The appeal of working for a start-up
By Blair Grant
A recent article published in The Daily Telegraph got me thinking about company culture and what attracts us to work for a particular organisation. The piece, which focussed on a survey published by a recruitment company, found almost three-quarters of tech workers prefer to focus on finding work with start-ups for the learning opportunities and closer contact to clients.
Are larger companies and multi-nationals losing their advantage over smaller start-up agencies when it comes to recruitment?
This time last year I was walking around Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow, considering my employment options. The weather was nice for Scotland – light, as opposed to heavy rain. I had spent my formative PR years working with the largest agency outside of London, and at that stage was with a Scottish national agency. I was 25 and I wanted a stab at London.
I made plans to speak to a number of agencies about starting a new career in England. I met Stand Agency, and needless to say, I’ve never looked back. My first interview saw me meet Francesca and Rebecca. The majority of the discussion centred on Scottish politics and I could sense the excitement from what was then a very new agency. I got a good sense of Stand’s flexible nature when I met Laura – and her daughter – in a Peterborough shopping centre as Laura was on annual leave and I was travelling home the following day. I quickly recognised that working with Stand would allow me to make my mark on an agency with so much potential. When the job offer came I accepted immediately.
Fast forward a year and I’m the happiest I’ve been in PR. Would I have accepted a role at a larger agency? Who knows? However, what I can say is that I’m better at my job as a result of working here. We have a relatively small team but it’s tight-knit, close and friendly. I only have to raise my head to know that I can bounce ideas off some of the most talented people in the industry.
Penny agrees that there are many benefits of working in a small team – particularly a team made up of such awesome people as we have at Stand Agency. She likes the close friendships that develop, and thinks you can tell when people get on in a company and enjoy coming to work. Penny, says: “The fact that it is a start-up company provides the additional benefit of a real sense of anticipation of what we could become- what we WILL become! This motivates everyone in the team, at whatever level, to strive to reach the potential we all know we have. It’s exciting to be part of something from the start. We’re all invested, and all share a real pride in the business.”
Molly, our intern, said that working here allows her to see more of the high-level projects in action. “I’m not cornered away doing the photocopying”, she adds.
Now nowhere is perfect. Are there downsides to working with Stand Agency? Yes, of course. Being the only man in the office means that football chat is a little thin on the ground. I now also know more than I care to about make-up. That said, the support, teamwork and genuine pride at watching something I’m a part of grow, more than makes up for it. Oh, and the cake. Never forget the cake.
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