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Why Working for a Small to Mid-Sized Company is a GREAT Option

by User Not Found | May 23, 2017
By Stacy Pursell
The VET Recruiter

It seems that many people have become tantalized by the prospect of working for a large organization. On the one hand, you can hardly blame them for being swayed by the allure of a mega-company. Just look at a few of the recent headlines in the news media:

• Apple has $250 billion in cash reserves. Yes, that is a quarter of a trillion dollars.
• Facebook is closing in on two billion users. And you thought one billion was an impressive accomplishment.
• Amazon is worth almost twice as much as Wal-Mart. (Yes, THE Wal-Mart!)

While it’s easy to be tempted by these kinds of headlines and their accompanying numbers, working for a large organization may not always be the best move for a person’s career.

Case in point: according to the April ADP/Moody’s National Employment Report, more than 83% of all new job growth in March came from small and mid-sized companies.

I’ve been an executive search consultant and recruiter for 20 years. When I started my career as a recruiter, I noticed that many professionals seemed interested in working for the largest organizations. However, that trend has shifted during the past several years.

More and more people, including many from large companies, are asking for an opportunity to be placed in a small or start-up organization. During the course of the past few years, I’ve noticed that there are 10 reasons why people are now seeking these types of employment opportunities.

Those 10 reasons include the following:

1. They want more of a chance to use their entrepreneurial skills.
2. They have seen or experienced mergers and acquisitions, downsizings, and right-sizings in larger organizations.
3. They’re looking for less bureaucracy.
4. They’re looking for a company that is more nimble and flexible.
5. There can be less office politics in smaller organizations.
6. The opportunity exists to “wear more hats.” This offers the chance to do more and see more than some narrowly defined job descriptions in larger organizations.
7. Being a “bigger fish in a small pond” can equal more influence and more opportunity to move up quickly.
8. They have the chance to build something from the ground up (and earn a “feather in their cap” when that something is successful).
9. Some smaller companies offer their employees equity in the organization.
10. Job security is a myth, a myth that larger organizations may promise, but ultimately can not guarantee. No one has a crystal ball and there may be no guarantees at a small or start-up company, either, but it is a myth that there is greater job security at larger organizations.  

There are many smaller companies, not to mention start-ups, that offer incredible career opportunities.  These companies and these opportunities should not be overlooked. And judging by the latest ADP/Moody’s National Employment Report, more and more people are NOT overlooking these opportunities. Instead, they’re taking advantage of them.

But even when some professionals are presented with an opportunity to possibly work for a smaller organization or a start-up, they fail to explore that opportunity. Sometimes, a professional must be willing to take a perceived risk with their career if they want that risk to eventually pay dividends.

In the past, I’ve worked for a start-up company, finding and successfully recruiting candidates for their open positions. That start-up eventually went public with its stock offering, and some of the employees who started with the company on “the ground floor,” so to speak, became millionaires.

A candidate who had turned down the chance to work at the company called me after its IPO and asked me why I hadn’t told them the IPO would do so well. The fact of the matter was that I tried to convince the candidate to take advantage of this potential equity opportunity, but I was unable to convince him to do so.

You’ve probably heard the saying “big risk, big reward” before, and that phrase is certainly true. To reap the bigger rewards, you have to take the bigger risks. There are precious few stories about people who have risked little and reaped a lot, and that’s also the case in the world of employment.

People who don’t want to take risks and step outside of their comfort zones shouldn’t be surprised when other people—those who did take risks—are rewarded.

For some professionals to grow their career, they should stop their infatuation with only considering employment with mega-companies and corporations and consider pursuing an opportunity with a smaller organization, even a start-up. The opportunities are there. It’s up to professionals to put aside their fear and their aversion to risk. If they’re able to do that, then they’ll have more options for career growth and satisfaction. In fact, some people would say there is less risk in working for a smaller company when they directly have more of an impact on the success or failure of the organization.

And that’s why working for a small to mid-sized company is a GREAT option.




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