Until recently, I have worked at large companies for the vast majority of my career. I joined Thought Ensemble a couple months ago and working at a small entrepreneurial company feels very different. Now that the dust has settled I thought I’d share my perspective on what makes working in an environment like this great:
- You don’t have to do all the BS. We don’t do all the stuff no one likes to do, but has to do anyway. You won’t be asked to do anything that isn’t directly related to running the company or serving clients. You won’t be asked to be the “Learning Champion.” You won’t be asked to participate in a painful yearly objectives planning process with cascading objectives that will be outdated by February. You won’t spend weeks preparing for that year-end meeting.
- You will have much more flexibility. With large companies there are expectations around face-time and when you come and go from the office. We don’t have an office. We often work at our client’s site and we are certainly there when needed, but that’s not all the time. You get the work done where you want to get it done.
- You won’t be “always on.” At larger firms, especially consulting, there is typically a 24×7 mindset. I remember my first weekend in my previous industry job when I checked my Blackberry for the first time over the weekend on a Sunday. No new messages. I literally tapped it in the palm of my hand and made a mental note to go see the IT guy on Monday since it looked like it wasn’t working properly. We’re “on” but have chosen to not be “always on.” We have the lives we want.
- You get to do things your way. We do things the way we want to do them. We don’t have a rigid “process” that everyone has to follow. You get to be inventive and creative. Yes, we have general guidelines and we have tools we use to ensure some level of consistency and control, but you won’t be filling out any TPS reports.
- You see the direct impact of your work. You have a direct impact on the success of the company. I worked on projects that had millions of dollars of impact, but I still couldn’t “pick it out” from the overall financials – the company was just too big. At a small, entrepreneurial organization your effort drives right to the top and bottom line.
So, that’s my $.02. Thanks for reading.