In an age of information at the click of a button, and as a young professional, it is easier to be swayed by the too good to be true (and yet true) benefits of working with a big brand.
More so, for a society that celebrates big wins and less of small starts, a young professional could believe that having a big dream does not include starting small. We sometimes forget that the big brands of today may have been small brands decades or centuries ago. This is true of today’s tech giants, big banks, manufacturing giants, oil and gas conglomerates, top law firms, the big 5 consulting firms, and more.
I am a product of small brands and so I write from experience. Severally, I have relished the beauty of seeing an idea turned into something great that is solving human challenges and helping humanity thrive. And I trace my love for Start-Ups to this exposure.😊
Sometimes, in the job search gig, I have seen young professionals ignore interview invitations from small and unknown brands because they are not trending names. But the truth is, you never know what is in a package until you open it. Right?
It is perfectly okay to pursue a big brand dream. However, it is best to ensure it is not at the expense of one’s career. How is that you ask? Grab the big brand’s opportunity if it comes, but do not put your career on hold because of that dream. There are learnings and opportunities along each career journey that you could be missing when you would rather stay unemployed than start small with an unknown name.
Sometimes the small brand’s disadvantage can be your gain. Let me share a few:
Highly Demanding: In some small brands, people find themselves with one job title, but discharge responsibilities of multiple roles. Can anyone relate? For some people, this could be a training ground that would help them define what they want to do and what they do not want to touch. It may also be an experience that would come in handy when such people start their own business; having learned the operations of several business units, they can translate relevant skills to their business.
Limited Spending Income: This challenge could help people to learn as their CEO asks the right questions, learn financial prudence, accountability, negotiation, financial management, and more importantly, learn that businesses pass through hard times and how to manage hard times. In fact, people could also learn that some CEOs are not great financial managers and pick how not to mismanage finances either as a CEO or a business manager in the future.
Opportunity for Growth: Flowing from one above, small brands provides people a chance to grow their career, and expose people to responsibilities that could be for a select few with big brands.
Closer to the Vision: In a lean structured organization, there is the opportunity to interact more often with the CEO and constantly learn from his/her drive and passion for the vision. Great visionaries have a way of ‘contaminating’ people around them with their passion and makes them relish the essence of being part of building something great.
Conclusion: The things you learn working with small brands can afford you the opportunity to horn your skills, be better at what you are doing, enrich your resume and make you the person being sought after by the big brands. So I would say, dream big for your career, but remain open for opportunities that could be preparatory ground for the big move.
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My best wishes in your career journey.