I have had three jobs working for companies that employee under 100 employees. One was a total disaster, one was not so great and one has been working out pretty well. I also worked for a startup that was in that phase of going from having a small staff and a family atmosphere, to growing leaps and bounds and struggling with putting on their big boy pants!
Working for small companies or rapidly growing companies is not for everyone. There is a lot to be said for working for that financial institution that has been around for 50 years. The one where your career path is pretty laid out and you follow what everyone has done before you. Job security use to be the number one reason to stick it out, but as of late, job security is truly a myth. So if you are thinking about making a move to a small company, here are three secrets you might want to consider when you are thinking about going down that path.
SMALL COMPANIES HAVE A LOOSER VIBE
Most small companies have an HR person, not a department. And the HR person usually does another job in addition to HR! This makes for a more relaxed dress code and a lot less PC company culture. If off color jokes and the occasional jab from a coworker sends your stress level through the roof, stay with big. But if you are sick of having to pour over every email and bite your tongue over any comment you are going to make for fear of being terminated, a small company might be the place for you.
POLICY AND PROCEDURE IS IN SHORT SUPPLY
If you like to come into a job with a planned training agenda, a 50 page employee handbook and three managers to assist you in getting accumulated, skip the small company route. Policy and procedure are in super short supply. Not only that, they can change so fast that printing an employee handbook would be a total disservice to the environment. Like everything to be like what they said it was going to be when you started? Stick to the big. Want to work independently and make your own career path, think about going the small route
YOU WILL END UP DOING TWO TO THREE DIFFERENT JOBS
If you want to do exactly what you were hired to do, not get an opportunity to learn a ton of new skills or try out a job to see if you really like it, a small company is not for you. Want a big promotion in ten months rather than ten years? Make the switch from the big. This is the best reason to try out a startup, small company or one moving to a new stage of development. You will get opportunities you would never get at a big.
And isn’t an opportunity all you really need to take your career to a whole new level?