Friday Forum – Pros and Cons of a Small Company?

Pros and Cons of Working for a Small Company

Welcome to the Friday Forum!

Every Friday, we take a question submitted by one of our readers and have our professionals field it and provide advice.  We then encourage members of the Need a New Gig community to comment below and give their take!

Here is This Week’s Question:

Carl asks:

“I recently started looking for a new role so I have been searching job boards to see what is available.  I have always worked for larger companies, so that is what I have been targeting, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot out there.  A friend of mine referred me to a smaller organization for a position that seems like a good fit, but I am nervous about the size of the organization.  Since I have never worked for a smaller company, I am not sure what to think of it.  What are the pros and cons of a smaller organization?”

Many jobseekers end up in a similar position as they tend to initially look at the well-know and established organizations in their area.  Larger organizations can provide greater stability, more structure, and sometimes even better benefits.  With that being said, there are some smaller organizations out there that may offer even more!  However, it is important to do your homework on smaller organizations as the work environment, culture, responsibilities and structure can vary.  Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a smaller company.

Pros

More Control and Responsibility

One of the greatest benefits of working for a smaller company is that you tend to have a little more control over your career.  A smaller organization has more transparency, which allows you to know what is going on with the business and stay motivated.  Since there is usually less structure, it also gives you the opportunity to wear more hats and get involved with multiple pieces of the business.

More Exposure and Visibility

Exposure is also a key piece to working for a smaller company.  In most cases, the executive management team works out of the same office that you do, and you can easily interact with them.  You also will receive great visibility and when you do something well, it will definitely assist with future growth opportunities.

Direct Impact on the Organization

When you work for a smaller company it is much easier to see your direct impact and contribution to the organization.  This will give you greater job satisfaction and it will be more fulfilling then just being a number at a larger organization.

More Flexibility

Many small companies tend to be a close knit team and they usually offer more flexibility.  Since they may not have as many policies and procedures in place as a larger company, it is easier to have flexible hours or give time off.

Closer Team

Another thing to consider when looking at a smaller organization is the size of the team.  When you work for a larger company, you may only know the select group of people that you work with.   A smaller company usually has more of a “family” feel and you have the opportunity to build a relationship with everyone.

Cons

Fewer Resources

While taking on more responsibility at a smaller company is a big plus, the lack of resources can be a downside.  Some organizations may lack support and it can be difficult to get tasks completed when you don’t have everything you need.  Sometimes the extra work can also fall on you too!

Lower Pay/Expensive Benefits

Another thing to consider when looking at a smaller company is salary and benefits.  Typically smaller organizations have less dollars to allocate for salaries, so there is a chance that you could be doing the same job for a large company and be making more money.  Also, benefits could be more expensive as larger organizations get better rates.

Growth Potential

Since smaller companies have less structure and less employees, there is a chance that your growth potential could be limited.  Depending on where you are in your career, you may want to research or ask about career progression as there may not be much room for upward mobility.

Job Security

Finally, job security is always something you need to think about.  If a larger company has a bad year, it may not effect employees at all.  However, a bad year for a small company could result in layoffs or even closing its doors.

Conclusion

At the end of the day it is always important to weigh the opportunity based on your current situation and future goals.  I wouldn’t recommend turning down an opportunity based solely on company size.  Be sure to look at the job itself, the company, growth potential, compensation, location, etc., so you can make a good decision!

What are Your Thoughts? Comment Below!

Do you work for a small or large organization?  What has been your personal experience?

Dan Metz is the Director of Executive Search and Employee Development at the Resilience Group, LLC, and Co-Founder and Contributing Author for Need a New Gig.  Follow his blog for more great tips like this!

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