The term ‘an alpha company’ is used as an analogue of ‘an alpha male’ - the dominant male in a group.
I work for a beta company.
The line about this company won’t benefit much my resume. I won’t see it in the 500 Forbes list. It’s not rewarded annually with all this pompousness and numerous interviews with top executives (PR-managers are on their mission). It doesn’t set the trends, rather it catches up with them. Yet it has its share on the market. It gives jobs to a number of people. It makes profits. Sometimes it gives me opportunities that the alpha companies will never do.
The Contribution Is Visible
The company’s ROI has risen from 44% to 55%, as it’s claimed in an annual report. What’s your contribution to this result? Do you proud of it?
In a big company, there are just a few rock stars, and all of them represent top management. Their names are in the reports; they are under the media’s radars. They are always on stage, whilst the rest of the team’s job is done properly as well - and quietly, on backstage. In an alpha company, it’s quite challenging to see everyone’s contribution, and it blurs an employee’s visioning of his (her) role in achieving goals and undermines motivation.
In a small company, the consequences of your actions are tangible for each teammate, and it’s more than easy to keep tabs on your ‘contributor’s status’. Thus, your self-esteem is healthy, and you should have a devastating lack of imagination to leave the achievement section in your resume blank.
By the way, the comment for those who are obsessed with impressive figures in a resume. It doesn’t matter how big your company is since your contribution is expressed as a percentage. My 256% sales rise that resulted in the $10000 rise of the company’s income beats somebody’s 156% sales rise which provided the $100000 increase of the income.
The Challenge Is Bigger
Being a part of a small company, you often operate within shoestrings budgets. It pushes you into a search for really creative solutions.
Money shortfall isn’t the only chance to show off your creativity. Sometimes you need to do your colleague’s job, or you just happened to be Jack of all trades (master of many!), and it has become your routine. In a project I work for, I’m a PR-manager, copywriter, content manager, site administrator; I used to be a social media manager a couple of years ago. All the new fields I was forced to acquire as fast as I could; obviously, I haven’t become an expert in each of them, however, I still can manage tasks on the quality level that allows our boat to stay afloat.
It’s tough to work in such a multitasking and multifunctional environment — and it’s one more opportunity to include into your resume some bullet points about breakthroughs you’ve experienced balancing between the lack of resources, tough deadlines, and half-inspiring, half-frightening feeling of the looming Armageddon. (Hello from 2020.)
The Competition Is Not So Competitive
I’m a PR-manager working for a small IT-project. I’d be happy to vie with another PR-manager for boosting the indicators and making the company’s image shine but I’m the only one PR-specialist in an area. The team just can’t afford another one.
Since we’re not competitors, our routine is happily free of all this mess usually caused by conflicts and the idea that on peer’s pastures the grass is inevitably greener. The only person I contest with is I am - and it motivates much! I can focus all my attention on solving the issues, and I’m eager to do it better tomorrow than today. My other teammates are my partners and, after all, it’s just a pleasure - last but not least - to hear their voices in the meetings, early in the morning, when I am personally full of discomfort and addiction to nothing but making a sip of hot coffee.
No Minor Tasks
My task for today is to send e-mails to the candidates who applied for a copywriter’s position. I’m doing my best to keep the friendliest tone of voice with each of the applicants because, today, the employer’s image depends on my communication skills and attentive tolerance. Our company’s word is smaller than the alphas’ one; in a small picture, every detail is remarkable. Today I dismiss an e-mail from a candidate; tomorrow the marketing department will struggle to find a new team member since we don’t have the candidates in bulk eager to contribute to the project. (The less stellar we are, the more rewarding is to find a peer competent enough and enthusiastic about working on our project.)
Sometimes a piece of simple paperwork has an influence on the productivity of the whole project. That’s why when we say ‘Thanks!’ to the teammates, it sounds sincere.
The BETAer, the Healthier
As it was reported by the researchers from Princeton and Duke universities, in nature, alpha males suffer much from stress. They are successful yet vulnerable to heart attacks and a bunch of other health problems.
Spreading this metaphor to the world of business: being alpha doesn’t mean being healthy and happy. Being a part of an alpha company could be overwhelming - and not so beneficial as it may seem due to the considerable amount of those who claim the reward. Alpha’s shining is bright enough to borrow some of its energy for your personal benefits, yet you’re not alone in such an attempt.
On the other hand, the alpha’s way of life is the only choice for highly ambitious and competitive people. Where do you find yourself in this jungle?