The benefits of working for a small company

Cover Art Erka Capili Inciong

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According to our data, Filipino applicants—millennials included—aim for big, renowned companies. Salary plays a part here, but it is also the prestige of an established corporation (versus the relatively unknown name of a small or medium‑sized enterprise) that lures young ones in. Who wouldn’t want to soak up the honor?

But we digress.

The up‑and‑coming generation has so much more to achieve when employed in the sector that’s quickly rising to be the up‑and‑coming lifeblood of the Philippine economy. The small fish that is the lone millennial looking for a job will considerably do well in a small pond rather than gambling it all in a mad dash to get to the big, open sea. Here’s why:

More opportunity for growth

With the small size of SMEs, it is only natural that the company will try to utilize the talents of all its employees. That means more opportunities for professional growth for millennials. They can learn a plethora of new skills from seasoned supervisors and can also expect to handle more and more responsibility as their time with the company lengthens.

Also, once the company grows, the employees who remain can have a larger chance to be promoted to positions of leadership, eventually making them supervisors of their own teams.

A smaller team means more leeway

For some, more responsibility might mean more chances to mess up, but for the risky and courageous generational cohort (a.k.a. the millennials) this means more chances of trying out the techniques and tricks that they learned while at school or while interning, and also an opportunity to learn new skills.

In big corporations where the hierarchy is clearly defined and not easily scalable, new innovative ideas are often ignored at best or scorned at worst. The decision-making ultimately rests in the hands of seasoned, but sometimes out-of-touch, supervisors that are so far up the corporate food chain. Not wanting to upset an established work model, new business ideas ultimately languish and the millennial employee, discouraged and sometimes disheartened too, stews in the background.

A chance to do something worthwhile

Also, as the most socially conscious generation, millennials have this urge to do something worthwhile, to find an opportunity to do meaningful work. While it’s true that most of them immediately tend to act with their feet, leaving a company when they’re not happy anymore or they feel that they and their talents lie unappreciated, it is also a known fact that Millennials stick to their guns in a manner of speaking.

Working with SMEs will give them just that: a shot at creating something truly unique and totally new, whether this be a product or a campaign. Also, since SMEs are still on the process of developing a company culture, millennials can influence this creation to be more in line with their ideals and stand on pressing social issues.

Small companies tend to be more flexible

With a small staff, rules and regulations tend to be fewer when it comes to SMEs. There’s much room for flexibility between the company and its millennial employees. Those who want to pursue further studies can do so, those who prefer to work from home can probably negotiate this especially if the company is fully digital, and most importantly, with the loose hierarchy, millennials will be inclined to be more forward with their ideas and suggestions.

There will be real mentoring

While mentoring regularly happens in big corporations, it tends to be impersonal and usually involves several mentees and one mentor. When it comes to SMEs, mentoring is more personal in nature because of the size of the company and the necessity. The mentoring process also tends to be more of a two-way street, in which the mentor and the mentee exchange ideas and new learnings with each other.

Mentoring sessions in big companies tend to be more of a “sage on the stage” type while those in SMEs are more of the “guide on the side” variety. While those two are both with merit, the mentee ultimately learns more on the latter.

The vast ocean is inviting, yes, but at the same time, its vastness might be its biggest flaw. Predators abound, distances seem immeasurable, and prey seems to be getting fewer and fewer. On the other hand, it would look really nice on a fish’s resume and perhaps, the almostߛDarwinian competition is what the little fish needs to grow. Or maybe not.

For millennials wanting to see their marks, to prove their skills and their worth, ultimately, a small company is the place to start. After all, the smaller the body of water, the bigger the ripple of a single fish will be.

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