Though large corporations might seem as though they dominate the workforce, small businesses continue to hold their own. As of this year, there are more than 30 million small businesses that employ nearly 48 percent of all private sector U.S. workers. What's an even more encouraging statistic, however, is that 84 percent of employees who work for small businesses are happy in their roles, as per the 2017 Aflac Small Business Happiness Report.
If you're in the market for a new job, it pays to consider applying to work for a small business, as opposed to a major corporate entity. Here are just a few reasons why.
1. You Might Get Promoted More Easily
Getting promoted can be tricky when you work for a large company with tons of competition. Not only that, but many larger businesses have policies in place that require you to be employed for a certain period of time before becoming eligible for a promotion. When you work for a small business, it's often easier to move up because there are fewer people vying for the same coveted spots. Plus, you're likely to find that with smaller businesses, promotions are a function of pure merit, and that time spent on the job is less of a defining factor.
2. You Might Get More Hands-On Experience
Another benefit of working for a small business is getting to dabble in a wider range of tasks, since there are fewer people available to do the work. Therefore, you're less likely to get pigeonholed into a single role or set of tasks because your company needs support in different areas. Gaining that broad experience is good for your resume, and it's also a great way to ensure that you stay fully engaged while employed.
3. You'll Have an Opportunity to Really Make a Difference
When you work for a large company, your individual contributions can easily end up going unnoticed. At a small business, however, you're more likely to make an impact and have your work recognized. In fact, in the above-referenced Aflac report, 67 percent of surveyed employees said that feeling more appreciated on the job was a benefit associated with working for a small company, as opposed to a larger one.
4. You Might Attain a Better Work-Life Balance
Small business owners understand the struggle between getting their jobs done and maintaining a healthy personal life — after all, it's a balance they must continuously work to strike. Thus, you might find that with a small business, your boss (who may very well be the company owner) is more supportive in helping you achieve a solid work-life balance. This means that you might get more flexibility with things like time off and scheduling than with a larger firm, since your boss won't have to worry about implementing a policy for thousands of employees.
Of course, you might face a few drawbacks when working for a small business. Your benefits may not be as strong as with a large company, and since smaller operations have limited financial resources, you may find that your salary isn't the most competitive. On the other hand, if you're looking for an opportunity to grow your skills, advance your career and enjoy a more manageable schedule, then it pays to apply the next time a role at a smaller shop opens up.
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This article was originally published on The Motley Fool. It is reprinted with permission.