Did you know that companies with less than 100 employees make up 98% of the total number of businesses in California? At The Job Forum, we like to define a small and medium business as an organization that has under 1,500 employees. A role in this work ecosystem ensures acquiring many responsibilities, learning firsthand from experienced co-workers, and the possibility of rapid career advancement. In early November, we hosted an event over Zoom designed to share valuable insights on this topic to job hunters. With Jeff Fanselow as our master of ceremonies and Janet Beach holding down the fort as moderator, we welcomed 5 professionals to the Wednesday night panel. Our guest panelists included Steve Finnegan, Product Management Leader at Appsoc, Randy Ferino, Employee Relations Manager at Exchange Bank, Danielle Brown as Client Services Leader at LiveWell Capital, Haroon Ansary, Director of Relationships & Recruiting at Ascot Staffing (formerly at Ariana Sweets) and lastly, Charles Croley, a Senior UX Designer at Denali Systems. I’m excited to share some pointers our esteemed panelists covered in this discussion.
Back in elementary school, we all learned about the idiom, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Many professionals often feel safer pursuing the larger business when they find themselves standing at the proverbial fork in the road. Our panelist of MythBusters tackled common industry misconceptions related to compensation, role stability, diversity, infrastructure, and employee training. Small and medium businesses embody a sense of flexibility newer hires may never have expected. Your value and worth to the organization impact many as execution can be shared collectively. Growth trajectory in a role can be very favorable after your project’s impact touches upon boosted sales, marketing, and customer retention. Wearing multiple hats is a key ingredient towards leveraging your influence at a small or medium business. Worried about a lack of robust training or new hire orientation? In this space, you might get a lay of the land from a VP, Manager, or another impactful player. It was great to hear these points from the panelists as many of them previously worked in larger-sized organizations.
Common Mistakes in Job Search
We all can use friendly nudges on how to increase our job prospects in this unprecedented job market. Never underestimate the power of a LinkedIn connection when it comes to your interest in a small or medium business. This is a strong thing to capitalize on versus applying online hoping the recruiter will get back to you. Taking a deep dive into information found on the company website can show you who the players are that make up the team. This will allow you to speak to what organization is doing which shows your commitment towards impact. Always be sure to tailor the resume and cover letter to the specific skills highlighted in the job posting. Ultimately your job search isn’t going to be sustainable through the numbers game approach, rather grabbing the attention of an organization through your unique skill set.
Pros of Working in S&M Businesses
Ready, set, GO for a career of cross functional collaboration and on the job learnings in a classroom sized environment! It was so refreshing to hear from the panelists how an employee’s contributions are reviewed by many eyes. Things are less likely to be siloed as the duties of a role can be constantly changing based on company demand. For example, in a period of 6 months, an individual could see their position as social media coordinator evolve into a public event manager. My hope is that I shed some light on the great opportunities associated with a career in small and medium businesses. As Randy Ferino eloquently stated, “You are the CEO of your career and being a self-promoter is how you’ll move up.”
We thank this outstanding quintet of volunteers who came together to spread the word on the inner workings of the small and medium workplace. As San Francisco Bay Area’s longest running job search career service, we hope to be of assistance for you! See you at The Job Forum.
Marketing Intern at The Job Forum