There are more smaller companies than large corporations. It’s a fact. There are over 5.7 million in the UK and they make up 99% of businesses. It’s strange, then, that people often look to work for a large corporation instead.
Perhaps it’s the comfort blanket and security you get with a big business. Maybe it’s just people think the pay and opportunity is better. Sometimes it’s for something better to put on their CV.
Because Brighton is home to many exciting start-ups and SMEs, we thought we’d look at why it’s advantageous to set yourself up with a lesser-known business if you’re searching for that next job.
The Advantages of Working for an SME
For a start, a smaller business might be more likely to employ you. They probably don’t have the strict HR rules that corporations have which mean you have to go through a set process of ten interviews and test.
You may also be able to get a position where you are not the most qualified but win out based on your potential and how you fit into the personnel mix of the small business.
You’ll certainly have a work role that is a little less specialised. In a large company, you can be stuck doing the same job and where it’s sacrilege to impinge on someone else’s area. In a smaller company, being able to cover other roles is a positive thing. It gives you a lot more experience.
Let’s say you go to work for a company as a sales rep but they also find out that you’re quite good at writing marketing copy. You will be able to diversify and boost your experience with little or no interference from an overbearing HR department.
You’re also more visible in a smaller company. That may hinder some people but if you want to develop, it’s great to get noticed. In larger organisations, it’s easy to become just another cog in the mechanism and find yourself ignored.
It’s common in smaller companies to form deeper friendships and bonds because you’re all in it together. There’s also a lot more flexibility and trust between people in SMEs whereas corporations tend to have cliques and cultures that may not fit your personality.
If you have a good boss, they may like you to work from home and might be happy to be flexible with hours so you can do things like pick up the kids or rearrange your work life to suit your home situation.
The Downside of Working for an SME
Career development can be an issue with a smaller company. You usually have to wait until someone leaves if you want to climb the ladder or get a higher paid post. With a corporation, there is usually (but not always) a process for developing staff internally.
That means, in an SME, you’ll probably have to control your own CPD unless you have a really supportive boss. Fortunately, it’s what many people do successfully all the time.
Larger companies often come with an inbuilt reputation and have more benefits. Their name looks better on your CV compared to a business that no one has ever heard of. However, working for a smaller company can also be a good stepping stone, especially if you want experience in a particular area, and it can certainly then lead to working for a major corporation.