I’ve been back in the small business environment for nearly 9 months now, a drastic departure from the large corporation management position I formerly held. The days of several hundred emails, FMLA, and frequent long meetings are just about non-existent.In fact, there are times where I release memos or handle personnel issues in a way that would be “HR Compliant,” yet bewilders the normal small business process. Oh, and processes – well, they can be surprisingly harder to instill and enforce as well.
But, there are days where I miss the corporate world… maybe just a little. I made a quick comparison list based on my experience in both the small business and large corporation worlds:
|Small Business||Large Corporation|
|15-20 emails/day||250-300 emails/day|
|2-3 meetings/week||2-3 meetings/day|
|1 superior||Chain of superiors|
|20-25 employees||500+ employees|
|2 direct reports||20-30 direct reports|
|1 report/week||Multiple reports/day|
|Drive to make payroll||Drive to make goal|
|No IT support||Helpdesk|
|Save for equipment||Move budgets|
|Shoestring ad budget||Full-scale marketing dept.|
Working hard for a promotion
A couple of my former colleagues just received well-deserved promotions. Hearing about their success reminded me of all the time and energy I spent working hard for a promotion. Sometimes it comes sooner than expected, and sometimes you do the work of the position ahead of you without the title and pay grade.
As I reminisced about those good times, I was also reminded of how the work I do now is not for any kind of promotion in position. My only “upward movement” would be owning or significantly growing the company; neither of which are coming anytime in the near future.
Vastly different priorities
Then, I wanted to rally our troops to smash department goals and garner a reputation as being a great sales leader and team builder. Now, I just want to make sure we make payroll and outsell as much of the cut-throat and hungry competition as possible. The drivers and priorities are vastly different.
As a kid, I dreamed of wearing a nice suit to my super-important job where I would have an office in one of many high-rise buildings in a big city – but here I am in khakis in my converted mezzanine office in a mid-sized mid-western town. It’s a departure from the dream, and it is indeed what I’ve picked for this stage in life.