Working in a small firm definitely has a lot of perks but at the same time a lot of disadvantages.
The perks include working with a small team, you tend to know your colleagues a lot better and closer than if you were working in a big company with hundreds of faces you see everyday but dont really know.
The learning curve is definitely higher as you’re expected to stand on your own feet to manage an entire project on your own down to the smallest detail. In a larger firm, you’d probably be just one of the many people on the project team.
There are more learning opportunities because as I mentioned earlier, you are expected to do everything. By everything, I mean EVERYTHING. Which is a definite plus if you intend to open your own firm one day. Although somedays you might just ask yourself the question “WHY am I doing this job again?”
You’re closer to your bos. So you know your bos well, he knows you, he knows your talent and probably he would appreciate you more. You can also always go to him for tips and questions on any work related stuff. (Provided you have a kind bos like mine).
The downside is, the projects you work on won’t be large scale compared to if you work with a larger and well known firm/ developer. Your benefits won’t be as good and the pay, depending on your bos well, probably wont get as much as your friends who work in those large companies. The plus side is, you may have more freedom in the smaller firm.
I always wonder if I worked in a larger firm, with someone to guide me on how to carry out my job if things would be different or if I would be a better leader as an architect/project manager but I guess different circumstances in life teach us to grow in different ways and adapt to our circumstances.
At this point, one of my design projects is under construction and i’ve learnt a lot about managing the project and liasing with the project team. I still have a long way to go but I think i’m loving it thus far.