There's something to be said for working in a small office and wearing a lot of hats, but there's even more to be said about being a gopher in a cubicle. I always thought small office work was more for me. Everyone would know me, I'd have more responsibility, and would have an opportunity to do more. To some extent, some of that was true, but there are more reasons to love a large office than I expected.
I originally thought that I would be "just a number" at a large company, but I've never felt like that. Since day one, which admittedly was only a week and a day ago, everyone in my department either knew who I was, or at least was aware of my presence. My team makes the large office seem small. We work together and make the cubicle laden place seem like a little community. Coming from a small office, it is actually nice to be surrounded by so many people that are willing to help and bounce ideas off of. I have felt more creative and inspired with all of the talent that surrounds me daily.
Another myth I had in my head about large offices was that you only do one thing over and over again. Again, I am only in my second week, but there is much more content coming in, so while my role might be more narrow, there is actually much more variety now. Also, because I am doing a more narrow job, there is more potential for me to become really, really good at something, rather than workable across a variety of tasks.
I was also nervous about a large office because I thought there would be less trust in me. I could not be further from reality. Because they did intense background checks, several panel interviews, and a skills assessment, they were aware of my capabilities coming in, and therefore trusted me almost instantly. With a vetting process, I was posting tweets on my second day. By my second week, I have been granted full access to all social media accounts, given a phone and an ipad, and encouraged to offer my input at meetings.
My last major concern about a big office was I figured I would have less potential to make things happened. I pictured working at a big office being essentially like having my hands tied, in that there would be so many standard operating procedures that I would have no opportunity to be a change agent. However, being in a big company gives you opportunities to use all of these resources that are simply not available in a smaller office. If I think a Facebook post should be boosted, there is a budget for it. If I need color coded stickies, there is a whole office supplies closet to raid.
Beyond just overturning every notion I had about working in a large office, there has even been additional perks that I never expect. The obvious perks are tangibles like a new computer, a huge monitor, ipad, and iPhone with less flashy perks such as retirement plans, benefit packages, and life insurance also adding to the list. But beyond all of those work perks, there's something to be said for being surrounded by people constantly. While sometimes human interaction takes away from work, it drives me to work harder. When you are constantly seeing other people work passionately towards the same cause as you, there is no way you can slack off. While I can only see one way to get something done, there are constantly other ideas always improving my work.
So while I may be a small fish in a big pond these days, I'm a highly important little guppy making the ecosystem healthier.