While there are some serious advantages to working for a large organization, there are also some excellent benefits of working for a small company. It is an incorrect assumption that large companies offer much better rewards and more security than a small company, although there is an element of risk in choosing a smaller company because they face more of a struggle to survive in harsh economic times. If you are looking to enter the job market and aren’t comfortable with the idea of starting your career by becoming a large company stooge, check out these benefits of working for a small company.
At a large company, you may well be just a face in the crowd. It might be hard to get yourself noticed and it also takes a while to find your feet and work out who might be able to help you through. As a recent entrant to the world of work, one of the great benefits of working for a small company is that help and mentoring are more forthcoming and on-the-job training more easily accessible. You have a closer working relationship with the management staff and more leeway is usually allowed for the fact you’re on a learning curve and you have an immediate platform to ask questions. As a small company employee you are a greater investment than an equivalent member of staff in a large company, so that investment needs to be protected.
In a large company, the scope of your job may be narrow with a minimum field of responsibility. At entry level, you may also find it well within your capabilities with little to stretch you – this also means you can easily be replaced. In a small company the work tends to be more hands on, full-on and a case of diving straight in, picking things up quickly and as necessary. If you like variety, one of the advantages of working for a small company is that the scope of duties is probably a lot wider, as responsibility is shared between fewer staff. There is a likelihood you will be exposed to more things, more quickly than in a large company.
Within reason, there is more flexibility in a smaller company. It is an easier task for a smaller number of people to coordinate time off, adaptable hours and cover for absences. In some larger companies you might be restricted to certain times of the year when you can take a vacation and some may even require you to book time months in advance. You may also be required to clock in and out.
Making an impression in a large company is a matter of jockeying for position. Even if you have the best idea ever, getting it to the ears of the person to whom it could make a difference is no easy task – especially if you’re in the lower echelons. Plus, in the cutthroat world of big business you don’t know who you can truly trust. Pass your great idea onto your boss and you don’t know who is being given credit for it as it makes it way up the corridor of power. One of the benefits of working for a small company is that there is a much smaller captive audience. There is some satisfaction in knowing you are being heard.
This is quite difficult to call and determine. A small company is going to have fewer opportunities for promotion, but there is also going to be far less competition. It is unlikely you will be lumped in as one of the “junior staff” or associates, but will be recognized for your achievements and a job well done. One of the advantages of working for a small company is certainly that is can be used as a solid ground from where to learn as much as you can across all the areas of business if you have ambitions to start your own business and look forward to the prospect of being your own boss.
Again, this really comes down to the finding a way to stand out in the crowd. Many tasks and goals are seen as team achievements, so you have to work extra hard for any recognition you think you deserve. Being happy, and being fairly recognized, are big factors in job satisfaction. This is so much easier in a smaller company. It is also easier for them to reward you with a thank you, a well done, paid overtime and bonuses.
There are some excellent reasons to wear a uniform or to conform to a corporate dress code, but if being more relaxed and informal suits you better, you’ll find this more easily assimilated in a small company. Unless you are a customer-facing member of staff, dress code and attire generally is more relaxed and there’s more opportunity to be individualistic, if that is important to you.
Don’t misunderstand me – I know that there some disadvantages as well as the benefits of working in a small company and equally, there are some real benefits to working in larger organizations. In my 25 year career in the corporate world, I worked in tiny, brand new companies as well as a huge one (Barclays Bank). I prefer small companies, but everyone's aim really should be the right job for them in the right company. Are you a small company or large company person?
Please rate this article