I've long forgotten how I came across either article, but here are two writers talking about life in a big company. It's not clear who wrote "Thriving in Large Companies", but here are the ten tips the author provides:
- Learn how decisions are really made in your organization.
- Build relationships before you need them.
- Long live skunk works.
- Be willing to do whatever it takes.
- Pick your battles.
- Build consensus before important meetings where decisions are required.
- Be smart about how you spend your time.
- Share information.
- Put your manager to work.
No word on how introverts like me, who would find the prospect of joining a large company daunting, would thrive. Frank Gregorsky maps out why introverts do not thrive in such environments: “The more competitive the industry, the more shark-like the work culture. Extroverted sensors own this territory, and the territory comes to own them. Never forget how sprawling that territory is, despite 15 years of corporate downsizing. The terrain dictates what grows and what withers.”
He finds exceptions to the rule—large businesses that are decentralized, the culture of the branch having more to do with the style and personality of the office manager than diktats from above—and spends quite a bit of "aside" on why we're currently in a real estate bubble, blaming the ultra-competitive industry staffed almost entirely by extroverts. (He says that renters like me don't have to worry too much, and that when the bubble bursts, they too will be able to afford a decent house.) He then recommends The Simplicity Survival Handbook for those introverts who find themselves working for large companies. Any book with a chapter titled "How to Delete 75% of Your Emails" must be good (I'd be happy if just 25% of my emails were deleted).
I'm still working for a small company, and so far in my early job career I've worked in offices where I had the opportunity to meet and work with every employee of that company. How I'd handle working for a company the size of my high school, or even the size of my hometown, I don't know. But both articles guide the way, if for different audiences.