3 Tips for Moving to a Smaller Company When Making a Job Change

3 Tips for Moving to a Smaller Company When Making a Job Change

Does moving to a smaller company mean you have to take a pay cut?

Ever felt like you’ve somehow ended up in a role that looks good on paper, but it’s not what you really want to do? Maybe you want to do more hands-on work or have more diversity in your role. 

You’re thinking about moving to a smaller company, where you can get your hands in more of the work, but you’re worried you’ll have to take a pay cut.

Or maybe you’re worried that smaller companies don’t even hire people as experienced as you.

That fear might keep you from getting out there and talking to people at smaller companies—and you could really miss out.

I worked on a study at Harvard Business School doing interviews, and I learned that what you THINK you’re going to hear is not always what you hear….

I know a woman who didn’t think that jobs for someone like her existed at smaller companies, but she got out there anyway.

She took that open-ended approach and reached out to people at companies she admired to ask them about their firms and share her interest. 

She was tantalizing to them because she was so experienced.

She got two job offers from smaller firms at about the same salary that she was making at a big company!

Now she’s doing the work she actually wants to do without taking a pay cut.

So if you find yourself in this position, worried that you’re “too experienced” or there’s no role for you there, or you’ll have to take a pay cut…

1. Schedule conversations with people at smaller companies.

Resist the urge to make assumptions about what staff smaller companies are looking for. Just go into the conversation as a curious meet-and-greet.

2. Ask them about what their goals and challenges are for growing the company.

You’ll find out if they want to move into doing bigger projects and they need someone more seasoned, or if they want to do less work and focus more on the bigger picture. You can find out if they’ve considered hiring someone more experienced. 

3. Share what you can bring to the table as a more experienced candidate.

Your experience might mean they can spend less time on review and more on the business. Or your relationships might open up doors. Ask what that would mean for them as a business.

You might just end up with your dream job on your own terms!

If you’re at a career crossroad and want help finding the perfect job for you, watch my free masterclass to learn how.

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    Hi I'm Maya

    Mia Scharphie , career coach, headshot

    I’m a career coach and strategist with a secret power (I mean, past career) as a designer. I love road trips, graphic novels and helping people like you design the career you love on your own terms.