I’ve been an avid consumer of blogs forever, and whenever I see something I want to check out later it goes in my “review someday” folder. I’m digging through my old links and will begin posting articles that I’ve found professionally helpful and/or interesting. Extra bonus: I get to clean out my bookmarks log.
First up: from moblog: Large companies and “A” talent. The article links to another blogger (Auren Hoffman) (that makes this post what, three deep?) who claims that big tech companies are struggling to retain their “A” talent, and given that one A player can produce the same results as three B players, the loss is compounded even more so. When job security is “about a wash” between new and exciting vs. big, slow and political — not to mention the perceived chance of astronomical payoffs in the era of Google acquiring YouTube for $1.65 billion — how to attract top players? And is it even rational to do so for top talent (who are likely to be in their prime earning years, not averse to working long hours, and taking extra risk)?
Back to moblog: Moishe relays that he’s worked at startups, small companies and large companies. In his view it’s less about big vs. little or old vs. new, it’s about the talent you work with and the culture of the company.
Certainly startups have their benefits, but so do some big companies. As cliche as it is, your co-workers are going to make the biggest difference in your satisfaction and learning; find a place with excellent mentors (no matter how much experience you have) and you will do well, whether that place is a start-up or a large established company or something in between.
I’ve worked at PR firms, a state agency, a mid-size large company and a huge company. And I currently have my own business that I run “for fun.” Each have had different plusses, but I agree w/ Moishe that it’s more about the company than it is the size. In fact, I’ve had more doors open for me at my current employer (the huge one) than all the others combined. Even more than having a good mentor or a great culture (although those certainly help), it’s about the time and effort you expend in building intrapersonal relationships and in cultivating relationships where people are willing to do you favors than anything else. If you do your work, do more than you’re asked and do it ahead of schedule, you’ll be noticed wherever you go. And if you can do it without stepping on any toes, all the better.
What it comes down to is the basics. If you’re truly an “A” player, you can go anywhere you want and be successful, so long as you find a fit with your personality and the culture of the company. Choosing wisely and then doing the “right stuff” is the key.