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Why Working In A Small Company Kicks Ass

Why Working In A Small Company Kicks Ass

Studies have shown that the happiness of a person in their job starts to decrease dramatically after the firm passes one hundred employees. What is it about small companies that makes us so happy? I can’t tell you the number of entrepreneurs that went to found their own business because life at the big company basically sucked. Opportunities you spent years building up to — gone. Credit for your efforts — nowhere. A feeling of value in the machine — hell no. My personal experience in co-founding Twoodo and knowing many people who made the switch over the years adds substance to the hypothesis.

It used to be that large companies offered security and perks that small companies couldn’t live up to. However, those old stereotypes are disappearing as small companies (past the early stage of development) are stepping up with equal or better contracts.

small-biz-office-culture

    What is a “small company” anyway?

    There’s the micro company (1 – 10 employees) and then the small company (<50 employees) (European Union). In the USA it depends more on the firm turnover. You can take a look at the overview of how every country in the world defines a small company here. Small companies are often lumped in with medium companies and called SMEs (small medium enterprises).

    What are scientists saying about small companies?

    The paper finds that Generations X and Y are seeking equivalent values and satisfaction outcomes from SMEs. It is seeking very caring, environmentally concerned, and sensitive SMEs.Tangible and intangible benefits, empowerment and respect, workplace involvement, concern for employee welfare and supportive management are critical. (City College Thessaloniki, Greece)

    From this study, we can see that there is a shift from “climbing the corporate ladder” to searching for fulfilling and meaningful jobs. This is healthy — there is only so much room at the top in any case. It also means people aiming for jobs that they are happier in, and happier employees mean better quality work and higher proclivity to voluntarily lend a hand in times of crisis or be more flexible. Perhaps lessons handed down from our parents in the 70s, 80s, and 90s have pushed us to find more appropriate jobs, rather than jobs that have a high financial reward.  Or perhaps the expansion of the worldwide middle class has impacted on choosing our careers less out of fear and more out of satisfaction.

    What makes small companies so successful at being great places to work? 

    The secret sauce for a great small company seems to be how it is managed. Logically, it is easier to properly manage a small group of people than a large group. Here’s a table from another study that defined five statements that impacted on employee satisfaction (ref: International Human Resource Management Journal, 2007):

    1) Working here is informal and relaxed.

    2) Working here is like being part of a team/family.

    3) Company success is shared by all employees.

    4) I would leave this company if offered another/similar job.

    5) Employees are treated fairly by management.

    results-study-work-for-small-company

      The conclusions from this show that people generally:

      • don’t want a highly-formalized workplace.
      • have an emotional need to feel like an integral part of the success of the company.
      • need to feel appreciated and close to their work colleagues.
      • react well if they perceive management to treat everyone equally.

      It really boils down to a question you must ask yourself every day: WHY AM I DOING THIS JOB?

      Most of your (fully-functioning) adult life you are going to be at your job. It should be the perfect fit.

      A survey of 200 UK graduates commissioned by Give A Grad A Go found:

      • 91% believed big corporations paid more.
      • 79% felt they provided greater job security.
      • 74% felt they offered better career progression. 

      But they felt that SMEs:

      • encouraged creativity in the workplace (95%).
      • provided greater job satisfaction (82%).
      • encouraged a better work ethic (75%).
      • provide a better work-life balance.

      does-management-notice-me

        Does management notice me?

        Not only will working in a small company give you access to all levels of management, but decisions will be made faster and progression will be more visible. Your part in the operation will be more obvious and therefore more motivating. You won’t be restricted by department or hierarchy. Ideas on the fly can be pitched and discussed without needing to book formal meetings with the boss-man. The inevitable variety of the job will also keep your mind stimulated (and improve your general learning capabilities).

        AND — you get to skip all those corporate networking events :D

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        Last Updated on July 2, 2020

        13 Common Life Problems And How To Fix Them

        13 Common Life Problems And How To Fix Them

        In life, we encounter problems as we breathe. But it doesn’t get to us until we feel a major impact, and that’s when it becomes a source of concern, hurt, or sorrow.

