While there isn’t a right or wrong when it comes to working for a small or large company, there are certainly benefits and drawbacks involved in each situation. The choice is truly dependent upon your personal preferences and what you hope to gain from the experience. Subjectively, I have greatly enjoyed my time working for a small company and feel that I have gained more both personally and professionally than I would have working for a larger company. Here are a few reasons why I would encourage you to consider working for a small company yourself:
1. More Responsibility
Not only will the magnitude of your responsibility be greater with a small company, you will also have a larger quantity of responsibilities. A small company allows you to wear many hats as tasks are divided among a smaller workforce. Being an employee within a small company means you have a direct hand in your company’s output. You’ll also most likely have a diverse array of tasks to complete each day, which allows you to acquire more skills and develop your well-roundedness as a person.
2. Create Meaningful Relationships
I once worked for an organization so large it took me nearly the entire duration of my internship to learn everyone’s names, let alone any personal details about them. When you work for a small company, you end up spending a lot of time with the people you work with. You learn not only about each other’s strengths in the work place but also about each other’s interests and values. If you get along well enough you eventually become what I like to refer to as a “work family.” In my experiences, I have developed much more meaningful and impactful relationships working for small companies than large companies.
3. More Autonomy
Working with less people generally means working for less people, granting you more independence. You have a better chance of establishing a relationship with your superior(s) that is based upon mutual trust. That being said, you must be resourceful and diligent in order to capitalize upon this autonomy and not take it for granted. If this is something you value in your career, it is highly likely that working for a small company will allow you more autonomy sooner than a large company.
This characteristic of small companies goes hand in hand with the ability to add unique value to the company you work for rather than operate as a cog in a machine. Working for a smaller company means everyone has a part in establishing and developing company-wide goals or creating traditions that enforce workplace culture.
4. Self Actualization
Working for a small company grants you the opportunity to promote from within. You contribute to your own self actualization by expanding your skill set and taking ownership over your contributions, which leads to higher self-fulfillment and job satisfaction. Working for a small company challenges you to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and take risks you most likely wouldn’t have the opportunity to take in a larger company. All of these different aspects contribute to a career that fosters personal growth and allows you to realize your full potential as an employee and as a person.
Of course there are a multitude of components that contribute to job satisfaction, but if the aforementioned factors are ones you value I would highly recommend considering a small company for your next employment endeavor.