Bigger Isn’t Always Better


Leaving a global technology company like IBM was a huge decision that I didn’t take lightly,  and the thought of taking my next career move to a smaller company like KEYSYS gave me a lot to contemplate.  While there isn’t a right or wrong when it comes to working for a small or large company, there are certainly benefits and drawbacks involved in each situation. The choice is truly dependent upon your personal preferences and what you hope to gain from the experience.  For me, there were several selling points in KEYSYS that spoke to me and what I was looking for in the next step of my career.

  1. Environment: Space isn’t in abundance at our cozy KEYSYS office, but I’m thankful that it is not a never-ending sea of cubicles. Cube farms work for some people and companies, but I prefer to have some elbow room and the luxury of my Varidesk.
  2. Control:  With KEYSYS being a smaller, team-centric company, I feel like I now have more control over my career.  Having autonomy gives me a feeling of greater responsibility for the quality of my work and the ability to deliver work in a way that I feel best benefits the company and our clients.
  3. Relationships:  Having the ability to build trust and relationships is important in the workplace.  Often, in larger corporations, you have no choice in your teammates nor an opportunity to build a rapport because teams are constantly changing.  At KEYSYS, we are encouraged to know our team on a personal level which builds loyalty, dependability, and honesty.
  4. Flexibility:  One area I can certainly say that KEYSYS excels in is being agile.  Generally speaking, the larger the company, the more layers of red tape to peel through.  KEYSYS lives out the agile methodology in our work and in our office processes which really makes our company run like a well-oiled machine. It’s convenient to be able to walk into your co-worker’s office or invite your boss to lunch and talk over wins/concerns/best practices face-to-face. Having that type of access to your team builds personal and professional growth.
  5. Recognition: Another positive aspect of joining a small company (that could be viewed as a double-edged sword) is that your successes are more visible… but so are your failures.  In a large company, unless you have a couple of capital letters behind your name,  your accomplishments may never be acknowledged or your efforts may not be valued. On the other hand, at a small company, hard work pays off and it can be seen and felt by everyone. This adds value and significance to each team member.
  6. Variety: Lastly, one of the largest selling points of my decision to leave a large company for a smaller one is the ability to wear many different hats. It was important to me that I work in a place where I am able to pivot and grow and not be siloed into one skillset. In the ever-changing world of technology, it’s critical to keep your skills sharp and have the ability to learn new skills that lead to the overall success of a company and personal development.
  7. Job Security:  People think that larger companies offer more job security, but my recent experience of leaving a global company and joining a smaller company tells me this is a myth.  When staffing decisions need to be made in a larger company, sometimes individuals are aggregated and classified in a way that completely devalues contributions to the business. If a larger company has to cut x% of its workforce, its first inclination might be to immediately let go most recent additions. Perhaps the mandate will be to cut people in the top 10% of earnings for their units.  Neither thought process places proper value on the individual and his or her contributions to the business and its clients.  It’s easier to cut a number, which is what happened at my previous global employer.  At KEYSYS, I’ve found the single most important factor for job security is possessing relevant skills that benefit my coworkers and our clients.