New Grads: Working for a Small Business Can Jumpstart Your Career

Who doesn’t dream of their first real job after graduating? Images of lavish break rooms, high-powered suits and corporate ladders often dance in the heads of recent grads, but scaling down those first-job dreams just might be the smartest career move you’ll ever make. If you’re a new grad that’s about to enter the workforce, here are some reasons to consider working for a small business to jump-start your big career.

1. Culture Club

The culture of a company is reflected through its employees and their behaviors, beliefs, attitudes and collective customs. A successful business has common cultural values embedded as the foundation of the organization. In a small company it’s likely that most, if not all, employees get the chance to offer some sort of input into the vision, mission and goals of the business. Being able to participate in such fundamental collaborative creativity is something you may never get close to in a large organization.

And due to the grass-roots nature of small- to mid-sized businesses, it’s more likely you’ll be able to be part of something that not only uses your college smarts but lets you channel your deeper passions and convictions into a job that can be fulfilling beyond your bank account.

2. Employee of the Month

It’s tough out there and when you’re competing to make your mark amidst hundreds or thousands of other eager graduates, it’s hard to garner the attention you deserve. Due to their size, the nature of a smaller company is more conducive to getting your ideas and efforts noticed. There are more opportunities to share your ideas and they’re more likely to get in front of the right people. In a small business ideas can get implemented quickly, and it’s more likely you could be able to carry the project from inception to completion. This means you’ll be the one who gets credit for your good ideas and hard work.

3. Jack of All Trades

Another perk of working in a small- to mid-sized company is the opportunity for cross-training among departments and roles. Not only does this make you a more well-rounded asset, but you get the chance to identify which parts of the business you truly love and the ones you’d rather avoid. Because small companies are always trying to maximize every resource you will have more opportunities to volunteer for a new assignment or agree to cover for Sally when she’s out on leave. This will certainly grow your resume, but will also make you indispensable to your current company.

4. Work / Life Balance

Many small companies were started by entrepreneurs who had a vision not just for their business, but for the type of life they wanted to have overall. Often small businesses have more flexibility when it comes to work schedules, flex-time and understanding that a rich personal life contributes to happier, more productive employees. That’s not to say your job is something you can put second to those post-grad travel plans, but you might be able to find a way to have it all if you get snatched up by a small company that embraces the philosophy of working and playing hard.



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