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Adapting to a new working environment

From a Small Team to a Big Company: Dealing with Change

Kiera
King
Digital Marketing apprentice at Christie's

When things outside of us change, we change too - most of the time we won’t even be aware of these changes unless its an intense turn of events. When I moved from a small team to a large team I started to notice subtle changes not only in the day to day environment but also within myself.

In late 2017 I began working as a sales assistant in a shoe shop called ‘Deichmann’. I started working there part-time so that I could use my spare time to search for my apprenticeship and get started on building my career. Now, Deichmann is by no means a small company; it has stores worldwide in 26 countries and has had various celebrity brand deals with people such as Ellie Goulding, Halle Berry and more recently Kendall and Kylie Jenner. However, within Deichmann, I worked closely with a small team of just 9 people. I really enjoyed working in such a small team as everyone knew everyone which meant we all became friends very quickly and easily. This made each shift enjoyable and gave the workplace a more relaxed energy.

9 months later, with the help of WhiteHat, I managed to land an amazing opportunity to complete an apprenticeship at Christie’s. Christie’s is an auction house in the global art business and is active in 46 countries with 10 salesrooms worldwide. At Christie’s, I work closely with 34 other creatives - which is quite the jump from 9. And this figure doesn’t include the individuals from other departments that I have to contact daily in order for projects to get completed. Having moved to a larger team it is now a lot harder to get to know everyone on a friendship basis. However, from working with only a handful of people to now working with nearly quadruple the amount, I have noticed a huge increase in my confidence. Christie’s has over 1800 employees in the UK alone, therefore I am constantly meeting new people on a daily basis. Meeting new people was always something that used to make me nervous, however, now I look forward to meeting new and interesting people. This has led to me improving my interpersonal skills without even really being aware of it.

By working with only 9 other individuals at Deichmann, if there was something that I was unhappy with I would easily be able to approach my manager who would be able to implement a change very quickly as it would only be affecting a handful of people. Whereas at Christie’s I have noticed that before a change can be implemented it has to go through a number of people. This is due to the scale of the company and team; as the change is affecting multiple people the right procedures have to be put in place to make sure it can be made smoothly. However, this doesn’t mean that the changes aren’t being made they are just having to be done slightly differently to ensure that everyone is happy.

In addition to this, I have found that there is more structure from working within a larger team. As soon as I start my day at Christie’s, I know what my tasks are and how they / I fit into the company. This has led to me to have an increased skill set in a specific field, in which I hope to have a career when I have finished my apprenticeship. When working at Deichmann and in a small team, I often had to take up multiple roles and jobs. Doing this allowed me to experience different things day to day which definitely made every day new and exciting.

Needless to say, there are many differences between working in a small team and a large team. However, these differences aren’t necessarily bad things and they help you to grow and develop as an individual. The change from moving from a small team to a large team has been made painless by the great people working for both of the companies. Despite the scale change, my new and old colleagues have been supportive as well as understanding which has made the switch so much easier. It just goes to show that having the right people around you can make any change simpler.


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