Every time I tell someone my office has less than 20 people, I get the same reaction a mixture of confusion and curiosity, accompanied with a ‘What do you mean?’ or ‘How do you like it?’. What I mean is that I work at a startup. And yeah, it’s awesome.
One of the best parts of working for a startup is the virtually endless supply of learning opportunities. Read on for 14 (of many) things you learn working at a startup strategic communications firm.
1. You Become an Expert on Things That You Never Knew Existed
There’s a good chance you’ll be working on almost every project and/or client that comes along, so you’ll get exposure to many industry-specific tasks, across a variety of topics. It may take a bit of research at the start, but as time goes on, you begin to realize your knowledge on client-specific topics is far above average. And hey, it can also come in handy when watching Jeopardy.
2. You Collaborate with Everyone
Working in a small company means there’s a lot of room for collaboration. Projects are completed faster when everyone works together, and a second set of eyes is always appreciated. Collaborating with coworkers is often easier at a small firm, since we know one another’s strengths and weaknesses, work style, and can easily communicate with them (since we all work within 50 feet of each other).
3. You Wear A Lot of Hats
When working in a small firm, capacity for certain specialized roles is limited, so it’s not uncommon to find that your job encompasses a few different roles. Just take @Rebecca McTear, who isn’t just our web expert, but also our graphic design master, and professional sports-guru, among many other things.
4. Everyone Brings Something Unique to the Table
Team TMG is represented across multiple generations, we have people with corporate experience, people with nonprofit experience, people with government experience, people who have lived abroad, and that just scratches the surface. We all have many skills and perform multiple roles, but come from different backgrounds that allow us to bring new perspectives and insights to projects and brainstorms.
5. Time Management is Your Best Friend
Because we have a small team and do a lot of multitasking, time management tools and to-do lists keep us running (with some help from our kitchen’s snack cabinet).
6. Flexibility is Key
Things come up. It’s just how life goes at a small firm. Some days certain projects will take precedence over another, so being willing and flexible enough to put work on hold to help complete another project is extremely important.
7. You’ll Become a Self-Teacher Extraordinaire
As I mentioned earlier, at a small firm, your job likely encompasses a few different roles, and there will come times when you need to learn a new skill. Whether it’s learning a foreign language or how-to code, team members are given the tools they need to learn at their own pace and become a self-taught master.
8. You Will Learn to Adapt Quickly
At small firms, things are constantly changing, so employees need to be able to move along with the ebbs and flows. Whether it’s client needs, a new office, or a new client entirely, whatever the situation may be – you learn to adapt quickly.
9. Your Work Will Feel More Valued
Working at a small firm makes your work feel more valuable. Your work isn’t skipping through thankless higher-ups’ emails. It’s going to the people you work closely with every day who appreciate the time and hard work you spent on the project.
10. You Get to Know Your Coworkers Quickly
When you work within a few feet of all of your coworkers and bond every Tuesday about the previous night’s West World episode, you’ll build relationships faster than you ever thought.
11. Office Culture Matters
In a small, relatively new company like The Moak Group, it’s important to define office culture at the start, before a plan for office culture has to be implemented. Our culture is what keeps us thriving and wanting to come back to work every day. With office snacks, standing desks, couches, and regular team lunches, who wouldn’t want to come into work?
12. You Feel Comfortable Speaking Up
As opposed to an office with countless employees, you will learn to speak up more in a smaller office. Not only do you feel that your voice matters, you will be rewarded for it, and it will only continue to reward you in the future.
13. You can be Transparent if You Need a Hand
As much as we’d like to be able to, it’s impossible to read minds. That’s why at The Moak Group. everyone is encouraged to be transparent when they need more time or help. While we all have a workload, working on multiple clients comes with everyone having bandwidth issues at different times. You will never know if your coworker has the time to help on something unless you ask.
14. You Become an Increasingly More Marketable Employee
If these points haven’t already made it evident to you, you learn a lot working at a small startup communications firm. You may go in there as one candidate with a few skills, but you walk out with more abilities and know-how than you could have expected.