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Should You Jump Ship From the Corporate World to Small Business?

Business Edge-smart growth strategies-marcia[su_dropcap style=”flat”]B[/su_dropcap]ECAUSE I COACH entrepreneurs and business leaders of small to medium size enterprises (SME’s), I’m asked by professional friends and colleagues what’s it like working there? How is different than working in a big company? What they are really asking is should I consider jumping ship now that the economy is much better?

There’s little doubt that the working environment of a small business can be completely different from that of a large company. Some people find smaller companies exciting places to work, while others would much rather have a job with a more stable, established corporation.

Of course, each person may see these factors differently one person’s ‘pro’ may be another person’s ‘con.’ But, if you’ve ever considered a move outside the corporate world, this may help you decide if it’s right for you.

jump ship-jumping-shipAdvantages of Working for a Small Business

You may have heard stories of how fun it can be to work for an innovative startup or growing company. Bringing your pet to work, dressing casually, and choosing ‘fun’ furniture for the office are just some of the bonuses, right? Perhaps! But there are other factors to consider. Here are some of the typical benefits:

  • You can make a bigger impact.
    The reason is that the ‘management hierarchy’ is generally so small (or nonexistent), which means more people have access to the CEO. If you have a great idea, you can probably get it heard and possibly get the green light to implement it, without having to go through a long, drawn-out approval process.
  • There is more variety in your work.
    You will probably get to play many different roles. You might officially be in charge of marketing, but you could also have the chance to help with customer service, research, or even training. The great thing about doing so many different jobs is that you’ll develop a lot of different skills. If you become bored doing similar tasks every day, this could be very appealing
  • There is less bureaucracy and quicker decision making.
    For example, if you currently work in a large organization, how long does it take to get permission to attend an industry conference? First, you have to ask your boss, who then asks his or her boss, who looks at the budget, and then consults with HR. It may take weeks to get an answer. In a smaller company, you would simply ask the owner, who would probably give you an answer immediately.

Disadvantages of Working for a Small Business

Although they can be a lot of fun, there are several reasons why small companies might not suit everyone:

  • Compensation may be lower.
    Small companies often can’t afford the same pay and benefits as larger corporations. You might therefore have a lower salary, fewer vacation and sick days, a less comprehensive health insurance plan and limited training and development opportunities.
  • Specializing may be difficult.
    Being able to do a lot of different jobs in a small business can be both a positive and a negative. If you’d rather focus your skills on one ‘niche’ area with a view to becoming an expert in your field a smaller company might not be a good fit for you.
  • Change may be constant and required.
    Small businesses don’t always remain small; many have their sights set on growth. To be happy in this environment, it helps if you’re comfortable with change. Your job responsibilities, your target market, your colleagues, your office and even the company itself might change, perhaps more than once. If it’s difficult for you to quickly and confidently readjust your thinking, expectations or work habits, a larger company might be better for you.

[su_box title=”SMART MOVES TIP” style=”glass” box_color=”#2f598a”]Working for a small business is an entirely different experience from working for a large corporation, and each has advantages and disadvantages. It’s important to decide what’s most important to you before making a move in either direction. Factors like a more personal work environment, more flexibility, and a real possibility to impact change might be more important to you than greater stability, potentially higher pay or more health benefits. Everyone is different, so consider your options and your situation carefully before deciding what kind of company is best for you.
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Working for a small business is an entirely different experience from working for a large corporation, and each has advantages and disadvantages. It’s important to decide what’s most important to you before making a move in either direction. Factors like a more personal work environment, more flexibility, and a real possibility to impact change might be more important to you than greater stability, potentially higher pay or more health benefits. Everyone is different, so consider your options and your situation carefully before deciding what kind of company is best for you.

What has been your experiences working in small, entrepreneurial companies? What about larger corporate ones? Have I missed some of the pros and cons of each?

My Motto Is:

If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got. Therefore, MOVE outside of your comfort zone; that’s where the MAGIC happens.” To bring that magic to your leadership and business, subscribe to Marcia’s monthly Execubrief: Business Edge- Smart Growth Strategies with insights, inspiration and intelligence on how to build great businesses that matter- those that do well and do good.

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Marcia Zidle
Marcia Zidlehttp://www.smartmovescoach.com
Marcia Zidle, The Smart Moves Coach, is a national known board certified coach and keynote leadership speaker who guides organizations that are planning, or in the midst of, ambitious growth and change. As a career strategist, she works with professionals, managers and executives who want to build • shape • brand • change • vitalize their careers. She’s been selected by LinkedIn’s ProFinder as one of the best coaches for 2016!Her clients range from private owned businesses to mid-market companies to professional service firms to NGO’s. With 25 years of management, business consulting and international experience, she brings an expertise in executive and team leadership; employee engagement and innovation; personal and organization change; career building and development; emotional and social intelligence. Your Future Starts Now With Marcia!

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