When I was college searching, my mom would always say to me, “do you want to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?” I thought about that question and ultimately chose Washington College, a small liberal arts school tucked away on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. There, I could be a big fish and let my big personality shine; it was a good four years.
When it was time for my job search, I reflected on that question again. And still, I chose small. At Intero, there are less than 15 employees, and while some might say there is strength in numbers, I like to think that we are small but mighty.
Why does a small company work, and what does it offer whether you’re an experienced or young professional? Here are some considerations:
High level of trust and independence.
I’m not motivated by intimidation nor do I thrive in a cut-throat environment; I don’t require a “boss” hovering over my shoulder, constant check-ins and a line-up of meetings with no purpose or direction.
At Intero, we operate with a mutual level of trust and independence. We know the expectation, and there is trust that we’ll get our work done on time and produce quality content. In return, we also trust Colleen to continue to develop the business and provide us with all of the tools and resources we need to be successful.
The independence and trust are also why we’re also able to weave those pesky doctors appointments into our schedule or leave half an hour early to skip the Chesapeake Bay Bridge traffic on a hot summer Friday.
All in, all the time.
Mutual respect means we get our work done and continuously prove ourselves through happy clients who refer us to others. We work as a team to help each other, we do not compete or criticize.
When you work at a small company, the amount of formal meetings drastically decreases, considering 75% of us work in the same room.
We check-in with each other about the status of clients, new LinkedIn changes, new processes, and anything else that arises. We walk downstairs to ask Colleen for help when there’s a question or issue that requires an additional opinion.
We have a team lunch for under $100!
As a small group, we’re not alone. We have a voice. If we’re unsure of something or have a great idea that should be implemented to improve our process, we get to voice that opinion, have it heard, considered and often implemented.
We are able to share client wins and milestones congratulate each other on a job well done, celebrate anniversaries and birthdays together. Every person is important and feels valued.
Lots of hats.
In a small business, everyone wears many hats, and Intero is no exception.
We’re continually building our toolshed and encouraged to do new things that push us out of our proverbial comfort zones. We’re learning and preparing for the next steps in our careers, strengthening our skill sets and marketability. We’re becoming creative, critical thinkers, strategists, and building a network and personal brand.
There are pros and cons to any job, any environment, and culture. I’m sure that there are things that I’d like about working for a large corporation, but for now, I couldn’t imagine my first job to be anywhere other than Intero.
Our team is incredibly hard-working, dedicated to our clients and each other and we are prepared to put in the work for the reward. We’re lucky to work in an environment where passion, drive, and inspiration is written into the DNA, and for someone who encourages us to be the best version of ourselves. The 8-4 workday and casual Fridays don’t hurt either!
Beyond a team.
In full disclosure, Intero Advisory is owned by Colleen McKenna, my mother. While I never intended to work for her, I see the value of a family business. Many of our clients are family businesses too, and I’ve heard from them about the benefits. I see that now and know that we’re creating that too. With more than 5.5 million family-owned businesses in the U.S., there are a lot of positives. While you may not be a family member, you may reap the benefits.
Whether you’re an emerging or experienced professional, there is value in working for a small business. If your passion, drive, and commitment meet their passion, drive, and commitment it’s sure to be a good fit.
If you haven’t already, read our latest post Reporting Up- A Necessary Practice, which gives insight into how we manage workflows and projects at Intero!