You are a hardworking, career oriented person who rapidly progressed to see yourself working for a major corporation. The pay is good and a view from your high-rise corporate office is even better. However, something is not clicking anymore. Are you feeling like you are fed up of your job and the corporate culture?
If so, you are not alone according to the data published by United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. As per the stats, 1.8 million Americans opted for voluntary resignation and these numbers only represent March 2015.
It is true that probably not all of them left their corporate job to make transition to a smaller business. However, it is certainly appearing as a major trend. According to experts, the corporate culture with suit and tie is no longer attractive to new generation of office workers.
Paramount Business Brokers, one of the leading business brokers in Melbourne, suggests that our Gen Y likes to work for smaller businesses for various reasons. The most compelling ones are vibrant culture, quick decision making, flexibility and autonomy. In this technology era where things are fast and ever-changing, many of us see corporate cultures to be very slow. They are slow in adapting and responding to changes.
Fred Samoun, from Paramount Business Brokers, further states that many of their new clients who want to make a transition from corporate to owning a small business are not there just for the money. They want to spend the meaningful chunk of their time at the place they enjoy, have a real impact and make some good positive outcome. One of the biggest reasons for their transition is the size of these corporate businesses that make them feel like just a small cogwheel in a giant machine.
However, transitioning from a large corporation to a small business or a startup is not as simple as it seems. For starters, corporate employees are used to working with huge resources, enormous marketing budgets and endless supply of everything that they need. Once they move to a smaller business, all these essentials become luxury. They are rarely or not available to them anymore. Hence, you should think about all these factors before you make your move:
1. Understand the reason for company’s existence
Remember the time when you used to thin that mission and vision statements are there just because they are required to be placed on ‘about us’ page of your company’s website. You probably believed that there was no further purpose to it.
Again, you are not alone. At large corporations everyone works in divisions and departments. With this, corporate values sometimes have very little association with their own role. Most are focused on a task of their department and as such corporate vision and mission are not so relevant.
In a small business, its founder starts a business for a specific mission. For example, if Rosie owns a small restaurant, it is because she is a good cook and loves to serve her creative recipes. In other words, small businesses are normally started with a specific mission of its founder. It is not always just about profit, deadlines or KPIs. The mission normally fuels its business culture and it is heavily conveyed in dealings with customers and other stakeholders
2. Learn to be a ‘yes’ person
At your corporate job, you had departments and every department had so many people. Everyone worked on specific tasks and when something slightly different came up, you designated it to another appropriate department.
Well, you even had resources available to help you with things like printer and computer problems. You had your very own IT department. When a problem comes up, you just call them and then your problem becomes their problem.
Let’s say it’s slightly different when it comes to working at a small business. Remember when you were young, you had the t-shirt that said “jack of all trades…” and something along those lines? Well, it becomes a reality when you work at a small business. At a small business, you more often than not fix your own computer and change printer cartridges yourself.
In other words, small businesses have limited availability of resources so you must learn to say ‘yes’ for the tasks that are not exactly within your job description. Put simply, you will need to be self-reliant for many things you that you previously designated to others. Be flexible and enjoy being able learn a few new things and resolve issues outside your comfort zone!
3. Small businesses are nimble. Be one.
Let’s say, you have a proposition which you explained to your boss. In a corporate environment, it will then be sent to the head of your department who will forward it to the head office. Head office will review the proposition if and when they find it appropriate. If they review it, consider yourself lucky, let alone the chances of approval.
However, small businesses are nimble and do not have many red tapes to cross. So, if you have a proposition, they are swiftly taken into consideration. If approved, the decision will come through to you faster, in fact, a lot faster compared to corporate offices. Here you can make a full use of your skillsets and get better chances to make a difference.
Let’s not be too excited as yet because this can also be a two-edged sword. For example, if you are from a corporate culture, you’re not used to being part of this culture. You’ll have to learn to work in the same manner and so learn to be nimble. Also, you’ll work closer to decision makers. They’ll personally review your performance so also be prepared to receive direct feedback on regular intervals.
4. Enjoy the cultural shift
You probably want to leave your corporate job (or you’ve already left it) because of the boring corporate culture.
You’ll be so glad to know that one of the biggest benefits of working with a small business is its vibrant culture. A small business will provide you with relaxed environment, friendly small teams, direct access to decision makers and, if you’re lucky, even a part in decision making process. There is a sense of community – it is just like the difference between a city and small town.
So, what do you think about our take on this subject?