Starting up in a not-so start-up environment

So 6 months into a big company after 2 start ups, finally my feet seem to be firmly set. Although my current company is something between a start-up and an established firm, there still have been quite a few learning’s (difficulties, changes) that I have seen!

Here are the basic 5 things you should be prepared for when you join a big company after a start-up –

1. Thinking-in-the-box

Please be ready for a cubicle (read box). You might feel caged, boxed, stuck – but hang in there. There is not much you can do, because if 1500 people in a building don’t have allocated seats hell may as well be let loose! So you have to start thinking out of box while sitting in the box!

But of-course, you can make your box as creative as you like 🙂

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2. Not-so-friendly People

So after a start up where everyone is young, peppy and sweet, suddenly you find people of all ages – very pre-occupied with work. No-one goes out of the way to even smile (back) at you. Chances are that you will feel lost in the beginning but soon you will find friends!

3. Processes-Structures-Permissions

So from an easy going company where everything gets done just by word of mouth, please prepare yourself to send in a lot emails, slow processes, never ending permissions for the smallest of things! The bigger the company – the more (read:people) you have to fight with. If you are totally convinced about your idea – all you need to do is – write an email, prepare a plan, get it approved by your manager, send it to your manager’s manager who in turn will send it to his manager …. ya well it will take time but if you are lucky you should be able to execute them while you are alive!

4. Office-Politics

The word probably did not exist for you when you were in a start up with 50 people –  practically everyone is your friend. Well, Wake up! You will be witnessing a lot of gossip-cum-bitching sessions – about anything you can dream about – from this girls jeans to that guys belt, from her email to his work timing! Phew, time to take out your ear plugs and plug them in 😛

5. The “I” vs “WE” attitude

Very used to saying “We” should do this, this would work better for “us”? Only to realize that a lot of people here are only working for I, me & myself! There is hardly any ownership and all that people care about is how “I” will benefit, what works for “me”. It sometimes gets hard to make people understand that your company is ONE unit – if you work for your companies betterment, you get rewarded automatically! Some growing up and taking up responsibility required!

 

So there are challenges, but at the end of the day the biggest thing you will learn is DISCIPLINE – the timings, the hierarchy, the structures, the processes – all of them make you understand the importance of discipline. Although its easier to work in a fast paced organisation where everything is done at the drop of a hat – slowly you realize that this( slow with so many procedures) is probably the only way a big company can survive.

I am still trying to find my ground, somewhere in the middle of settling down while getting unsettled. Trying to break free in a controlled way – still working in a start-up fashion just with a little patience and hoping that either I accept the company or the company accepts me 😉

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. Great! Had fun reading this and could really relate to most of the stuff…:) Keep sharing!!

    1. Thank you so much 😀

  2. Oinkoo says:

    and to top it, a difficult boss! way to go Latkoo! :*

    1. :/ haha! thanks oinkooooo

  3. Architha says:

    You live you learn 😛 Don’t worry there are a lot of perks as well 🙂

    1. Of course there are 🙂 just a bit unsettling in the beginning…

  4. Akansha says:

    Too good lato… I enjoyed reading that 😃😃

  5. Anshul Sood says:

    Great article Latika!

    1. Hey! Thanks so much @Anshul! 😀

  6. I LOVE your cubicle-creativity ❤

    1. Yay! Thank you … i love it too 😉

  7. Really nice post @Latika … the way you’ve presented this gives a really personal view into how it is to be a part of the TimesCity & Times Internet teams.

    the ‘I’ versus ‘we’ is a big annoyance for me as well. as much as we try to reorient the thinking of many of the team members, it has been a slow and hard process. counting on you to help me push this approach to building TimesCity across the organization.

    Oh, and I know what you mean by the approval chain … i am a culprit of this to some extent 🙂 … ultimately though we have to make it better. lets discuss some ideas to make it much much easier and more fun really !

    really cool post again!

    1. Wohoo…thank u so much Miten!
      Means a lot!
      Hmm…ya though I did not mean to pin point…trying to keep it general…I believe the bigger the organisation … all these things are bound to crop up!
      About the approvals yes…a lot of it is also from experiences of friends and what I have heard around! I have been lucky enough to get approvals fast 😉 thanks to my cool managers! But always happy to help ! Will try and come up with ideas and discuss them with you super soon!

      *HappyDance*

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