As the mysterious magic of pumpkin flavored everything possesses the grocery store, crisp and colorful leaves sweeping around the locals, and being able to wake up and experience the sun blessing the world with its gracious and beautiful sunrise without wanting to destroy the snooze button, I cannot help but notice, it’s November!

November is the origin of Small Business Saturday (November 25th), and what other company resembles Small business than yours truly, Freemind Seattle? We’d like to give our opinions on what is like working at a small business versus a big corporation. Below is what our team had to say about the two, what are your thoughts on working for the underdog?

Jessica:

One thing that makes me really love Freemind is the nimbleness of the company to pivot in any direction quickly.

It’s so incredibly awesome and refreshing to work somewhere where all of our ideas are heard. Obviously not all ideas are going to be good, but having the encouragement to explore them is huge.

I also really appreciate the transparency that we have at Freemind and the chance to voice my opinion on company decisions.  And the flexibility of being able to work from home, travel, etc. This is definitely something that makes me feel more creative and productive.

Kori:

I’ve worked for both large and small companies throughout my 20 years of employment. Both have pros and cons, but I’d rather work for a small business. Large corporations may have perks that a small business may not be able to offer like; free training, bigger projects, a larger team to work with, and ultimately some people feel more stable in a larger organization. However, it takes time to move around and up and takes time to get your ideas noticed in a larger setting.

Personally, I love the small business vibe and how nimble a small business can be when change is necessary. I like being a part of something bigger than myself and helping an organization grow.  I’ve worked for many small businesses including my own- I love having the time and importance on hiring the right people not only for the job but for the team.  There is something about creating the right team for your organization- many people can learn new tasks and aspects of the job but you cannot teach a group of people to be a good team.  There is a magic that happens when the right people come together.  Granted you do have to manage this group of people but if the foundation of respect and organizational goals are there managing and building that team is much easier and more successful.

There are people that feel good about working for a large company- or to punch in and out of their work day and our work force needs those people.  There are larger companies that are moving towards working like a small business with centralized small teams, think tanks, and incentives- they see the magic in a well-oiled team and what that can do for your organization.  A small business is just structured that way out of the mere size of the organization- every employee whether you are the owner, manager, or coordinator; you all lend ideas, services, creativity, and knowledge to every situation.

Melissa:

I miss the free pop from the bigger corporations.

Quincy:

Outside of my first couple jobs in high school and a very short stint at a huge cable company, I’ve always either worked at a small business or did my own thing as a freelancer. Whether I was touring musician or doing freelance marketing and event production, my relationship with big companies has mostly been working with them as opposed to working for them. I’ve always had the drive to own something and that’s why I’m my current position.  Back in 2011, after having a sales job with a cable company where I performed pretty, they refused to let me get time off to perform at a show. Those are the kinds of restrictions that big companies can impose on employees. After that, I learned that money wasn’t everything and that you really have to love what you do. I realized that even though I was making a good check, I was mostly miserable so boom! My touring career was born which was probably the most valuable experience I could have acquired in coming back into the work force as an employee at a small company.

Being a part of a small company gives me the opportunity to use all my experience , and my education to be an asset for something bigger. Personally, that’s important because I get bored easy and a monotonous routine of doing the same thing all day every day is the worst thing for a creative person. The cable company didn’t care about my experience as a musician, a freelancer and me obtaining  a doctorates. That may not be true for every large company, but across the board there tends to be a stagnation with large companies where they have to really try to innovate while keeping their core business at the forefront. Small businesses are always innovating –  and that is the core of a small businesses’ existence in my opinion. While studying Organizational and Industrial Psychology, I see that larger companies are trying to adapt and be more like small companies because at the end of the day, a company is only as great as its people and if the people aren’t excited to be there and are just collecting a check, it tends to show up. However, from experience, there’s nothing more exciting about getting up and getting after it in a small business setting and being a part of building something you can be proud of.

I think people tend to undervalue what it takes to run a business on your own and be successful. The kinds of qualities that school can’t teach are; grit, determination and hustle. While touring, I booked the shows, coordinated the travel, balanced expenses and ran my own sound. Between that and being called on by large companies and city governments to produce large events, I had to learn to be efficient fast. These are all things that I don’t think would be as valuable in a large company as they are in a small company.

Jamal:

I would rather feel empowered, and see the fruits of my labor through the obvious growth of a small team than make money for an entity that relies on its politics.