I recently had to make one of the hardest decisions in my professional career: leaving the big corporate world and joining a smaller company.
For the past 10 years, I’ve been working in large corporations with tens of thousands of employees. In fact, my previous employer had well over 90,000 employees - the size of a city! Life in the corporate world has done me well. I enjoyed the structure, the hierarchy, the processes, and the power of the formalized “brand”. The amount of departments was mind-boggling and the top-down communication approach provided crystal-clear direction to the employees.
Adam Raelson, Global Employer Branding & Internal Communications at Mews
A few months ago, I entered conversations with a small, European start-up called Mews Systems - a company that at the time only had a little over 200 employees. At first, I was hesitant. I was comfortable in my role; I enjoyed the stability and predictability of big corporations, and the long-established processes set in place. I couldn’t imagine leaving my familiar working environment. But rather than closing off the conversations or stubbornly remaining set in my ways, I was somewhat intrigued about working at a start-up. But I needed to learn more.
Founded in 2012, Mews builds property management systems (PMS) and a range of products for hotels and other properties that automate their back office so they can focus on exceptional guest service. Our core product, Mews Commander, is a native cloud-based PMS that manages those daily operations within the property. Other products include: Mews Distributor, a booking engine that sits on the client’s website that holds a repository of dates, rates, and room types for guests to make their own reservations; Mews Navigator, an online web application where guests create their own profiles, personal preferences, and eventually check-in online prior to arrival; Mews Operator, an electronic self-service reception kiosk that allows guest check-in in under 30 seconds, and more.
Mews PMS (Property Management System)
The more I had discussions with Mews and researched their product suite, the more I began to believe in the company and their vision of enabling great service within the hospitality industry and more. I diligently did my research to see how Mews was growing and the chance to be a part of that was highly appealing. It is not often when you get the chance to build a department from scratch and design a long-term vision for what success will look like in an organization that is rapidly moving forward and taking its footing among the big names.
I ended up taking the position at Mews and went through the best onboarding experience I’ve ever had in my professional life. All global new hires were flown in to attend a 3-day onboarding in our lovely Prague office. We learned about the products and departments, the history and future of the company, did hands-on role-playing activities, and even had a teambuilding activity that involved planning and executing a themed party for the whole office with only two hours’ notice!
In the nearly 2 weeks I have been at Mews, I’m humbled and inspired by the motivated, hard-working people I’m surrounded by. I am witnessing first-hand my colleagues planting the seeds for future departments where we, customers and employees alike, will all reap the benefits. It’s tremendously inspirational. I’ve met some of the most brilliant minds who are building and coding our products. I’ve spoken to enthusiastic sales managers who have been hired to be the first to enter their countries’ marketplace. With a bottom-up approach built heavily on open communication, it’s easy to meet and build bridges with managers and colleagues in all departments. It’s a fast-paced environment that’s brimming with growth, ambition, and excitement.
Today, Mews has over 1100 customers in over 45 countries and is opening offices in 11 countries. We’re approaching 300 employees now and Mews has robust hiring initiatives. We’re looking for qualified developers, sales managers, marketing experts, and more.
No one size company (big or small) is inherently “better” than the other and I am grateful for the experience I have had thus far in the corporate world. Whatever ideal work environment that works for you, enjoy it and make the most of it! But perhaps you too will one day have the chance to join a large corporation or a smaller smart-up. Just remember, when making such a difficult career switch, don’t assume that it’s final. By remaining agile and not restricting yourself, you’re certain to grow and develop wherever your next move will be.
So for those of you reading this blog, I will tell you, “never say never”. Be open to opportunities wherever they appear. You will always come out stronger and you may have just accepted an opportunity that will change your life. I have, with Mews.
Want to find out more about careers at Mews? WE’RE HIRING in 11 countries! Check out:
Global Employer Branding & Internal Communications at Mews