Size isn’t everything: 5 reasons why you should start your career working for an SME  

Working for a big corporate giant isn’t the only option when you graduate, starting your career in a small business can offer incredible experiences and teach you some invaluable life lessons.  

  1. Variety: small companies employ as many people as they can afford to. You’ll often have a very varied role which gives you the chance to broaden your skill set and gain insight and experience in lots of different areas (great if you aren’t quite sure what you want to do).

  2. Connections: smaller offices mean tighter knit teams. You’ll likely be working closely in a small team, often directly with the business founder, enabling you to form valuable relationships both on a professional and personal level.

  3. Independence: you’ll be expected to roll up your sleeves and muck in – help solve problems, be flexible and think agilely. Being thrown in at the deep end will help you gain confidence and experience quicker.

  4. Influence: when the company is small, your impact is noticeable. You may quickly find yourself making decisions that help shape the future of the business and having a very genuine contribution early on in your career.

  5. Progression: although the salary can be lower than you would expect if you were working for a large corporate, the hands-on experience you get (and the contacts you make) can catapult you very quickly into a senior position within the business. Or even give you the tools for you to start your own business. 

So, keep in mind that sometimes bigger isn’t always better: smaller (while not always perfectly formed) can sometimes provide more satisfaction. Small business = big opportunities. 

The Careers Service run two internship schemes that enable you to gain quality, paid work experience from SMEs in the UK, including charities, social enterprises, and start-ups. Find out more about our schemes.