Many job seekers have limited choices about where they can work, but at least that saves them from having to make a tough choice. If you find yourself with the option of working for either a large company or a small company, which one should you chose? Without a doubt, there are positive aspects to working for a larger company versus a smaller one. But there are definite upsides to starting small and growing with a new business, too.
Deciding which size of company is right for you and your career goals is a daunting task, and one you shouldn’t take lightly. So we’ve put together some critical pros and cons to take into consideration before making that life-altering leap!
Large Corporations Are Secure and Highly Structured
You’re just starting out in a new career. No one can blame you for wanting to begin with a well-established company, one that’s got everything figured out and has the resources to get you set up with everything you need. Giant international corporations like Google, Apple, or Amazon are safe bets, because they have the money and staff to get new hires completely squared away in a jiffy.
Large companies are extremely well-structured, which can be very efficient. There’s usually no guesswork involved in your daily routine. They have their processes ironed out and know exactly how they want things done. All you have to do is sit back, comply with policies, and enjoy the job security and perks….assuming you perform your duties!
Small Businesses Are Flexible and Dynamic
Perhaps you’re just starting out in a new career and want to learn the ropes from top-to-bottom. A small business has less resources on hand to “babysit” new hires. Instead they rely on you to be a self starter, one willing and able to lean forward and figure things out on your own, when needed.
You’ll have less bureaucracy to deal with, and a lot less bosses to go through if you want a chance to offer your insights on ways to improve things. In fact, you might have direct access to upper management…something few employees at Disney or Ford Motor Company can say.
Because small businesses live closer to the edge in terms of profit margins, they often need to alter their strategies and reposition their goals and priorities. In other words, it’s critical to be able to survive and thrive in a flexible environment where dynamic change is commonplace.
Large Corporations Have Established Networks
If you want to focus more on your day-to-day work and let others worry about their specific areas of responsibility, then a large corporation is ideal for you. Workers tend to be more compartmentalized, and everyone stays in their lane, honed in on their immediate tasks at hand.
Whenever you want something from another department, a large business has that network of professionals ready to assist. Whether it’s IT support, a payroll question, an HR-related concern, or some other internal or external need, mammoths like Google or Berkshire Hathaway will have tons of staff ready to tackle that for you. Everything is literally just an email or phone call away!
Small Businesses Provide Hands-On Learning Opportunities
In a small company, people are often required to be far more self-sufficient. There isn’t always that high-speed network of individual departments who specialize in every minute aspect of daily business life.
If you need something, you might just have to look it up or go get it yourself.
For example, tech support may not be a finger snap away. For those who don’t mind rolling up their sleeves once in a while, small companies are great for letting you!
But that’s not such a bad thing. By wearing several hats throughout the day, workers can learn the behind-the-scenes on processes that their spoiled corporate peers have no clue about. Having such exposure is extraordinarily insightful, especially for people who are considering launching their own business someday.
Large Corporations Offer Pre-Built Paths to Promotion
Many new hires don’t put enough thought and planning into promotion potential, but you should!
What’s your future in a large company? Where do you see yourself going? Big industry behemoths like Microsoft and Exxon Mobil have been around so long, you can determine your paths to promotion by talking to supervisors and HR staff, or by doing a bit of research. You’ll find some paths are pre-built, meaning the company already knows the milestones they expect you to hit at each step along your career, in order for you to travel up the ladder.
Assuming you’re able to deliver the goods and check off the boxes, you can expect to be able to slowly work your way up. It’s competitive, but remember that large businesses have more openings.
And of course, even for those who don’t have an ambition to rise to the top, big organizations offer retirement plans and other lucrative employee perks.
Small Companies Let You Cut Your Own Path
There are obviously less openings in a small business, and you may have to wait for someone to leave before you can ask for a promotion. But in a small business your work stands out more and isn’t lost in the machinery. Management gets a clearer view of your direct contributions, which is precisely what you want.
Thus, for proactive go-getters who aren’t obsessed with being hired by a mega brand, working in a smaller company can offer a much faster track to promotion!
There are tons of reasons to work for a large company, and just as many reasons to work for small one. At the end of the day, that soul-searching decision depends on what you want from your employer and what you’re willing to offer in exchange. Either way, there’s no wrong answer because whatever you try first, there’s always opportunities to switch later!