When looking at the adult playground that is Google’s office, it can be hard to see the benefits in working for a small company where you don’t have sleeping pods and massage rooms at your disposal. But there’s a lot to be said for working in a small office.
1. You Learn… A Lot
When working for a small company, you don’t have a marketing department and an accounting department, an HR department and a web development team. Instead, some of these responsibilities are shared and discussed with all or some employees, giving everyone chance to understand the workings of an organization and gain experience in a wide variety of tasks.
Over the past 2 years at BIGfish (my first job out of school), I’ve secured top-tier press placements, attended 5 press events in Boston, New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco, sat in on kickoff meetings with clients, assisted in the campaign strategy and planning process, worked closely with clients, and interviewed and managed our interns. I’ve also had the opportunity to participate in the redesign of our website, offered creative input on planning events, and created and designed graphics for Iceland Naturally’s website. If I were working at a larger agency, I doubt I would have gained the valuable experience I have in just two years.
2. You Work Closely With Decision Makers
Part of the learning experience comes from working with your superiors. At a small company, everyone from intern to CEO interacts regularly. And if you’re working with them often, you have the opportunity to observe, ask questions, and as a result, grow professionally.
At BIGfish, we meet as a company at least once a week. This means the newest employees and interns observe as the agency plans, strategizes, anticipates and delegates tasks for the week. Everyone is within reach and willing to chat and answer questions. Plus, it’s always nice when your president checks in with the rest of the team to make sure they’re comfortable working with a company before signing a contract with them.
3. We’re Nimble and Efficient
One of my personal favorites is the ability to make changes and improve the company and its processes on a daily basis. If any one of us – from an intern to the president – thinks of a new way to do things that could improve our business, we simply discuss and enact it. There aren’t 25 levels of approvals it has to get through in order for it to happen.
Because our account team works so closely with one another (and in the same room), it’s easy for one of us to say “Hey, have you worked with this reporter recently? Would you like to reach out to them or should I?” and coordinate from there. This ensures strong, personal media relationships, and enables us to work efficiently.
4. Your Work is More Meaningful
Working on a project from start to successful completion is always a good feeling. At a smaller organization, your successes are also more likely to be noticed by everyone – and who doesn’t like a pat on the back when your hard work pays off? You’re also more likely to see the impact your work has on the business and its clients, which makes staying motivated much easier.
5. We Really Like Each Other!
While the hiring process may be a bit more drawn out, we’re careful to choose candidates who not only have relevant experience and a strong work ethic, but would also work well with our team. The account team spends 40+ hours a week in the same room together, so getting along is important to us. When you like the people you work with, it makes your job so much more enjoyable. Plus, feeling comfortable with your coworkers makes sharing ideas, feedback and collaboration much more natural and productive.
While working for a big company certainly has its benefits, smaller organizations offer a unique set of advantages, like gaining a wide range of experience early on, having your opinion heard and making a difference. Find out more about our small, powerful team here and follow us on Twitter @BIGfishPR for more blog posts and interesting links!