Why working for a smaller firm can make perfect sense in the profession
As you look for a new job it can be easy to get pulled into the notion that larger corporate firms offer the very best working environment, the best salaries, better perks and more career development and to be fair this can be the case. But it can be a better choice to develop your career within a smaller firm where your true talent can shine.
Figures released by the Federation of Small Businesses at the start of 2014 have shown that an incredible 99% of all private sector business in the UK were small or medium sized firms and they employed more than 15 million people. More impressively, they had a combined turnover of £1.6 billion for the previous year. A little less than half of these had a small number of employees rather than being sole proprietorships.
Start small and work your way up
A smaller firm is a great place to test your abilities, gain experience and develop your skills. Then you can walk into that huge corporate role you dreamed of or equally, you could make partner within this small team within a few years. The choice is yours.
You can really show off
If you are the only tax professional or part of a small team within a firm, you have so much more autonomy. You can set things up how you like it, development your own processes and have a leading role in the way that the tax department is run. You are much less of a cog in the wheel of the company and actually more like part of the engine.
More personal relationships
With smaller hierarchy and fewer layers of management, a small firm can offer you leaders who are very approachable. You may be on first name terms with the owner of the company – able to walk into their office and discuss anything to do with your job. This gives you a sense of ownership and responsibility within your role and really helps you to get up in the morning and hit the ground running.
New processes are embraced
There is nothing worse than knowing there is a quicker and more efficient way to run things and not being able to do anything about it in your role. Smaller firms are more likely to try out new technologies or processes because the overall investment in time and money is lower than it would be for a larger firm. The roll out and implementation are simpler and more likely to happen, plus you can have a hand in this process. Owner bosses make decisions quickly because they don't have the time to dither.
A smaller employer may be more likely to allow a flexible approach to working. Because of there being smaller teams and possibly more relaxed internal structures, employers may be happy to allow working from home, shared roles and relaxed time keeping. The fact is that a smaller business owner understands that you may be able to get a better paid role elsewhere and will try to make up for that by offering some inventive perks that could really make it worth your while.
Even if the only reason you choose to work for a smaller employer lies in your dislike of team building days out (paintball anyone?) and schmoozing , you can see that the other benefits are really important and well worth looking into when you are planning your next career move.