After only eight days of working in a small agency, it’s obvious to me that working at a small marketing firm is a unique experience. Swim Digital Group currently has nine employees including the owner and three interns. To say the small amount of time I’ve been here has been invaluable would be an understatement, simply because of how much I’ve learned so far.
Your input is important
Collaboration is key in a small firm, and everyone’s voice matters. They don’t ask you, “What do you think of my idea?” They ask, “What’s your idea?” In a small firm, you’re most likely the only person with your job title, which makes it easy to own your work and perform to the best of your ability. There’s no one to pick up your slack!
It’s a family dynamic
The first thing I noticed is the way employees treat each other. Spending 45 hours per week together forces you to understand and be involved with each person in the office. When a creative fixes a design issue he or she has been working tirelessly on, everyone celebrates and congratulates. When someone is struggling with a project, everyone lends a helping hand or offers an idea.
The boss is hands on
At an agency as small as Swim, the owner is more available to you than he or she would be at a large agency. Their success is directly affected by your success, so they’re happy to provide the tools necessary for you to excel. They’re also directly involved in every project the company is working on.
You have creative freedom
I’m not saying that you can design whatever you want for your clients because most of the time you have to work within their parameters. I’m saying you have the freedom to be creative in your own way. If you run out of inspiration, you can take a walk or listen to music for a while. You can bounce ideas off of coworkers. Small agencies are simply accommodating to your creative process.
However, that doesn’t mean starting your career at a large agency isn’t beneficial. For some, a large agency could be a better fit. Small agency life allows you to learn things out of your comfort zone.