ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Big pond versus big fish

Updated on January 22, 2015

The fish-and-pond analogy has been around in business for a long time. It’s a good way to view one’s position within a company. It’s impossible to select one over the other, since it depends on a lot of factors – the economic environment, the physical environment, a person’s ambitions, a person’s financial and emotional needs.

A small fish in a big pond would be exemplified by lower or middle management in a global organization. If a person is ambitious, and the position is in the corporate headquarters city, this affords the person a wide range of possible promotions leading to the top management levels. The pay scale is good and there are bonuses available. Eventually, when reaching the top level, the person becomes a member of the industrial/political/military complex which can lead to a political career with a corporate backup. The person has opportunities to travel the world and to learn many big corporation venues, such as company planes and teleconferencing.

All that sounds very appealing. But it is a world of office politics and high competition. There is no guarantee that the person will advance. And in hard economic times, low and middle management are targets for corporate “downsizing”. No longer do companies have loyalty to loyal employees. The person can become so entrenched in one niche that it is difficult to find re-employment. The person needs to not only know the responsibilities of his/her employees, but also business acumen – and how to handle office politics. This person has to be thrifty, even with a good income, to not be overly in debt in the case of losing his/her job; there may be quite a dry spell in between employment. This type of person must be rather confident about his/her ability to manage the position without a great deal of accolades from upper management. Since this little fish may have to change residence as s/he climbs the corporate ladder, s/he needs a supportive family, willing to move; this is difficult with teenagers.

A big fish in a small pond would be upper management in a small organization. Smaller businesses are more local, often within one state, and have a more horizontal organization chart. Management is small in proportion to employees. This is good for a person who has a need for recognition and a bit of job security, since there is less competition and more power. This person may act as a spokesperson to the local newspapers and as the company’s representative with other companies. Employees and management all know each other so there is no anonymity; this offers positive feedback for a good manager. It is possible to make positive changes in the organization without getting strangled by red tape. This is a person who, if so far successful, will probably survive any culling of employees during economic crisis. Small companies have more appreciation of their management, and tend to prefer not changing horses mid-stream. Rather than part with more money, small companies tend to reward this person with “perks” such as a company car or even a home.

The big fish will be paid less than an equivalent in a large company, and must understand the entire company’s lifeblood to maintain support and appreciation. There is little chance that this person would advance into the military/political/industrial complex, but there would be a good chance for advancement within the company due to his/her visibility. This person needs to be more circumspect about his/her behavior. As in a small town, all employees’ demeanor is watched – and judged. No corporate jets, no Nobel prizes. And there would be a cap to promotions; if the person is still ambitious, it may require a lateral move locally to open avenues for advancement.

Small companies tend to hire from within or locally, preferring a “known quality” over an “interloper”. Whether a long-term resident of the area or someone who moved to the area to take the job, this person has a need to keep the job. This may require careful and politic compromise.

© 2015 Bonnie-Jean Rohner

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)