        Life problems, depending on their magnitude, can be clogs in the wheel of progress, and we may not be able to attain our full potential if we don’t learn to place our problems in the proper perspectives as suggested in Robert Schuller’s Tough Times Never Last.

        In this article, I have identified some common areas where you will most likely face problems as you make progress towards reaching your full life potential. I have also suggested practical approaches in handling, managing, and solving such problems.

        1. Financial Crisis

        We live in an uncertain world and a financial crisis may come at different stages of life. While you should always anticipate and prepare for a financial crisis, it may still catch you off guard or the magnitude may be far more than any preparation you have made over the years.

        It could be that you lost your job or a major investment, got slammed with a lawsuit that threatens your savings, or have your livelihood be affected by a major disaster. So what do you do when you are in a financial mess?

        Solution

        To overcome a financial crisis, you will have to come to terms with the crisis. Acknowledge and accept the situation and begin recovery by setting your financial priorities right.

        The next thing to do is to identify the cause of the crisis. If it’s due to a job loss, then your effort should be directed at getting a new job. If it is having multiple debts, look for ways to consolidate your debt so that your monthly debt repayment can be consolidated into one instead of being burdened with multiple payments.

        You can also sell some of your assets to raise money to save the situation, or look for a better job if you are earning less at your current job. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from family and friends if you need to.

        2. Health Crisis

        Another major problem that might come up in your life is a health crisis. This is not far-fetched because our body systems work round-the-clock, even when we are sleeping. As a result of this, and if you don’t maintain routine health habits, health deterioration might begin to set in. Things might even get serious if you don’t attend to it early.

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        Solution

        When you are facing a major health crisis, the first thing to do is to consider lifestyle changes. This includes cutting down on junks, eating healthy diets, exercising, breathing fresh air, taking some sun, etc.

        Apart from the lifestyle changes, you have to seek quality medical help and make sure you get different opinions about the state of your health so you can get the best affordable care.

        3. Relationship, Marriage, and Family

        There may not be anything as sweet as love and family life, but it can also be the source of pain for some. Human imperfections in a relationship can cause a major crisis in life. This has been a stumbling block to many on their path to fulfillment.

        Solution

        The best thing to do is to prevent relationship problems from happening, but if they do happen, you need to face reality and begin to take steps towards addressing them. Do your best to keep the lines of communication open as this can help in strengthening your struggling relationship. Talk about the challenges with your partner and look for common grounds.

        You can also arrange to see a counselor together or read books that address the specific challenges you are facing. The worst thing you can do is to end a relationship and that’s only when you have exhausted all other options.

        4. Workplace

        The workplace is supposed to be a place where we dutifully render the services for which we’ve been hired.

        However, it is not impossible to face animosity at work—dealing with toxic people who would rather not see any good in what you do. It might be caused by differences in background, attitudes, and unhealthy competition that can result in personal conflicts. This can create undue stress and reduce productivity.

        Solution

        Be as professional as possible when dealing with toxic people. Be kind and show understanding, and try to avoid personal confrontation.

        You can even try to reach out to the persons and invite them over for a coffee and get to understand their worldview. This can help you to connect with them at their level so that you can avoid unnecessary stress for yourself.

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        5. Career Pressure

        In your quest to become more successful, you will likely encounter work-related pressure. Such can come when trying to stabilize your career or climb the career ladder. It can also come as a result of overworking and having no life. Career pressure is one of the most common life problems.

        Sometimes, it may be that the promotion you are working hard to get is not coming or positions you are qualified for are being offered to others. The pressure can get more intense when you find that most of your colleagues are moving ahead of you.

        Solution

        Check to find if you have personal or attitudinal problems. Some attitudinal problems can put you at a disadvantaged end. It may be poor communication, poor personal grooming, or poor relationship and networking skills. If it is any of these problems, then work on improving yourself in those areas.

        You can also observe your colleagues who are succeeding and take note of what they are doing differently.

        6. Unfair Treatment

        We are in a world where some people often think they have some privileges over others and may want to exercise this thinking and treat others unfairly. If you find yourself in an environment where you are being oppressed or treated badly because of your race, gender, or current status, this can make you feel really bad and can also affect your psyche and productivity.

