So I have to admit, this blog idea came about over a women's breakfast at the BOB conference. Doris and Jennifer from the Channel Company inspired me to give blogging a whirl! Let's just hope I don't embarrass myself. Is that what all women secretly think? That we're not quite good enough? That we don't exactly belong wherever we are? Or am I completely alone on this one? Maybe that’s a topic for my next blog…if there is one!
Today I want to talk about working for big vs. small companies. I made the jump a year ago from a large fortune 500 company to a small business. The question I’m asked most often is “which is better?” In my opinion, there is no better or worse…just different. But a few things stand out to me more than others.
Partnerships mean more to a small company. This isn’t to say that partnerships aren’t important to big companies, because they certainly meant a lot at my previous company. But in a smaller company, you really have to rely on the expertise of your partners. At a large company you are more likely to hire experts in every functional area, from marketing and branding, to proposal development, and everything in between. At a small company people tend to wear more hats, and as a result become well versed in many topics, and more well-rounded when it comes to business. But in order to have a depth of expertise, often times you rely on the partnerships you create to help increase your business acumen, and perception in the market. This is where partnership become key.
Scale means a lot in the market. With that volume comes a certain cachet, and an almost automatic credibility for current projects, or future plans. And that can help when attempting to secure investments for strategic planning. But your specific impact as a contributor to the business can make a visible difference each day in a small company. If you close a $1M deal at a multi-billion dollar company, it is a good thing. But when you close a $1M deal at a $20M company, it’s a GREAT thing! And everyone will know about it, and will thank you for your efforts!
At a small company you can get to know everyone you work with, and that can feel an awful lot like a family. When you have the opportunity to really get to know someone, including their work life and personal life, you start feeling like a team that has no chance to lose. And their success becomes almost as important as your own. At a big company, you have the opportunity to meet someone new every day, which can be exciting! And when you see someone you don’t know wearing your logo, you feel an instant connection to them because of your shared experience.
I honestly can’t say what I like more. I miss my old colleagues. I worked with incredibly talented and innovative people, where competition and success was prevalent. There was an electric atmosphere that pushed you to want to be better every day. And now I work at a place that feels like family. I have brilliant coworkers who love what they do. And this company lives the mantra "work hard, play hard."
So if you are thinking of making a drastic move, know that size doesn’t really matter. You can be fulfilled at any size company. Keep your passion, and make every day a great day!