Not too long ago, conventional wisdom stated that fresh grads in the Philippines were better off looking for jobs abroad or in larger business districts in Manila and Cebu. Unless owned by one’s own family, finding employment in smaller businesses was not very appealing and they tended to be viewed as an option of last recourse. This was especially true in smaller cities in the provinces and still holds true today.
However, things have changed in the past few generations. While working for a large company in a big city still holds its appeal, the rise of start-up culture has proven that small businesses can hold just as much excitement and prestige for first-time job seekers.
As a matter of fact, we would even recommend that everyone tries working in a small business setting at least once in their lives. Here are a few reasons why we recommend smaller businesses to fresh grads.
1.) You can get your hands dirty
Employees in smaller businesses will typically wear many hats, and be forced by necessity to perform many different roles. While it’s unlikely you will ever master every role you are thrust into, you will develop empathy and an understanding of the demands of different jobs. This can go a long way into helping you develop your expectations when it comes time to work with professionals who specialize in those fields.
2.) You get a better feel for the nuts and bolts of entrepreneurship
If you plan on starting your own business one day, working in a smaller business in an excellent way to find a mentor to help you get started. While you may not always be able to talk to the CEO or founder of a bigger business (in many cases, it may be downright impossible), you will typically be in close proximity of the owner of a smaller business, or at least with whoever gets things done.
This proximity can provide you with lessons more valuable in building your own business than anything you’ll learn in school. You’ll be able to develop an appreciation of what it takes to achieve different goals. In time, you will also be able what not to do when it comes time for you to get started on your own business.
3.) It can be a future advantage for B2B marketing knowledge
Approximately 99.6% of businesses in the Philippines are classified as small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). An SME, in the Philippine context, has 10 to 199 employees and/or assets valued from P3 million to P100 million. Across Asia, SME’s comprised 98% of all businesses and 66% of all labor from 2007-2012.
This presents a huge opportunity, as a significant amount of commerce involves business-to-business (B2B) transactions. In many cases, it’s only possible for certain concepts to be profitable in the B2B sphere.
However, marketing in the B2B sphere is often a challenge for many fresh graduates, as we are often most familiar with marketing through our experiences as consumers, not businesses.
Spending time in a small business will help you understand the basics of B2B marketing by letting you more clearly see the pain points and challenges of smaller enterprises. This knowledge can be extremely valuable regardless if you plan to work for a larger business or go into business for yourself.
4.) You can save money on housing
While this isn’t applicable to everyone, working in a business that’s closer to home can help you avoid spending money for rent and utilities, at least temporarily. This can be a major consideration if your alternatives don’t pay enough to cover the cost of housing, or if the timing for a move to a different location isn’t optimal.
If you’re a fresh grad looking for the perfect first job close to home — or anywhere else in the Philippines — check out Mynimo job portal for a regularly updated selection of career opportunities.