When searching for jobs a lot of people turn to the biggest brands they know first, because of the brand reputation and how good it looks on your CV. However, what some people don’t think about is the added benefits they could gain from working for an SME (small medium enterprise).
I have worked for both a large company, as well as an SME and live to tell the benefits of working within the latter. Just to clarify, I’m not claiming that there are no benefits to working within a big company, because there definitely is; I’m just giving those SME’s a little bit of an ego boost!
This also applies to those students looking for a placement year; don’t just hit up the biggest brands first, check out if any local SME’s are hiring.
In an SME there are normally smaller departments across the board with less staff members in each department. Generally speaking, the small volume of staff usually means a higher workload, or multiple job roles belonging to one person. For example, in large company’s marketing department there could be just one person solely responsible for social media, but in an SME marketing department there might be one person who is responsible for social media as well as email marketing and SEO. The exposure to multiple job roles helps you to gain experience in multiple fields and opens opportunities for new skills to be gained.
2) Staff Relationships
This one is pretty simple. In a large company there are normally so many people employed that you barely step foot out of your department. You only know people via their email addresses and normally only speak to them over the phone. There is also the opportunity to meet other people in the business at the christmas party… When working in an SME you are able to make great staff relationships due to less people being involved, and more of the business being combined between staff. It gives you a proper chance to network with your colleagues and see who is responsible for what. It normally helps the business to run a lot smoother too.
When you work for a large company a lot of decisions are made at the top and are drip fed down the staff hierarchy; this isn’t (normally) the case in an SME. Usually, the managing directors of an SME are a lot more flexible and encouraging when it comes to voicing ideas, opinions and suggestions for the business. This gives employers a chance to get involved with the running of their department or the business as a whole, without their job role having influence on their ability to become involved.
Due to large businesses having so many employees, it can sometimes be missed when you have worked really hard on a project, smashed some targets, or generally just made progress in your day to day jobs. When you work for an SME however, due to less staff members being involved the recognition is normally increased. Your managers and team members are so involved in your daily job that the slightest success doesn’t go un-noticed. In my current job role we have frequent appraisal meetings, and if we hit our targets we treat ourselves to a pub lunch!
As mentioned before, I am not saying that an SME is better than working for a large company; I am just highlighting the added benefits. Whether you choose to apply for jobs within an SME or a large company is completely up to you, but think realistically about what you want to gain from your future role.
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