According to Stuart Morris, of Henley Business School’s Centre for Entrepreneurship, around 60% of the UK’s working population is employed by businesses that have fewer than 250 employees.
Morris also states that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) tend to offer more imaginative packages so employees can have a better work-life balance.
“Smaller businesses are being creative and sympathetic when it comes to working practices. Looking after employees in this way reaps big rewards for the employer. Happy employees are more productive and flexible,” Morris explains.
Benefits of working in a small company
You can expand your skill set
Most small businesses are looking for employees who are flexible and can perform a number of different roles. This gives you the opportunity to learn and make an impact on different aspects of the business, instead of being tied down to one specific role
Enjoy better career prospects
In a small business environment, you’ll have many opportunities to showcase your abilities. When you take on additional responsibilities, you are more likely to get noticed and rewarded. Also, there are greater chances of being promoted within the company in a smaller workforce.
Forge strong relationships
In a smaller work environment, you become more integrated with your colleagues. This also allows for more effective communication across departments. As there are less levels of hierarchy within a smaller organisation, you will be closely connected to senior management. This may allow you to give your input on important decisions that impact the working of the organisation.
Will Orme, Operations Director at Alertacall and a former officer in the Royal Navy, says that he learnt more in 18 months at a small company than he would have working at a large corporation. Orme believes that ex-officers are a good fit for a small business because they have been tested in the harshest conditions and are more agile to cope with the changing demands of a SME.
“It is also an exciting work environment because there are varied opportunities and you are encouraged to do more than what is in your job description.”
Will suggests that if you have an idea of where you want to work, you can look for businesses in that area and target the companies that you find interesting. You can connect with them through LinkedIn.
Small companies don’t have big HR departments, which means that the person reading your application is most likely in a position to hire you .. Keep your CV short, maintain two or three themes of your work experience and keep it interesting.
If you do choose to work in a small company, here are Will Ormes’s top three things to remember
- You can definitely do it – have the self-confidence and belief to do the job
- Ask for help and admit when you don’t know how to do something
- Work on creating a lasting relationship with your employer
You can listen to the entire webinar discussion about the benefits of working in a small company here.
For further help with your transition, you can register with the OA here.