Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fresh graduates and SMEs. A commentary.

Why it's a good idea for fresh graduates to spend their first years as professionals at a small company. This is something we've always wanted to share. Read on. And then tell us your thoughts.

If we were to award job categories on our database, we'd grant "the most overlooked" to SME jobs. We've read a news article about this just a few weeks ago -- the biggest problem with SMEs isn't their lack of promise career-wise, but rather their inexperience with regards to talent attraction. SMEs aren't getting enough attention from the talent pool because they don't know how to attract. "MOST SMEs here probably have some attributes that will attract talent, but what's lacking is a concerted effort to communicate these attributes to the talent they would like to attract", Strategicom chief executive Wilson Chew has shared with The Business Times.

Are you a fresh graduate? In line with this, we'd like to ask, have you been limiting your job search to large companies and MNCs? Gut feelings aren't always right -- sometimes you have to think beyond to get things right, especially in a matter as serious as career. Just because jobs in this sector don't sound as promising as their large scale counterparts, that doesn't mean they're not worth the shot. Especially for fresh grads like you, there's a lot to learn at a small company.

While a larger firm is going to be paying more off the bat, a smaller one is going to be teaching you more in terms of career management. It's a matter of preference, really. Access to the upper management is the thing to note here -- this will prove to be an invaluable learning experience, compared to joining a large firm where seeing the CEO is a betting event. You'll also get better exposure at a small company. More likely than not, the CEO will be all ears when you see something wrong or when you've developed a suggestion to get things better. As a fresh graduate, you'd want to be as active in terms of business transactions as you can to get better prospects in the future.

Chances are, joining a large company will require you to play corporate politics on a daily basis. Especially if this isn't your kind of thing, no matter how hard you work, you're not going to get rewarded because the boss likes someone better. It sounds like a dead-end, right? Every minute is important to a small company, on the other hand. Chances are, the tasks you'll be assigned to are aligned directly to the pursuits of the company. Your efforts will not get overlooked.

As a fresh grad, you're not supposed to problematise this yet, but we'd still like to tell you this other benefit of choosing to be in the SME sector. Become an asset of a small organization and you'll have much more leverage with regards to compensation. There's little exception to this rule.

To end this post, we'd like to quote Dr Chew again. What's wrong with ending posts with quotes, anyway? "While SMEs may not be able to benchmark or compete with MNCs on dollar-to-dollar basic wage, they can certainly compete on performance incentives - and it can be very attractive". Very well said.

So, have we changed your thoughts on SME jobs? We sure hope we did. You'll miss a lot of opportunities if you limit your search to MNC slots. JobsDB Campus can give you more insights on this and more.

Campus is designed to assist fresh grads like you: from resume writing tips to inspiring stories, it's a one-stop shop of useful advice and tips for your job search. You might want to read these articles to help you with your pursuits:

3 Hot Career Tips for Fresh Graduates

--> Annie Yap, founder and Managing Director of AYP Associates, shares 3 hot tips for fresh graduates to prepare for working life.

Student Work Experience Counts

--> Joanne Chua, final year student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, gives insightful tips.

Mavis as JobsDB Member

--> Mavis Ang, a Mass Communications diploma holder from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, talks about how Singapore has helped her with her job hunting. Singapore
Singapore's finest resource for jobs Singapore is committed to helping every job seeker land a good job. Currently looking for a job? Browse our jobs database and see if anything is of interest to you. It doesn't matter what industry you're in -- our jobs portal caters to every industry there is in Singapore, from Accounting Jobs and Banking Jobs in Singapore to IT Jobs and Singapore Hospitality Jobs. Let us lead your way to rewarding jobs in Singapore, jump start you career with us.

For career tips, we recommend Career Advice. From job hunting tips to career development guidelines, get advice from experts @