“It’s better to be a big fish in a small pond, rather than a small fish in big pond”.
Having begun my career (almost) in a SME – small and medium-sized enterprise / startups , there are some really important things that I have realized about my decision. When I discuss with my friends and family who are part of “Big names” in the industry, makes me question myself, as to having made the right decision or not. But, it all comes down to same thing in my opinion. Depends on what kind of fish would you like to be. A big one in small pond or a small fish in big pond.
That would be easier to answer and decide based on what kind of atmosphere you enjoying working in. Simple. Of course working with a name that world recognizes is a great feeling, but for me, work is much more than just a name. It is my motivation to be there, and be present, whole heatedly. So, here are some of the reasons, in my opinion, why working in a SME/startups are better than working in a corporate.
1.One-to-one relation – Work on one side, but having a friendly atmosphere is on another level altogether. This is really important factor when it comes to feel like a part of the work-family. If you have one-to-one relations with your colleagues, it makes you forget that your working 2 hours away or 20 hours away from home. If you can discuss something really stupid during coffee, or share an interesting fact totally unrelated to work, or just talk like you would to a friend, then for me, you are in the first stage of work-place-admiration.
2.More productivity, more learning – I have been hearing some notions about how interns are treated or what level of work they are trusted with and so on. But I have been really lucky because since the first day, I have been given a chance to be an integral part of the team and ongoing projects. The opportunity of learning that comes along with such work, at such level is immensely motivating. And for what I have come across till now, the scene is completely of a different shades if it were in a corporate.
3.Opportunities to be innovative – As mentioned in previous point, if you get a chance to be a part of ongoing projects, start-ups gives you a great responsibilities to pitch in your ideas. Actual contribution to the work, gives you more reasons to be an active member of your team and a sense of responsibility automatically sinks in.
4.Get recognized! – Who would want to work sincerely for 40+ hours a week and not even be known for their work? If you think so, whom are you kidding? No matter what the work, or where you work, if you give your fullest, everyone needs a pat on the shoulder. According to normal human behavior studies, it keeps you boosted. And that’s exactly what happens at an SME/ start-up company. You work and your work is recognized, and in return you are too. You wouldn’t just be a person plugged in a corner, working and no one knows your capabilities. A little appreciation has never been bad for health, has it?
5.Amazing work environment – When the number of people are less, connection is more, work is organized equally, then work becomes fun. The discussions, the ideas, the chat by the coffee, it all combines to give you a great work atmosphere! You could work all day without all of this of course, but in due course, it get’s monotonous and you find yourself craving for change. The more fun you have at work, keeps you going a really long-term too!
6.Motivation to looking forward to next day – Personally, I wake up each morning and look forward to the day. Leaving home at 6:45 is no longer early for me. All pumped up and full of energy, the work environment calls me in for a new day. This has developed over time, due to all the points mentioned above and it is indeed a great feeling! The energy with which you use your energy through the day, it comes back to you in form of wonderful feeling when you’re returning back.
7.Witnessing growth explicitly – After watering your garden regularly, you would like to see how beautiful it turns out and see the flowers bloom. It’s more or less same feeling, when you witness the growth of a start-up. Not because you will get a raise in pay (not the only reason) but also realize that you have been a part of that growth all along. This feeling of growth of company and being able to relate to it, feeling happy, is a very different kind of contentment.
8.Infused with values like self-motivation and hard work – By the end of the day, working with a small company, teaches you and imbibes the values of being motivated and working hard. This will not just help you today, but for years to come in your entire course of working in any kind of organization. Some values are short-term, but these are for life and can be implied in any kind of situation.
Just to make it clear, these are the things that are keep me going and anticipating next day with full motivation, each and every day. And hence, my thoughts on the subject.
To conclude with, I have realized that a small university, company or any group where you have to give in your input, shapes you into a much better person and brings out the best in you.
If you want to work in German startups then you can find interesting jobs here at Germany Startup Jobs.
You can post your opinions and questions in the comments below.