How to Boost Your Career by Working at a Small Business

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Small businesses are hiring. Here's why it pays to work at one.

Though the economy still has some recovering to do from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, things are slowly improving. In fact, in July, the national unemployment rate reached its lowest level since before the pandemic began.

But it wasn't just big companies that added more jobs last month. Small businesses did their share of hiring, too. In fact, according to Paychex, the Small Business Jobs Index rose 0.85% in July compared to June, representing the second-strongest one-month increase since 2010. The index is also up 5% from the previous year.

If you're looking for a way to further your career, consider taking a job at a small business. Here's how doing so could be your ticket to a world of growth and opportunity.

Not just a number

When you work for a large corporation with hundreds or thousands of employees, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle. In fact, some larger companies have strict rules about things like raises and promotions, where you must put in a certain number of years on the job before you're eligible for either.

Things tend to work differently at small businesses. Because these companies often rely on individuals more heavily, they also tend to reward their workers for a job well done. As such, you may have an easier time climbing the ranks or boosting your earnings at a small business compared to a larger one.

Imagine you start working for a major manufacturing company in its marketing department, and you come in as an assistant. That company might have a policy that says you can't be promoted unless you've been there at least a year.

Now, say you take a marketing assistant role at a small business and you really hustle and do an outstanding job. In that case, you may get promoted to marketing associate after just six months. Your employer may even be willing to throw in a raise to go with it.

Plus, working at a small business might give you an opportunity to learn more. When you're employed at a large company, your chances of getting to look over the CEO's shoulder are pretty slim. But if you work for a small business that only employs 15 people, you may end up sitting next to the CEO and assisting that person directly. That could be a great learning opportunity.

Consider your options

Now, this isn't to say that working for a small business doesn't have its drawbacks. Once you climb the ranks at a major corporation, you may be in line for a huge salary. A small business may not have the resources to pay you nearly as much once you reach the top.

But think about how long it might take you to actually get to the top at a company of 10,000 people. And then, consider your growth opportunities at a small business, where it's just you and a handful of other employees. You might reach the top a lot sooner, and once you have that experience under your belt, you can apply for a higher-ranking job at a larger company.

Taking a job at a small business could be your ticket to boosting your career -- and also to boosting your income. And that could help you build savings and meet other financial goals. It pays to explore your options for working at a smaller company. It could end up being a savvy move in the long run.

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