social channels solely for employees to get out of their work mode and catch up on topics outside of the workplace. Similarly, hosting game nights (e.g., remote bingo, Family Feud, Name that Tune, etc.) or cocktail hours are some of the activities we’ve put in place to bridge the gap.

At the end of the day, we are people first and professionals second. It is mission-critical to give people the flexibility to work the way they need to – enabling employees to work as their best selves. That way, employees are able to thrive at work, which ultimately helps the company achieve long-term success.

Interested in joining our team? Check out our open positions on our careers page.

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