Recent summer studies have revealed that students have become more studious in the years following the tripling of tuition fees and that a third of this year’s graduates have actually secured jobs before taking their final exams.
But those who haven’t found employment just yet shouldn’t panic and immediately start questioning their degrees and life choices. Most SMEs are unlike large companies or grad schemes – they are always on the look-out for new talent rather than restricted by specific intake periods.
According to UCL, UK SMEs make up roughly half of employment figures so there is a wide range of industries and businesses to apply to.
Here are five reasons why you should apply to work at an SME over larger companies or grad schemes.
1. More attention
They are called SMEs for a reason! The company is small, the staff is smaller and that’s not a bad thing. On the contrary, a smaller team means you are likely to have more responsibilities early on and more guidance to help you manage those responsibilities. More attention on you will mean you can become comfortable with your role and your place in the business faster than perhaps in a larger firm, where time has to be divided between many more graduates.
2. Higher profile
A smaller business means your voice is more likely to be heard. You won’t be a non-descript grunt working for no praise. If you perform well, it is likely to be noticed and acknowledged very quickly. But don’t forget the other side of the coin – if you don’t perform well, you can’t brush it under the rug and expect to get away with it, so always do your best!
3. Faster progression
If you perform well, you get noticed and if you get noticed consistently you are likely to progress faster than you would have in a larger firm. Smaller businesses are not as structured in terms of career progression and that flexibility works in a productive person’s favour, whereas larger companies have to adhere to strict employment review schedules, which may mean your hard work goes unnoticed for long periods, if noticed at all!
4. More variety
Larger companies delegate very specific tasks and roles to new recruits because that is the most efficient and reliable way of training up a large group of neophytes. But smaller businesses do not have to play by the same rules and can therefore offer a much more varied work environment. You are more likely to be given the opportunity to take initiative and work on your own ideas. The advantage of that sort of variety and trust is that you can discover the different areas you excel at and become an important member of the company.
5. Better atmosphere
At smaller businesses there is much more interaction between different departments and levels of seniority. This is very important for making you feel part of the company and valued as its member. If you meet people from different departments then you can better understand what your role is and how exactly it affects others’ in the company. That in turn can add even more insight into how you can do your job and make it even better for others to do theirs!