From a global player to a small boutique company

My way from a global player to a small boutique company in Switzerland and my resumé who is best to work for.

Nearly 26 years I was allowed to travel around the world, felt emotionally connected to many smart people in many countries and regions. I have worked in 10 different roles in 19 different countries and 3 different regions. I have moved my family 6 times and moved myself 9 times, always had to leave friends behind and had to manage the tears in the eyes of my kids during every move we have made. We have gained a lot, grew together as a family, our kids got matured while discovering the world from different perspectives. These years were characterized by long working hours with very intelligent and bright people, in very exciting jobs. I have met so many colleagues and suppliers and some became even friends. Money was never a problem in any of those jobs, neither that projects were not funded independently on its sizes and costs nor that I felt not well paid. Instead, I was spoiled and very well paid if not overpaid in certain roles, simple to buy flexibility of life and location from my family and I. Meetings in general can be described by intelligent people talking about challenging subjects. Its output and added value was rarely measured in terms of real added value for the company. Some colleagues were managing their own agenda in terms of career but most in a very smart and very kind way, hence I have even enjoyed that part of the job.

Now being at a small private owned boutique company since 15 months, money got a different meaning. Turnover will directly impact susses and hence our salaries, work-life-balance is better not because of lesser work or lesser working hours, but lesser physiological stress created by the organization itself. We don’t talk a lot about purpose and values, we just do what is needed to do, in an honest and reliable way, always with long term success focus. Our customers are always on top of our mind. Issues occur only throughout our normal work, neither because of internal politics nor because of the need to prove fast success to be ready for the next job or promotion to come.

My biggest learning, hence my eye-opener, is that working and being supported and promoted in a big organization for a long time spoils you and makes you blind to the real world. Anyway, if you are in such a role, enjoy it and have fun as long as you learn, and it matches your purpose and values. If not, take action, leave and do something else. There is a world outside, for sure.

If you are in an SME, you might believe you have missed something of the topics listed above? Yes maybe, but I am sure you have gained other nice appreciating experiences, and you may have managed your family to be happy in the same place with the same friends who you may see nearly every day since years. If so, keep enjoying it. There is nothing you really have missed so enjoy it and have fun as long as you learn, and it matches your purpose and values. If not, take action, leave and do something else.

In other words, there is no yes or no for bigger or smaller companies, local or international operating. It is just different, success, excitement and lots of fun you can find everywhere, as long as it all matches your purpose and values…..

Be honest to yourself and to others, have fun and most important stay in health.

Best regards,


Article written by Stefan Schwendt, CFR Global Executive Search Schwitzerland

Photo source: Freepik

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