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By Jill Navarro - Published July 16 , 2015 - STARTUP365
Should you ever be in the lucky position to choose between working at a startup, or a big established company, it's important to consider some of the big differences between the benefits and opportunities that each type of organization can offer. Big, established companies were once considered the ideal, with offerings of security, stability and a predictable career path. But with the changing nature of the job-market and the advent of the internet and associated software, the startup industry has been booming, leading to a huge increase in recruitment to such new and very small companies.
But which is best? Or more to the point, which is best for you? Here's our take on the pros and cons of each type of work environment, and what can be gained from employment at such companies.
Training or Experience: Bigger companies tend to be much more structured, with more levels of hierarchy and bureaucracy. On the downside, this usually means that your job description is pretty static, and your daily duties and who you interact with will largely remain the same. For some this can seem limiting and unchallenging.
However, on the plus side, it invariably means that you will become highly proficient at your particular role. Bigger companies tend to offer much more in the way of training and mentors, allowing employees to develop specific skill sets to high levels. In many professions, especially more technical ones, this is a huge and often essential boost to one's career, especially in the earlier stages.
At a startup you are likely to be part of a small team, with more overall responsibility for your area of work. Along with the rest of the team, you will probably have to learn on the job and adapt to the specific needs of each work situation. What's more, working at a startup means you are likely to be involved in a wide variety of projects. With limited personnel resources, new tasks or projects are often delegated around the team. For some, undertaking a project out of their realm of experience is a daunting task, but for many it's an exciting opportunity to learn, grow and gain invaluable experience.
Big Fish in a Small Pond, or Small Fish in a Big Pond: The impact and influence you can yield in a startup is significantly higher than in a much larger company. Along with the wider range of responsibilities you are likely to undertake working at a startup comes lots of opportunities to have a real impact on the company as a whole. The ability to effect the bottom line of a company is a huge attraction of working startups for many people.
Pace: One of the most frequently cited differences between working for a startup and a large corporation is the change in pace. The majority of people report it is the most immediate and significant change they feel between the two environments. The pace of the larger organization tends to be more set, slower, and consistent. This can be a great setup for those looking to develop a skillset in a less stressful environment. To concentrate on the task rather than worry about the results. However, the more pressured, faster paced and dynamic startup can be an exciting workstyle and many employees find it a less frustrating - albeit stressful – way to work.
Perks and Salary: Often it is hard to look past the factors of perks and salary when deciding between a startup and a larger establishment. A higher salary in a stable company would seemingly be the main objective of most employees. Catered lunches, shorter hours, family friendly policies… the perks of larger companies can be incredibly tempting. A startup by contrast, will probably offer less pay, but with a generous future share offer.
If the startup is successfully, the financial rewards can obviously be far higher in the long term. But it is important to remember that despite the many advantages to working with a startup, the majority of them unfortunately do not succeed.
Which is the best type of company for you..? Only you can know. Whichever you choose, be sure to enjoy all the benefits and take every opportunity to learn and grow in your chosen company.