5

I joined a locally owned company of ~50 people some 6 years ago. The owner was great, always treating the staff almost like a family and it was easy to go above and beyond for him, he always recognized and rewarded that. Happy place.

A few years later he sold the company to a big multinational conglomerate. He is still kind of in charge of this office, but seems increasingly detached from the day to day stuff (my guess is he's only waiting his time before he can cash out and go) and the show is now run by the corporate overlords.

We're now working on much bigger projects, the PMs are no longer local, the teams are bigger and more global, and overall it's turning more impersonal, almost anonymous. And I find it increasingly difficult to stay motivated to go above and beyond of what's required.

I could make a difference in a 50-staff company, but am not likely to be recognized or even noticed in a 100,000+ heads corporation. So I find myself more and more often thinking - why bother?

How do you keep yourselves motivated to do your best either in large corporations, or in a situation where your company gets acquired and it changes so drastically?

Update: @sf02 asked a very good question - what is my motivation to be recognized or noticed, what do I want to achieve?

It's difficult to articulate but I'd like to see a purpose in going the extra mile. Before the acquisition I knew that if I wasn't strict about what's listed in my contract and did some extras here and there it would help the company and, having the owner we had, some of it will in turn be passed down to us in terms of various "extras", better, more relaxed company culture and of course improved job security.

Now if I go the extra mile in the corporation I will probably never see any direct benefit from it. Some VP or PM up the chain will brag about how well he's managing things without even knowing who contributed to his bottom line. And if/when it comes to layoffs they're not likely to take a personal view either, just slash X amount in salaries across the group and job done.

I guess it all boils down to a feeling that if I go above and beyond that I won't see any benefit from it. Why bother then?

3
  • 10
    Some people like smaller companies. Some people like bigger companies. If you're one of the former, the best thing for you to do is quite possibly "find a job with a smaller company and leave gracefully". Feb 21, 2022 at 21:57
  • 3
    What is your motivation to be recognized and noticed? What do you hope to achieve from this?
    – sf02
    Feb 21, 2022 at 22:00
  • @sf02 very good question - it's not about money, I'm paid pretty good. However I'd like to see a prupose in going the extra mile. Before I knew that if I wasn't strict about what's listed in my contract and do some extra here and there that will help the company and in turn some of it will be passed down to us in terms of various "extras" and better, relaxed culture. Now, if I go the extra mile I will probably never see any direct benefit from it. Some VP or PM up the chain will brag about how well he's managing things without even knowing my name. Why bother then?
    – I-P-X
    Feb 21, 2022 at 22:44

3 Answers 3

15

I could make a difference in a 50-staff company, but am not likely to be recognized or even noticed in a 100,000+ heads corporation. So I find myself more and more often thinking - why bother?

How do you keep yourselves motivated to do your best either in large corporations or in a situation where your company gets acquired and it changes so drastically?

Decide what motivates you, and find some way to incorporate that in your job.

For example, if "making a difference" motivates you, and you can no longer achieve that at a corporate level, make a difference for your team.

That said, acquisitions change things. You presumably liked working at a small company, and perhaps you would never even apply to such a large company. Perhaps leaving and finding a new 50-person company is your best bet. Been there, done that.

1
  • 3
    Thanks, yes I'm more and more inclined to accept that this place is no longer what it used to be and no longer the right fit for me.
    – I-P-X
    Feb 21, 2022 at 23:09
5

I experienced this while working for a certain large satellite-based entertainment company here in the US about 15 years back. I started as a consultant, and single-handedly did one project that would save the company millions of dollars a year. At some point, they made me an offer for permanent employment and I remember the HR department trying to nickle and dime me by offering $3000 less than I was asking for. They had a whole team of HR people to convince me that I wasn't worth what I was asking, and I ended up having to have a director I worked for go to bat over $3K.

It's so easy to be nameless and faceless in such an environment. If you're truly unhappy, it might be time to reassess some things.

0

It's difficult, period.

I worked for a local company of about 200 and we were acquired by a 80,000+ company. The fact of the matter is that if you weren't one of the higher ups then you didn't get in on the buyout deal and were left to perform the status quo until plans could be made to gut and incorporate the smaller company into the larger one's infrastructure. Various scare tactics were initiated during that first year of acquisition to shake down weaker people.

Management's end of the bargain was to stay on board locally for a few years just for show but it was obvious they had all checked out. My "above-and-beyond" attitude amounted to someone else's payday and departure.

I eventually got a new job with a 10,000+ company and am happier since it was my decision to be part of a large entity. Albeit, the higher salary and good benefits significantly influenced in my happiness.


It's been almost 5 years now and the one glimmer of hope is that I'm seeing a lot of old colleagues getting higher management titles and lower employees are moving into management positions. So it does seem like a lot of growth opportunity did crop up and the company was not gutted.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .