There are pros and cons to working at both big and small companies. A lot of people are attracted to the brand recognition element of working for a large company. Working for a company that most people are familiar with definitely has its perks and can sound really impressive. But being a small company ourselves, we think there’s a lot to be said about working for a lesser-known company.
98% of companies in the US have less than 100 employees, according to Business Insider. Considering we fall into that 98% category, we’re a bit partial to the small company.
Here’s just 4 reasons why we think working for a small company is the way to go.
You’re given more responsibility and a broader job description.
With less people on the team and a tighter budget than a Fortune 500 company, you’re often wearing multiple hats when you work for a small company. You may be given responsibility across multiple departments. Or you could be the only person in your department, leaving all the important decisions up to you. Regardless, you get exposure to all areas of the business that would be much harder to get in a big company.
You don’t have to go through a lot of hierarchy to make big changes happen.
Most small companies aren’t going to have that traditional hierarchical corporate structure with layers and layers of people reporting to each other. There’s simply not enough people in a small company for that to even be possible. Instead, they often have a more flat organizational structure, with just a few different levels.
The benefit of this is that you don’t have to get approval from a ton of people for a new idea or initiative to be put in place. If there’s only one or two levels in the company, that means you don’t have to wait forever to get feedback on something, and the ultimate decision makers are either yourself or the people you sit next to at work on a daily basis.
The impact you make to the organization is extremely visible and is felt across the company.
When you have a lot of responsibility in a company, it’s easy to see how you’re making a contribution. Our teammates have an impact on our bottom line the first week that they start with us. They can very quickly see how their job is important and how it helps the company be successful.
If you work for a large company, you may be isolated in one department where your work is passed on to someone else, and you never see how it contributes to the greater good of the organization. In a small company, it’s impossible to get isolated in your own department.
Everybody knows your name.
So this isn’t Cheers, but everybody still knows your name. You’re not “just a number” if you work for a small company. You get to know everyone from the CEO to the newest of hire on a personal basis. The people you work with are oftentimes the people you see and interact with the most. We’ve heard people come in for interviews who tell us that they work in an environment where they see the same people everyday, but they never speak to them or even know their name. That environment couldn’t be further from our reality and the reality of most small companies. You start to feel more like a family than a group of people that just work together when you’re in a small team environment.
Overall, there are definitely benefits and drawbacks to any work environment. But the responsibility, opportunity for growth, and impact you can make in a small organization, even just starting out in an entry-level position is tremendous. And while we may be a bit biased, we think everyone should work for a small company at some point in their career.
By Allison Walke, Talent Acquisition & Onboarding