How to Adapt to an Entrepreneurial Work Environment

Corporate culture is a deciding factor for many job-seekers looking for the perfect place to grow and build a career – and more and more, today's brightest young professionals are looking for an entrepreneurial work environment that nurtures their creative energies.

Entrepreneurial environments differ from traditional corporate culture in several ways. While a conventional work atmosphere may be less nimble and more insulated by layers of management and bureaucracy, entrepreneurial settings are more likely to support personal initiative, enable flexible working arrangements, and foster collaborative work environments.

If your first job finds you in an entrepreneurial-style work setting, or if you're transitioning from a more hands-on corporate culture, here are some tips to help you adapt and succeed right out of the gate.

Think like an owner.

When you work in an entrepreneurial work environment, your bosses expect you to take ownership of your piece of the business. That means looking for creative solutions to difficult problems and not passing them up the chain for someone else to solve. In this type of environment, you should be empowered to make decisions and show initiative whenever a challenge crosses your desk. Take advantage by embracing that freedom to own your work.

Don't be afraid to ask questions and offer input.

Part of the ownership mentality implicit in an entrepreneurial work environment involves not just understanding existing policies and procedures, but also looking for ways to improve them where possible. A culture of questioning opens up the creative process and supports an entrepreneurial mindset; it also demonstrates your commitment to the collaborative process.

Work with colleagues from different departments.

One of the strengths of a small business is that everyone works across their core areas to support the team. This type of cross-pollinating of ideas brings each person's ideas and strengths to the table, opening up new possibilities for collaborative problem-solving or improvement. Look for opportunities whenever possible to foster this collaborative work environment with other departments or teams.

Take the lead in communicating with others.

As companies grow, internal communication across departments tends to suffer, which often leaves workers without the information they need to take ownership of their jobs. If you need information, don't be afraid to seek it. If you have information that could benefit a co-worker, be proactive in sharing it. In an entrepreneurial environment, there's no such thing as too much communication or too much information.

At AmTrust Financial, we take an entrepreneurial approach from the very first steps in our recruiting process. Our employees are encouraged to seek flexible work schedules that allow them to do their best work, and we actively foster a collaborative work environment among individuals and teams. It all adds up to a dynamic, productive environment where employees feel empowered to step up and make a difference.

Wherever you are in your career, landing in an entrepreneurial-style work environment can be a big change. Keep these tips in mind, however, and you'll find it's possible not only to adapt in a high-speed, free-flowing entrepreneurial work environment, but also thrive.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors.

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