Career

Job Searching: Start Small, Think Big!

This may help in your job search. Good links below.

Job searching really is a numbers game. In order to successfully find employment, job seekers need to target a wide range of employers. The more resumes you distribute and the more you network, the better chance you have of landing interviews and even a job.

This principle is especially relevant during a recession when the job market is particularly difficult to access.

Unfortunately, most candidates seeking employment often ignore applying to smaller employers and focus their efforts more on large firms that have name recognition. However, during these tough economic times, small firms are actually better positioned to hire during a down market.

According to the US Small Business Administration, about 89% of the nation&Mac226;s 5.6 million employers have fewer than twenty workers. These small businesses also create 75% of new jobs.

Smaller companies may have a business plan progressive enough that they are able to succeed despite poor economic times. The company may be finding their niche in a rapidly growing field, which is prospering despite a general recession. Also, the firm may not have the large overhead or the extra employees that many bigger companies added during the recent period of economic growth and expansion, making the smaller company well positioned for the future.

SIZE MATTERS

Working for a smaller employer has advantages and disadvantages. Work roles at small companies are often less specialized than at larger firms allowing employees to wear more hats, interact with staff in more functional areas in these smaller work environments and get a better big-picture view of operations.

Since employees and their work results are more visible, it is often easier to advance in a smaller organization. Employees often gain experience in a variety of areas, giving them multiple skills and areas of expertise to add to their resume. These small employers may also have more flexibility to consider alternative work arrangements like flextime or job sharing.

Working for a smaller company can also be a good stepping- stone to a larger employer in the same field. Especially in industries where the bigger firms have a need for candidates with some work experience in the field.

On the downside, smaller employers may have fewer formal training programs, benefits packages can be more restricted, and opportunities to relocate to other branches may be more limited or nonexistent. There may be less opportunity for growth and promotion as there are fewer roles to fill. Although it may feel like there could be less job stability than at a bigger company if the comfort level fits and you enjoy the job, working for a smaller company might be your best career choice.

FINDING THE RIGHT SMALL BUSINESS

How can you find the right small employers to target? The INC 500 List is a great starting point. You can access the entire list online at:
Inc.com

The list is searchable by state or keyword, and each listing includes the growth in revenues and in employees over the past 5 years. Changes in company fortunes may have occurred since the data was last compiled, so you will need to do research on or contact the companies to determine if the growth pattern has continued into 2004.

Other resources for identifying small emerging companies include:

local chambers of commerce: 2chambers.com

Information on new companies and updates on local businesses are typically published on a regular basis. When you’re planning your job search strategy, broaden your horizons and consider each and every employer in your field, regardless of size. Remember, bigger isn’t necessarily better!

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