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Big and Small Companies: Pros & Cons

Big versus Small Companies

Did you know that the size of the company you are working for deeply influences your job? It might not be something you are actively considering as you’re applying to open positions, but it’s worth looking into it, so you can find the environment you thrive in.

There is no one size fits all: whether it’s best to work for a big or small company is a matter of personal preference. Each of them have their own characteristics that some people will find a plus, others a minus.

Working in a Big Company

Most benefits of working for a big company have to do with clarity. The company already has an established brand and overtime it has developed structures that determine clear job roles and responsibilities. 

In a big company the roles tend to be quite narrow, which might be a plus if you’re looking to specialize in a certain area. Your role might be focused on a specific geography, technology or part of the product life-cycle. 

On the downside, your potential to create change is limited in a big company. Due to its sheer size and intricate procedures or politics, you might never get a clear picture of the whole strategy and you might never even meet the decision makers. Large companies also tend to be slow and layered with complex power structures that could take more interpersonal skills to navigate. 

Yet there is one more advantage that big companies offer over small ones: ample promotion opportunities. In this case, the size works in your favour as there are many potential roles you can advance into, whereas in a small company there might be few or none.

Working in a Small Company

If you work in a small company, you might find out that the job description is more of a guideline. If you like variety and being challenged, you might enjoy the dynamism that comes with working for a small company. If you’d rather have clear-cut responsibilities, you might find it frustrating when you’re required to pitch in for other tasks. 

There is a certain adaptability required if you want to work for a small company, yet at the same time that is the very reason you can make a difference more readily than in a big company. While the organizational structure tends to be flat, you get exposure to the senior leadership team and your ability to influence strategy or decision-making is much higher. 

Because the team is smaller there will be fewer opportunities to grow, but also the opportunities might be better: you could end up more quickly in a senior position than in a big company, where you’d have to go through several promotions to reach the same role.

Key Takeaway: Big and small companies have different work environments, choose the best one for you.

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