        Solution

        There is the temptation to decry your treatment, defend yourself, and demand a change immediately, but you should really wait for the right opportunity to do that.

        When the time is right, reach out directly to the person or authority involved, and make it private. Meanwhile, you should be factual about the instances of your unfair treatments. Don’t just say it that you are being treated badly; give several undeniable instances.

        Once you’ve made your grievances known politely, keep being you. If things don’t change, you can cocoon yourself in that environment. If you have an option to leave, you can do so as well.

        7. Emptiness and Boredom

        When you are in a rut, everything becomes normal, dull, unproductive, and yet difficult to change. This can lead to feelings of emptiness and boredom. This may not seem like a serious life problem, but it can have a great impact on your life.

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        Solution

        To overcome boredom and emptiness, break out of your routines, and deliberately create a new experience for yourself. If you can’t leave your job to find a new one, start doing other things that reflect your true passion. Sometimes, the things that give us the needed drive in life are not our day jobs.

        8. Confusion

        Confusion is described as a change in mental status in which a person is not able to think with their usual level of clarity.[1]. It is inherent in forgetfulness and lack of concentration.

        It can be caused by different things including medical and environmental factors. It can also be due to the experience of a loss, a heartbreak, or abuse.

        Solution

        Don’t allow the situation to deteriorate into something more serious. Try to snap out of whatever experiences you have had that is causing confusion. Seek medical help if necessary or talk to a psychologist.

        9. Friendship Problems

        We need friends in our lives to rob minds and hang out together and even help us when we run into trouble. But many people have found themselves in serious trouble as a result of the company of friends they keep. They’ve experienced jealousy, backstabbing, and betrayal of trust. Some friends have even used the information freely provided in times of friendship to betray trust.

        Solution

        Don’t open up on everything to friends. Keep some information only to yourself. If you notice that a friend is working against you, confront them with the truth. Limit your interaction with them or get rid of such toxic friends completely.

        10. Haunting Past

        We all have pasts, and we might have done some crazy stuff in the past before we begin to live a more civilized and decent life. But sometimes, the past comes back haunting. It’s even worse when life problems of the past haunt you back and become problems of the present.

        It may be that what you have done is now striking your conscience, keeping you awake at night. Or someone who knows about it is trying to use it against you, and it is standing in the way of your progress.

        Solution

        Be true to yourself and forgive yourself. If it is an issue with another person, you can reach out to the person to settle with them. If it is a secret that is now being leaked out, own up to it, take responsibility, and move on.

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        11. Safety and Security

        You may find yourself in an environment where there have been unexplained murder, gun violence, police brutality, insurgencies, and other life-threatening situations. This can make you feel like you might be the next victim. What should you do in this situation?

        Solution

        Ensure that you watch where you go and keep your home secure. You can also get involved in a neighborhood community watch to collectively find solutions to the threat. If the situation persists, you can move to a more secure location.

        12. Failure

        Failure can bring disappointment and can also slow the pace of progress. But failure is also part of life, and we have to learn to deal with it. But what do you do when an experience of failure weighs you down?

        Solution

        You can read a book or biography to get inspired by other people’s success stories.

        13. Grief

        No one loves to grief but we can’t totally shield ourselves from it. The loss of a loved one is painful and, if not properly handled, can lead to an emotional breakdown.

        Solution

        Take your time to express emotions. You can also pen an emotional tribute to the individual. Writing can help us bring out the feelings that cannot be expressed otherwise, and it helps us breathe a sigh of relief.

        You can also cope with your grief by helping them to realize some of their unfulfilled dreams or do something in their honor. Lastly, while you think about your loss, you will still have to move on, accepting the fact that life is transient.

        The Bottom Line

        Problems are what make life worth living. They help us adapt to become tougher as we adapt to different situations. Always remember that whatever problem you are facing has a solution or, at least, a manageable approach.

        Therefore, never allow your challenges to stop you from fulfilling your true potentials in life.

        More Tips to Help You Get Unstuck

        Featured photo credit: Danka & Peter via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Medicinet: Confusion: Symptoms & Signs

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