There’s Not Just Big Fish in the Ocean: Taking Up a Job at a SME
You're fresh out of school. You're full of hope. The world is your theme park and it's time to choose which ride to jump on; time to turn those dreams into reality. Then the question comes: who do you want to work for?
Despite being overshadowed by the intimidating might of corporate Goliaths, SMEs have their own set of tricks in the bag to give them a unique edge.
With their small packages, SMEs can manoeuvre quickly through change. It is easier for them to adopt new policies or adjust to a shifting economic climate. They are lightweight fighters with energetic dispositions and insatiable voraciousness. When you couple that with the potential for growth, these enterprises don’t seem so small after all.
In truth, Singapore boasts stories of entrepreneurial success. The GMP Group was setup in 1991 on our shores. In 15 years of providing diversified HR services, they lead the market, crediting $90million in sales turnover last year. They measure up respectably with a staff strength of 160 spread over an international network.
SMEs are realising that to become world- class, there is a need for fundamental framework improvements. For example, procedural reforms in HR are important if they want to attract and breed the best talents available. Also, they typically do not favour aspects that are intangible to profit, like corporate image and PR. However, this trend is changing as they begin to understand the importance of how others look at them.
On an economic level, SMEs do more than just fill in the gaps. Initiatives by the government and organisations like SPRING Singapore and ASME (Association of Small and Medium Enterprises) are boosting entrepreneurship and helping them move in an excitingly positive direction.
You’re Bigger in a SME
Where you are concerned, you want to know what it’s like working at a SME.
1. Greater Responsibilities - Being small means having to delegate broader roles and job scopes. As opposed to specialised environments within MNCs, employees of SMEs get more exposition from being involved in more tasks and processes.
2. Skill and Personal Development - As a result of being involved in a wider and deeper range of responsibilities, employees develop a deeper understanding of the business and industry. They are positioned at a unique point where they have both hands on the job and a macro view of the field. This in turn makes them well- rounded, which would prove to be an asset in future employment.
3. Recognition - Achievements and surpassed expectations stand out more in a company of 150, than if one were working in a division of a subsidiary of a regional headquarters reporting to a main headquarters.
4. Attention - When there are fewer voices, you get heard. Employees see their ideas and opinions carry more weight, and there is a higher possibility of seeing them coming to fruition.
5. Overseas Opportunities - Globalisation made it a breeze to bring a business off our shores. Nobody wants to be a hermit, especially considering what the entire world has to offer. SMEs want to eventually break out and expand, and when they do, you could have the chance to jump on and be part of their dreams and plans for world domination.
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Small, medium or large, it’s up to you to decide your fit. But it’s a good start to be informed about the different companies of all sizes. Ask around to gain insight into the nature of companies and then you would be in a better position to think about what you want out of your job. It’s one of the things they don’t teach you in school. From here on out it’s all up to you.
*Article contributed by Daniel David Chan, Corporate Services, The GMP Group