Are You Well Suited To Work At a Small Firm?

I’m sure you have all been faced with the question of whether to work for a small firm, or go with the bigger well-known firm, at some point in your careers… It seems to be a common dilemma I have witnessed people dealing with and the decision-making process for such an important career path should not be taken lightly.

If you are currently thinking about moving from a big firm to a small one, or you think a small firm might be better suited to your needs, then this article is just for you – so keep reading.

The success of a small business rides heavily on the quality and strength of its employees, so finding the right type of people, as well as the ideal mix of people to work together is often challenging.  There is no set list of ideal qualities that best suit small firms when it comes to hiring new employees, as every small firm has its own requirements and needs. There are, however, some general qualities that are more suited to the nature of a small firm – such as being self-motivated, enthusiastic, a good communicator, a quick learner, a generalist with a variety of skills, and the ability to work independently.

I decided to flesh out these qualities into the top 5 concepts that I believe are most valued in small firms:

1. Attitude is key

It really is all about the right attitude fit for a small company. An ideal candidate is someone that fits with the culture that is being built within, and someone that can grow at the same pace as the company while maintaining their ambition, like the firm principals. The goal in small firm is to work as a team and progress.

2. Being flexible goes a long way

One should be open and willing to wear multiple hats and take on a variety of tasks in a small firm. Compared to taking on a role in a large company that is more set and rigid, jobs at small firms usually span a bunch of unexpected jobs that need doing.

3. A positive personality

Certain personality traits are favored in small firms – for example: friendliness, enthusiasm, openness, self-motivation. It’s not just about finding people that will say “yes” to everything – it’s about finding people that are prepared to stick their neck out, offering new ideas and even sometimes challenging the status quo.

4. Be prepared to take responsibility

In a small firm, it’s hard to keep things quiet – from personal triumphs to disasters – chances are that everyone you work with will know about it. The upside with this is that you can get much more appreciation for your role and more support from your colleagues in a smaller set-up.

5. Leveraging your entrepreneurial flair

Ambitious, entrepreneur-type employees usually produce good results in small firms since they jump at the chance to learn and take on more responsibility. They tend to embrace the opportunities laid out in front of them, thereby helping the company grow. A lot of these entrepreneur types will often start out in small firms to experience great, hands on training before branching out on their own. Bottom line: don’t push aside your entrepreneurial dreams, rather try find space for them within the small company as you never know where it may lead you.

How you feel about these points may change at certain points in your career. In any case, keep them in mind when faced with the possibility or opportunity of working for a small firm.

If you have any further questions or need any guidance, you are welcome to contact me at