Have you considered opportunities with start-up firms? It's likely that you’ve been aware of the large employers with a graduate scheme since you arrived at University (and half of your course mates have already applied to the same firms). It seems to be the done thing! Yet, there is another route; working for an SME (small medium sized enterprise.) These smaller companies might just be the perfect fit for you, and here’s 4 reasons why you should consider them…
1. They Might Be On To Something Big
You’d get to be there, in the very early stages of an exciting business idea coming to life. You’d get to contribute to a potentially amazing development as opposed to just becoming another cog in a huge corporation. If the business does take off, you will be held in high regards as someone who was there from the beginning and you will help to shape the business as it grows. Big companies have their rules and regulations, but small companies are still making up their rules and deciding who they are.
2. You Can Shape Your Own Role
Contrary to the big companies, you aren’t just there to do one job and do it well. Working in a small company often means a broad role, they want to fully utilise you to help the business develop and grow. Although you may be hired for a certain role initially, if you have particularly strong skills, or demonstrate your interest or strength in a specific area, then you have a good chance of being allowed to make sensible adaptions to your own job role. This can help you gain more transferable skills as you get to truly take ownership of your own success.
3. You Can Work Closely With The Directors
Whatever happens, you will get some invaluable experience working for an SME. One reason for this is that you usually get to work closely with the founders! Company Directors are often experts in their field, passionate about what they do, and you can learn a lot from them. You will also have the opportunity to become well respected by your boss and your voice is likely to be heard. It is a far cry from going through 3 line managers to suggest an idea or an improvement to a long-established system and you are likely to have an influence on the processes and policies the moment they are created!
4. The Unique Working Environment
‘Clocking in’, doing your job and then ‘Clocking out’ is not how most SMEs work! Instead you can expect to work within a small team of like-minded people and rigid start / end times don’t need to be as widely enforced. You will all be working towards the same goal and are trusted to contribute to the best of your ability. Yes, you will have to be motivated to work hard autonomously, but as a result you can enjoy an exciting and informal working environment. The small office nature often lends itself to a family feel, and you will get support and mentoring unlike anything you could gain from a large corporation.
If you want the opportunity to work independently, take ownership and demonstrate just how talented you are then joining an SME could be a worthwhile choice.
Written by Sophie Chadwick