#1 is important because unfortunately, colleges and companies are used as a first filter.
If you have a good friend, you can bypass this with a referral. But it’s the difference between companies approaching you vs you approaching them.
#2 — VCs want to help their winners. Win-win situation for everyone.
Take a look at their track records to see how well they’re picking.
Ask multiple VCs. There will be common overlap.
Cold emailing works well if #1 was established.
#3 because your next job will provide more equity and salary. AND you get to diversify your portfolio.
Switching jobs means being able to negotiate role, title, and compensation.
Starting your own company is riskier but you could end up starting the next