Technology is an industry with innovation at its core, and this is a sector which offers a wealth of opportunities for graduates. However, have you considered a Technology job in an SME?
What is an SME?
First things first, SME stands for Small-Medium Enterprise. It is an EU term used to segment businesses and other organisations. Typically, SMEs have less than 250 employers, and make up 99% of private sector businesses. An increasing number of graduates now consider working with SMEs, and as a Technology graduate, you could be an invaluable resource to one of these businesses.
There is often a greater degree of flexibility, with freedom to choose working patterns as part of a small team.
Why should I consider working for an SME?
Working for an SME can prove very satisfying. Often, SME employees are the most engaged, where individual contribution is recognised and rewarded. On the whole, there tends to be a greater degree of flexibility, with freedom to choose working patterns as part of a small team. You will have direct interaction with colleagues at all levels in this close-knit working environment, and as a specialist in Technology, you will undoubtedly be a go-to person. This could certainly be for you if you love watching your ideas come into fruition and enjoy a high level of autonomy.
How can I find work in SME?
Finding work in an SME isn’t always easy, and you have to look in the right place. This might involve a lot of trawling through websites and spending time researching different companies online. The main route into SMEs is speculative applications, so your covering letter is super important. It has to be concise, and needs to focus on what you can offer that specific organisation. Spend time researching who is in charge of recruitment so you can direct it towards the right person. Once you’ve submitted your application, follow up with a phone call to check it has been received.
Being active on social media, especially LinkedIn, is a great way to gain access and insights into SMEs. You can find out about positions that might not otherwise have been advertised, and you can also gain an awareness of who’s who within an organisation you’re applying to. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date, and shows that you are interested and proactively trying to find work.
Starting salaries within SMEs are often lower than some of the large IT graduate employers, but technology companies will often match their salaries at the appropriate rate for the role. If not, it’s good to bear in mind the other benefits, which might include enhanced progression rates or share options to invest in the business.
Training in SMEs is likely to be more organic. Often, SMEs use a more informal approach which gives you the freedom to shape your own path and grow with the role you have taken. A huge amount of training will often be on the job... which many might argue is the best kind of training you can get.