If you’re considering your next job move, you may wonder whether it’s better to work for a large corporation or a small business. On one hand, big business often offers you as an employee more opportunities (or different opportunities) for advancement and a more competitive package, especially benefits.. On the other, working for a small company can expose you to many parts of a growing business you may not otherwise experience and operate at a more agile pace, and include you much sooner in business changing decisions. Which you choose depends on your own personal preference for work environment.
Benefits to Large Businesses
Bigger businesses tend to have more formal and comprehensive benefits packages than smaller firms. You may have lower health insurance premiums that cover more of your medical expenses, as well as 401k matching and other perks.
Working for a bigger business, you’re more likely to have more resources at your disposal, such as newer technology, software and support staff or other employees who can help you with your work. You may have more opportunity to move up in ranks simply because there are ranks to move up; small businesses, by their nature, are smaller and have fewer roles for you to occupy.
Drawbacks to Large
Bureaucracy is a common complaint at larger businesses. If you want something done, it may take five signatures from executives who are rarely in the office. Decisions often take time. If flexibility is something you crave in a job, you may not find it at larger corporations, as it’s harder to quickly change the more the company is set in its ways.
Employees of big corporations often are restricted to a limited job description, which, if you prefer dabbling in different areas, may lead you to feeling like a small cog in a large wheel. There may also be a long lineup of employees vying for the next leadership position and you could easily be passed up by someone else internally.
Benefits to Small Business
If you’re looking for the opportunity to feel like you are part of the growth and success of a company, small business may be the direction to take. There are approximately 95,000 small businesses that employ up to 49 people in the US, according to ADP. Each offers a work experience you simply won’t get at a bigger firm.
Small companies often require you to wear many hats, due to smaller payroll budgets. So if you work in marketing and are curious about communications or PR, chances are you can take on some of that work at a smaller company.
Many employees feel like their opinions are valued and used in smaller companies, who have the nimbleness to change directions as needed, and have less red tape to get to a decision than larger firms.
Drawbacks to Small
If you’re looking for major perks and benefits, small businesses can’t always deliver. And your salary may not be as competitive as with a bigger company. Some employees of small firms may feel overworked because they take on a larger role than they would elsewhere, and opportunities to be promoted to other roles may be limited.
Small businesses may not have as many resources for professional development, such as tuition reimbursement, or the opportunity to attend conferences, which is a negative for some employees. You may also be on your own when starting a new role at a small company, simply due to the fact that there may not be someone to ease you into your new role.
Every company varies, and these characteristics aren’t meant to define all small or large companies. Look at each job opening individually, and weigh the perks and drawbacks of each, no matter the size of the company.