Photograph by Melanie Stetson Freeman—Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images
By Mary Ellen Slayter and Monster
April 27, 2016

This piece originally appeared on Monster.com.

Big businesses offer some big perks, for sure—generous benefits, bigger salaries, fancy offices—but when it comes to professional growth, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. What small businesses lack in flashy perks, they more than make up for in career opportunities. And when it comes to getting noticed, the smaller the stage, the greater your chances are of stealing the scene.

“One of the key advantages [of working for a small business] is not being a small fish in a big sea, and therefore you’ll be easily recognized for your efforts and hard work,” says Wendi M. Weiner, career coach with The Writing Guru in Miami. “You will be able to connect with executive management more easily, and gain exposure to skills and projects that may have been assigned to a senior associate or manager at a bigger company.”

Still not sure if a small company could be the right career move for you? We’ve got 17 reasons to help convince you.

  1. You can move up quickly. A small team means you’ll have fewer peers vying for the same management positions. Prove yourself, and you’ll quickly earn more responsibilities.
  2. You can wear many hats. A small business stays afloat by putting together hard-working teams of people who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves. Instead of delegating tasks, you’ll figure out how to get them done—and learn a lot in the process.
  3. You’ll get closer to the mission. It’s usually easier to get a real sense of what a small business does and how each employee impacts the work. There’s less corporate jargon blurring what people actually do.
  4. You’ll work more closely with senior leaders. Instead of seeing your boss’s boss once a year, you’ll likely work in the same office.
  5. Speaking of bosses, you’ll have far fewer of them. The org-chart tends to be much flatter at smaller businesses.
  6. You’ll experience a lot of camaraderie. If you like getting to know the people you work with, you’re in luck—you’ll spend a lot of time working directly with them.
  7. You’ll forge a close relationship with your manager. A smaller staff size affords managers and employees the chance to bond more easily. As a result, even if you move on from the company, your manager will be able to write a referral that really speaks to who you are, not just what you do.
  8. You’ll learn about sales. Without a huge sales department, you’ll get the chance to understand the company’s core value proposition, and maybe even make a pitch to potential customers.
  9. You can move quickly on your ideas. If you have a proposal, you can try it out quickly without a lot of red tape.
  10. You can experiment. You’ll have plenty of chances to test new ideas—and you’ll be encouraged to do so.
  11. Your owners will make decisions with you in mind, (and not always the bottom line). Small, privately owned businesses have much more freedom to take creative risks, let strategies play out and listen closely to its lower-level staffers.
  12. There’s a relaxed dress code. Small businesses often are more flexible about allowing casual wear in the office.
  13. You’ll enjoy greater flexibility. Small companies are less tied to policy and precedent than big conglomerates, so they can be more flexible with remote work and in general.
  14. You can pick your tech. There’s no enterprise IT department telling you what kind of phone to use or what software you’re allowed to install. You’ll be freer to test out new tools.
  15. You’ll feel a sense of ownership. When you’re one of a handful of people working at a company, every success is celebrated by the whole team.
  16. You’ll stretch your creativity. Because smaller businesses have smaller budgets, you’ll find creative new ways to accomplish your goals. For example, instead of hiring an event company to plan and implement the business’s presence at an industry trade show, you’ll have to get creative to make a splash.
  17. It’s good training if you ever want to launch a business yourself. You’ll see the good, the bad and the ugly—all of the realities of what day-to-day life is like as a small-business owner.

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