Career decisions are some of the hardest to make, and should not be made without good planning and research. One of the first questions job seekers should ask themselves in a career search is whether to work for a small company or a large one. This question comes with serious considerations, as there are great (sometimes overlooked) benefits to working with both small and large companies.

Advantages for working with a small business

  • Closer relationships in a more intimate group setting. Employees in small companies typically have more direct access to their bosses than in big companies.
  • Diverse roles and experience in a wider breadth of fields. Employees in small companies typically have more responsibilities. For example, someone who handles social media may also be asked to speak with customers.
  • Flexibility and growth. Small companies usually offer more possibilities for rapid and high growth, and have less rigid rules (ie. employees doing multiple jobs instead of specializing in just one). Small companies are also more likely to be more flexible with schedules and more accommodating to employees’ personal lives.

Advantages for working with a big company

  • More job structure. If you’re a specialist, large companies are set up so you can focus on your skills, and nothing else. There are guidelines for everything, and you will rarely be called on to do something that isn’t part of your job description.
  • Diversity. Big companies have a lot of people, of all ages and different backgrounds. Your community will be much bigger than you, and it will be filled with intellectuals, artists, technology gurus and more.
  • The perks. In addition to high salaries, big businesses have great perks. Canteens, gyms, and business trips are luxuries that small businesses usually can’t afford.
  • Security and serenity. Big businesses move at a slower, deliberate pace. Start-ups are often fast-paced with lots to do. Working with a big company means you know exactly what your job is, what you have to do, and that you have enough time to do it. You don’t tend to feel like you have to do 87 different jobs in one day.

Before deciding whether a small start up or big company is right for you, think carefully about what you want and where you will be able to excel.

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