Zikria Syed, CEO of NextDocs, outlines the five reasons why working for a great small company is the best way to start your career.
If you are a top student graduating from one of the top colleges in America, chances are you will be able to get a job when you graduate. Better yet, you may have a chance of selecting where you work.
However, while employers are able to draw on hiring experience to evaluate and select the best employees, do students have a reliable way of evaluating employers?
Most often, graduating students are either concerned about simply getting a job anywhere or they have a short list of companies that they want to work for. This list may consist of companies that they or their friends know of, or perhaps companies that visit their college campus looking for recruits.
A better strategy, however, is to seek out potential employers that are the best fit for their interests and strengths. If you are a recent college graduate preparing for your career, not only will this help you increase your odds of getting a job, it’s likely you’ll also enhance your chances of career growth and success.
One of the misconceptions out there is that when it comes to employers, big companies are better at training and providing career opportunities than small ones. While we can’t speak for every small company, at NextDocs, we do think that great small companies offer unique advantages over even the best big companies.
Here are five reasons why you should seek out great small companies as you look for your first employer.
- Great small companies often grow the fastest. They typically double in size every one or two years. Sometimes the speed of growth is break-neck and a company can quadruple in size in just one year. Imagine being at a company where you have the opportunity to be promoted less than a year after arriving, or to move into a leadership role as soon as you are ready. Even the best big companies grow much more slowly, and while there are technically thousands of open opportunities, there are also tens of thousands of other employees vying for those same positions who often have more experience and tenure. If you want to move up quickly, a great small company gives you a much better chance to do so.
- Great small companies are innovators and trail blazers and are often at the forefront of new technologies, methodologies, and best practices. Big companies eventually deploy the same technologies and best practices, but much later. If you join the right small company you will quickly learn skills that will make you highly valuable to companies big and small.
- You can expect a lot less bureaucracy at small companies. They are often moving at such a fast pace that there is little time for politics. Instead, at a great small company the chances are that meritocracy rules.
- You will find a fun culture and exciting benefits at most great small companies. They not only offer highly competitive traditional benefits such as healthcare and retirement, but also perks such as free food, drinks, parties, games, and other fun activities. The culture at these companies is casual, innovative, competitive, and exciting. Very few large companies provide a similar atmosphere or comparative benefits.
- Great small companies provide the opportunity of a lifetime — the chance to become an integral part of a company’s success as it grows, prospers, and becomes a global giant. Not only will you potentially benefit financially and professionally from such success, you will also be provided with an inside view of what it takes to build one of these companies. If you take a look at the founders and entrepreneurs leading startup and technology companies today, you will notice that many of them worked at a fast-growing great small company before they took the plunge and started out on their own!