When comparing a job at a startup and corporate, you probably have an idea of the type of workplace you can expect at both. Large companies have a strong structure that is followed very strictly while startups are very open and flexible.
Any entry-level job at a large corporation regardless of the field is pretty similar. You start somewhere near the bottom of the ladder with a manager or team leader who knows exactly what your tasks are and you’re being monitored by them to make sure you’re doing it right.
In a startup, on the other hand, you can’t really know for sure if in 3 months time you’re still going to do the same tasks as you are doing right now.
There’s no real way of saying which one’s better, but I can tell you what my experiences were working at both.
My Background and experience
I studied digital communication and multimedia on both high school and college for a couple of years.
I started my first job at a massive corporate company, in a totally different field. In total, I worked there for 5 months and enjoyed every minute of it. The issue with big companies I found, was the fact that for everything there’s a procedure and the hierarchy slows everything down. Also, the only personal connection you have is with the colleagues that are on the same level. Personally, I’m a very sociable person that generally likes most people. But finding a personal connection with higher-ups seemed way harder than I initially anticipated. I encourage everyone working at a big company to try and connect with as many people, preferably higher-up, in the office. Personally, this helped me secure a first promotion within 3 months where I went from operation alone to leading a small 3/4 person team.
Ultimately, my heart laid with marketing and multimedia so I left for a new position at a local company but would leave soon after as I couldn’t come to terms with their mentality and just didn’t fit there.
So, the search began again for a new possibility and that led me about a month later to where I work now. The startup BrightOwl.
The fact that I learn something new literally every week satisfies me way more than a corporate job could at this point in my life.
It has also inspired me to start up my own side business, something I would’ve never thought about working my first job.
What is best for you?
When working a corporate position, you have to be satisfied with narrower roles. If you know exactly what you want, this is perfect. This environment will really help you grow in that role and sharpen those skills.
If you’re not quite sure what you want or in my case, want to learn as much about as many tasks as possible, a startup could be the way to go.
When you enter the corporate world at the bottom of the organization, you need to be aware that your influence is going to be next to nothing. Also rising through the ranks is much more difficult. Granted, at a startup you sometimes don’t know if you’re still going to have a job 6 months down the line, but if it works and starts booming, you’re the first to receive that promotion.
Overall, look at what factors you need to help you towards your goal. Do you enjoy a firm structure-type mentality that allows you to slowly towards a set goal or do you need to have as much input from different roles as possible to find out your strengths, goals, and desires? Neither is better than the other, just different. It all depends on your personality, work style and what you think is best for you career.
Last modified: May 18, 2018