By Kat Krull
“Whenever it is possible, a boy should choose some occupation which he should do even if he did not need the money.” This commencement quote from William Lyon Phelps is food for thought for those beginning their careers. Maybe the message to all those college graduates out there looking for work is…consider pursuing employment in a small business.
What’s the correlation, you might ask? A survey by the Trade Union Congress found that employees in small businesses are the most satisfied at work. They were found to be the most committed and loyal to their organizations. They also felt most engaged by their employer and had the most freedom to choose their working patterns. There were lower stress levels and far fewer complaints about long working hours.
Here are some other positives to consider:
You can make a difference: Employees in a small company wear many hats – treat that as a benefit and you’ll succeed. “Employees of startups tend to have more varied duties, which can mean a chance to develop a host of valuable new skills,” writes Aaron, a community manager at ResumeBucket. “One day you may be designing a product, the next day closing a sales deal. It’s up to you to seize the many challenges and opportunities that come your way in such a fluid environment.”
Networking: Small business employees have more networking opportunities than large corporation employees. They tend to meet clients face-to-face much more frequently.
Experience: Small companies are the ones that have a total workforce of 500 or less. These companies are generally fast-paced and it is easier to excel. At a large corporation, you may work on one or two projects a year. At a smaller company, you’ll have more variety, earlier responsibility, and more opportunities to work on your own initiative and to have your work noticed.
In small businesses, a new employee often has a higher profile and is more appreciated than in a large company. You are also more likely to have opportunities to collaborate with senior management.
Flexibility: Roles are often less rigidly defined and the working environment may be more informal and less bureaucratic than in larger organizations. Many small employers provide alluring trade-offs such as shorter workweeks, less travel, and work-life balance incentives, including telecommuting arrangements and flexible schedules.
Pete Czech, owner and editor of www.peteczech.com and a self descruibed Web guru, developer, CTO, theorist, idea generator, social media enthusiast, and entrepreneur says, “A small business will be more lenient and more willing to negotiate (simple pleasures like work from home, unusual schedules, etc. as long as you can prove there is a value-add to it.”
So, as you move your tassel and toss the mortarboard, remember Phelps’ thoughts, “Do some occupation which he should do even if he didn’t need the money.” In other words, find a job you love…which may mean giving small business a chance.
Kat Krull is the Marketing Manager of Resunate, the world’s only automatic resume tailoring tool. You can find Kat and Resunate on Facebook and Twitter.