Nov 6, 2018 3 min read

Life at Highland

  • Culture
Jon Berbaum

Jon Berbaum

If you asked me in the past if I thought I saw myself working for a company with about 30 people, I would tell you that you were out of your mind.

I grew up thinking that corporate life was what you were supposed to strive for. However, choosing to work in a smaller company, specifically Highland Solutions, is one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while.

When I stepped into the bright, sunny, open-spaced Highland Solutions office I knew that Highland was different. Here are a few things that I’ve noticed are different about working at a smaller company compared to working for some of my former corporate employers.

1. People-first mentality

Starting from day one, everyone I came across was friendly (yes EVERY SINGLE PERSON). Everyone said hello and had a genuine concern for how I was doing. Where can you find that?! Even after being at Highland for over four months, that vibe has not changed. I have never experienced a space that is so welcoming and concerned for their fellow peer in this environment.

2. Work variety

I’ve been on my team for over four months and I can honestly say no two days have been the same. I get the pleasure of working on multiple projects at once and let me tell you — each project is unique and brings its own challenges and goals.

3. Ability to pursue passion projects

One of Highland’s values is “be curious,” and we are encouraged to live that out by pursuing projects that help us build new skills or strengthen skills we have but don’t often use at work. Personally, my passion project is my podcast that I host and produce. My work with podcasting has led me to explore the idea of starting a Highland podcast early next year. My colleagues have been very supportive of this idea. Once I start production, I’ll be able to work on the project during the work week and bring in other Highlanders to help make the podcast a success.

4. Feeling heard

Other Highlanders have shared how genuinely transparent and supportive our leadership team is. Something else I’ve appreciated about working at a small company is how easy it is to weigh in on decisions that affect the entire company. We openly discuss company finances and vision at our monthly company meetings. Since the team is small, it’s easy to voice your opinion and feel like someone is listening to you and taking your ideas seriously.

Change is scary. The fear of getting used to a new work environment or understanding the standards of the new company tends to make anyone feel overwhelmed. I’ll admit, when I joined Highland there was definitely a period of culture shock, but it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made to date.

I’m not saying working in a smaller environment versus a large corporation is better than the other. But for me, I’ve found a work environment that helps me thrive and not just survive.