Why bigger is not always better

Posted by Angela Waddell

Ever thought about working for a startup? Not many people do, but why? 

Having been in the recruitment game for over ten years, one of the questions we are always asking people is, tell me about the types of companies you want to work for. 

You can guarantee they will talk about the big global corporates and the familiar brands that we’ve all come to know.  And this is fair enough too - many of those companies do have a strong employee proposition and seem like amazing places to work. 

But because of that, the small businesses and startups aren’t necessarily on people’s radars, unless they stumble upon them. 

There’s pros and cons to both, but knowing what I know now, I personally would favour an opportunity with a startup over a big corporate any day, and this is why:  

Be a pioneer 

There is nothing more rewarding and exciting than being part of a pioneering venture.  

Of course there are challenges, but this is what makes the journey so exciting and the reward of success even sweeter.  You can work as part of the ‘engine room’ and define yourself as a critical cog as part of it. 

Close knit teams that have each other’s backs 

Typically in small businesses, there is more of a family vibe, everyone is in it together and people support each other. The culture at work is extremely important in small businesses, so if you are lucky enough to secure a role in a startup, it’s likely you will be working with like-minded individuals and the culture fit will be a good match. 

The variety 

You will have your job title and your key responsibilities, but often in small businesses and startups, everyone chips in where they can.  

This means you will get the chance to wear a variety of different hats, offering input into different areas of a business.  This will diversify your skillset and will be great for your professional development. 

Flat management structure

Imagine a job with no political hurdles and red tape to navigate and being able to go directly to the boss to offer strategic input or ideas, or get advice.  For me this is a huge advantage of a smaller business. An open door policy like this means you can truly feel like you are part of a success story.

Suits?  No thanks

Not all big corporates require you to be suited and booted, but a fair few of them do.  Where as the start-ups seem a lot more casual in their dress sense.   I have even seen jandals and hoodies as standard dress code in some places, and why not?!

Less competition for the roles

Typically a startup has little to no brand presence, which might put a few people off applying for a role there. On the positive side, this means you will not be one of 100’s of applicants hoping to get an interview.

Applying for such a role with a well-researched and written cover letter explaining why you want to work for the company, and how you will directly contribute to making them successful should be enough to peak their interest in you.

You are not just a number

Contrary to what you might think, you are often paid the equivalent at many startups of what you would in a big corporate, depending on the role of course. 

More importantly, your work is more likely to be noticed and appreciated by your peers, which goes a long way to feeling truly valued.  You are not just a tiny part of a big machine, you are actually a significant and vital part of a smaller, yet more nimble machine.

Working for a startup might not be for everyone, but I hope this article will at least plant a seed to consider it. 

At Sprout we are committed to only working with kiwi-owned startups and small businesses looking to grow.  We believe that in supporting the success of these businesses, we will contribute to making New Zealand a more prosperous country and positive, happier workforce.

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