It's easy to get distracted by the big names. We look for jobs and see the likes of Penguin Books, or Deloitte or Proctor & Gamble, depending on your career choice (Publishing, Consulting, Marketing...) They will probably pay slightly more and have more benefits. They'll even have certain schemes to help you learn the business. This all seems very appealing.
However, the smaller firms is where you really get hands on experience. There is a family feel, and your job can often cover several aspects of the domain. For example, I had some work experience at a publishing house several weeks ago. It was a cute building in a residential area, surrounded by flowers and a welcoming atmosphere. The boss or owner was very nice and helpful, and there was only one other permanent member of staff, other than people that came for meetings now and again. On my first day I was thrown straight into the process, as they asked me my opinion on several final decisions for a book. I therefore felt very important, and was happy to have a tangible influence on the books, something I'd always wanted to do. I knew that people that read this book would have a slightly different experience because of something that I had chosen.
There was a lot of hustle and bustle, and the importance of each move was palpable... but not the stress and unnecessary competition found in some of the bigger companies.
So if I were you I would throw in some of the smaller companies in your search for jobs. However it can be just as hard as finding any job, so make sure your CV is top notch, and maybe even offer an online CV with the like of biobble.com like I've done.
Happy job hunting!
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