By Samantha Condliffe – Digital Marketing Executive at Infinities
Small Company or Large Company?
One thing I never gave much thought after graduating was the size of the companies I was sending my CV to. Three years later having worked for a global company, a large national company and a smaller company I can’t stress enough how a company’s size impacts all aspects of your job.
Huge global companies often have multiple head offices meaning you could be expected to travel. For some this may be an issue (If like me you suffer with travel sickness!) but for those who like to globe trot this may be a huge benefit. National companies tend to have one head office although some may have multiple in the same country whereas small companies usually operate from a single location. This may be limiting for those globe trotters we spoke about earlier but may be more suitable for people with commitments at home. Different social benefits also come with this. Working in larger/multiple offices means meeting more people and making more connections. Working in a smaller location means you see fewer people on a day to day basis but build stronger relationships.
With more people comes a deeper hierarchy. As a graduate you will probably start fairly low down however people move on fast in large companies so progression opportunities are regular. Small companies offer more access to the top level allowing you to get noticed. Progression opportunities will be less frequent but you can make one giant leap at once.
One last thing to consider is that the larger the company the larger the budgets which can impact things such as work environment, everyday perks and company benefits such as sick pay, holiday pay, maternity/paternity pay. Smaller companies sometimes struggle to offer the same kind of generosity as higher turnover companies.
Fast Paced or Slow Paced?
Most companies are fairly fast paced as they want to be as productive as possible, however some industries and roles are more demanding and time sensitive than others. For example generally speaking the retail sector is fast moving and high pressure whereas industries such as therapy tend to be more relaxed. However, different roles within the industries may tell a different story. An analyst within the retail industry may have a slower paced job than a busy receptionist in the therapy industry. It is important to take your personality into consideration when deciding what is most suitable for you. If you are really sensitive to pressure then a fast paced environment can be overwhelming and lead to stress but if you find that you get easily bored and need to be constantly challenged then a fast paced role would suit you down to the ground.
In-House or Agency?
An in-house role refers to working for a single organisation, whereas in an agency role your work is contracted by other companies so you may have a number of different clients. Your personality and your preferred working style will determine which option is best for you.
Working in-house you spend all of your time on the one company so you get to know it inside out however some people prefer the variation that comes with agency work even though you don’t have quite the same in-depth understanding of the companies you are working on. In-house head offices can be a hive of activity but you usually have your own permanent desk. This can be the same within a small agency although larger ones usually have people coming and going constantly therefore adopt a ‘hot desk’ approach where desks are not reserved and you simply sit wherever is free. Some people thrive in this atmosphere but for people like myself who need an element of consistency to be able to concentrate this can have a negative effect on productivity.
So there you have my three main tips to consider when looking for your first job out of university. That is not to say however that there aren’t many more factors which you should consider when choosing the right job for you including pay, location, industry and your own personal passions.
I will end on one last piece of advice – You may get swept up in the big rush of graduates looking for work, however remember to spend time finding the perfect job for you rather than settling for the first offer that comes along.