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I’m still a fairly new addition here, coming from the BIG scary world of banking. As most people know banks are not the most secure companies to work for at this time and I was, oh so fortunate enough to be working for one of the “lucky banks” that was taken over by the FDIC. So, after 6 years in banking, I chose to leave and pursue a new career path that landed me here at Melinda Holm & Associates!

I have been here for 8 months now and have come to realize there are many differences working for a company with 500-1000 employees to our office here of 11. For those of you wondering if it was an easy career choice or even the smartest one, the answer is NO. This doesn’t mean I dislike what I do or feel I made a mistake. It just simply means that there are many differences that I was not prepared for when making the change.

So, for those of you considering a switch or just plain wondering what the differences are because you have not worked for both types of companies. Here are some fun facts:

In a company with so many employees your opinion and ideas are not always heard or taken into account. There are a lot of layers, procedures, proofing, and regulations that have to be met and approved to even get your idea considered or opinion heard. While at a smaller company your voice is heard and your idea is considered. You are relied on and an equal team member no matter what your title is. You are also able to get immediate answers to your questions/problems instead of having to call around or wait until the appropriate person is available to get back to you.

Being in a smaller company each person’s role is strongly dependent on another’s. There is less room for error and you are relied on heavily to make sure you are keeping up with your work flow. While in a bigger company there are a lot of other people doing the same job and a lot of people behind the scenes prepped and ready to fix your errors in the event they are made.

In a smaller company you are recognized more for your achievements and progress, which is always nice. However, even though you may be great and excel in your position there is not always the opportunity for advancement. In a bigger company, in the event of recognition you have a lot more opportunities for advancement.

In bigger companies you can’t help but to sometimes feel like you’re a number and that you are fighting to keep your spot. You never quite know what is going on in the bigger picture of the company. You could be told the company is doing fine, but the reality is it may be a sinking ship and only certain individuals know and can see it coming. This is not to say that in a smaller company you are secure either. You just have more of an idea of where you stand as well as where the company stands. You can see the trends. You know when things are going well, when work is steady or overwhelming and you know when things are not doing so well, when things have tremendously died down. You have a better idea of when the possibility of change that could affect you directly may need to be made.

Last but certainly not least, I think one of the biggest differences going from a bigger company to a smaller one is benefits. In bigger companies the benefits are usually a lot better than smaller ones. This isn’t a dig at small businesses, just a fact. Bigger companies often have a lot more affordable coverage on health plans and better 401k programs. Smaller companies have coverage as well it just costs more for you and it is also not cheap for them.

Overall there is no win or lose in either size company. It comes down to you as an individual and where you thrive at best. Some people excel in bigger companies and enjoy the fight to get to the top. Others may just simply enjoy the smaller company where they feel comfortable. It’s really all your own perspective. As for me personally, I have learned I can work in both. I don’t like or dislike one more than another. Although there are many times I miss the fight, I have taken on a new chapter and am learning to thrive in a new environment!