As someone that grew up in Northern Ireland during the 80’s and 90’s, I am an avid fan of Channel 4 comedy, Derry Girls. Season two returned to our screens last week with the characters going on a weekend retreat ‘across the barricades’ and discussing the similarities and differences between two religions.
I had recently been asked to write a blog about my experience of joining iMultiply after spending the majority of my career in large, multinational recruitment firms. After watching Derry Girls it got me thinking, ‘What are the differences and similarities between those working environments?’.
Must be a Northern Irish thing, as I only came up with differences! So six months into life at iMultiply, here are six differences between life in boutique vs corporate!
The working week is more varied
My title at iMultiply is Associate Director, probably because Biller/Coach/Trainer/Blogger/Events Manager/Internal Recruiter/Teaboy is too long for a business card! In large businesses, there are teams of people in the support functions to help you do the job. In a small firm, that responsibility lies at your feet. Which makes for an incredibly interesting and diverse working week and also expands your skillset and experience.
It is harder
Every recruiter has their own personal brand but you also have the employer brand that can either open or close doors. Working at iMultiply, we have to work harder to get the brand out there as it is not as instantly recognisable as some global brands. But that adds to the challenge and as one of my colleagues in Belfast put it recently (and very accurately), ‘Every win means more here’.
Decision-making is instantaneous
I have the pleasure of working directly for Kirsty MacKenzie, iMultiply CEO, and it is so refreshing to work in an environment where decisions are taken quickly and decisively which means we can just get on with the day job. As an example, we recently invested in a new Glasgow office for iMultiply, a decision that was taken in about 10 mins. In one of my previous employers that would have taken about 9 months!
There is more autonomy
If you don’t like autonomy, the boutique environment will not suit you. Large firms have layers of management that make sure people are doing what they should be doing. At iMultiply, you are hired with the assumption that you want to do the job and want to do it well. It is on you to make sure it works. There is still plenty of coaching, support and advice available, but you just need to get on with it. There is also plenty of autonomy to drive projects or new initiatives as you see fit.
You will work with like-minded people
One of the things I noticed almost immediately at iMultiply was that everyone was working for a common purpose. There was an openness and sharing of information that I have not experienced previously. Everyone is aligned to the overall success of the organisation and it’s a genuinely great group of people to work alongside. There are no politics or game-playing that are more commonplace in larger organisations.
It is more fun
I have enjoyed my first 6 months with iMultiply more than any role I have had in the past few years. The culture, environment, team and leadership are all superb. We work hard and we have a laugh. We take our jobs seriously, but not ourselves. I’ve found a great fit and maybe it just came along at the right stage of my career but if anyone is contemplating a move from the large corporates into the boutique environment, I’d be more than happy to share my experiences over a coffee.
If you are interested in joining our expanding team at iMultiply and would like to hear more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a confidential discussion.