5 Reasons to Work for Small Companies (SMEs)

If you’re contemplating a career move or on the hunt for your very first graduate job, have you ever thought about working for a small company? While large corporations often dominate the job market, small companies offer distinct advantages that can profoundly impact your professional experience; from having closer-knit teams to increased opportunities for professional growth and even direct involvement in key decisions.

So, here are 5 reasons why you should consider working for a small company when making your next major career move:

1. Varied roles

Unlike larger corporations where roles are often narrowly defined, small companies offer a chance for you to wear many hats.

You might start with one set of responsibilities as you transition into your new role, but find yourself branching off into different across the business. With no two days the same, you’ll not only have a chance to expand your skillset but also provides you with a deeper understanding of how the entire company operates.

You may have applied for a marketing job for example, but an employer may allow you to dip your toes into sales, operations, or even finance. This hands-on approach makes you more valuable to your current employer and strengthens your CV if you ever decide to explore other career opportunities in the years to follow.

2. Become a key decision-maker

One of the biggest perks of working for a small company is the chance to make a difference within the business and become a key player in decision-making.

In a smaller workplace, you’re often closer to the leadership team, and your ideas and input are not just welcomed but genuinely valued by those in authority. In some cases, you may have the chance to shape the company’s strategies and initiatives to make the work environment a more positive place to be, both for yourself and your colleagues. Plus, you’ll likely receive greater recognition and appreciation for your contributions, which further validates your role in the company’s growth.

3. Career progression

One of the standout benefits of working for a small company is the ample opportunity for career progression. Unlike larger corporations where career paths can be rigid with slow advancement, small companies are much more flexible with the idea and are keen to promote the most talented employees. This is typically due to the fact that exceptional performance is quickly recognised and rewarded. You’re not a little fish in a big pond, like in global firms. Therefore, you’re far more likely to take on significant responsibilities early in your career, (whether that be managing projects, leading teams, or contributing to strategic decisions) which can propel your career forward and open doors to new opportunities.

4. A fulfilling work environment

Making friends with colleagues can greatly enrich your day-to-day experiences at work, especially in a small company where close-knit teams are common. You’ll typically work closely with your colleagues on certain projects, which creates bonds based on shared goals and experiences and lays the foundation for lifelong friendships.

When you have a good relationship with your coworkers, you’re more likely to share ideas openly and support each other during challenges, which creates a positive atmosphere where everyone feels valued and motivated to contribute their best. Plus knowing that you have a few great friends in the workplace can make the daily grind more enjoyable and fulfilling and has even been proven to reduce work-related stress.

5. A valuable benefits scheme

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often face challenges in competing with larger corporations when it comes to offering competitive salaries. To attract and retain talented staff, many SMEs differentiate themselves by providing appealing benefits including the likes of:

  • Flexible work hours
  • Additional annual leave
  • Wellness programmes (gym memberships and counselling sessions)
  • Monthly team outings

Plus, small companies may even go the extra mile to offer benefits that can significantly contribute to easing daily stresses, with perks including:

  • Financial support for childcare
  • Extended parental leave
  • Health insurance

Keen to work for an SME for your first graduate job? Check out our graduate jobs board here for the latest vacancies.