September 23, 2016, by Carla

Why Working for a Small Business Can Lead to Big Opportunities for Graduates

By head of, Philip Brennan

By the time you graduate, you will have attended lectures, swotted for your finals and managed to survive years of financial hardship, so it’s hardly surprising that you might covet a City job in swanky offices with a thriving social scene and plush canteen.

However, not all graduate jobs yield such benefits and that’s not always a bad thing! Here’s why working for a small business could lead to big opportunities…

You’ll make a difference

Small business owners are more likely to have greater involvement in staff recruitment. Partly because they’re unlikely to have a HR department, but also because, as one of a small team, you’re likely to make a bigger difference to them and their firm. In many cases you’ll be the go-to person in your particular area of expertise.

You will be able to see the difference you make to the organisation, which can lead to greater job satisfaction as well as recognition from your colleagues.

You’ll get a breadth of experience

Working in a small organisation can often mean wearing many hats. Depending on the type of role you take on, you could find yourself handling sales and marketing one moment and dealing directly with customers the next.

Getting ‘hands on’ experience across a business is invaluable as it helps you to learn which areas you’re best at and enjoy the most. It also gives you fantastic experience to draw upon throughout your future career.

You’re closer to decision makers

There are definite advantages to being a big fish in a small pond. Small businesses are often looking for ways to expand, grow and take on more staff and clients. As one of a small team your opinion will be valuable to company decision makers whereas at a large multi-national organisation it’s far easier to become a number rather than an individual.

Research says you’ll be happier

A study by The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce found that employees of businesses with five to nine people were happier in every category they assessed than those working at larger organisations. They looked at influence, loyalty, relationships and involvement in decision making.

You will widen your job searching net

Small businesses account for more than 99 per cent of private sector firms in the UK according to the latest figures from the Department for Business, Education and Skills meaning they’re well worth taking into account when job hunting.

So, there you have it, if you remain open minded about where to start your career you might just find that smaller can be better!

Excited by the thought of working for an SME? Try one out for size through the Nottingham Internship Scheme, which brings local businesses together with current Nottingham students and recent graduates. Register your interest now.

Philip Brennan is Head of website where businesses owners go to compare deals on energy, banking, insurance, loans and mortgages.

Posted in Applying For JobsCareers AdviceChoosing Your CareerEmployer InsightsWork experience