WHICH COMPANY SIZE
You probably know the situation: Someone from your circle of friends changes his or her job, and when you ask about the new job, the reply is: "I'm going to work at X." Obviously, this isn’t the adequate answer to your question. However, the actual task is not relevant for your counterpart, but the famous company name is. Many people are happy with their job when working for a renowned company – even if the job doesn't seem very interesting.
This sort of attitude is not uncommon. There is a glamorous thrill attached to mentioning a well-known and respected company as your employer, regardless of what your role actually is within the business. There can indeed be many benefits to working in a successful, well-renowned organisation, but there is also the risk that the dazzle of the brand can blind workers to other aspects of their working situations. There is no one-size-fits-all business. Big and small sized businesses benefit different people in different ways. What role you are suited for depends largely on your personality, your ambitions and what stage of your career you’re at.
Weigh up pros and cons before changing jobs
If you're looking for a new job, it's important to understand the many benefits of both working in smaller and working in larger companies. Here are just a few:
Working in larger companies
- Better training resources
- Global mobility prospects
- Benefits and support
- Better networking opportunities
- Formal processes and methodologies
- Specialised job functions
- Often greater job security
- Greater investment budgets
Working in smaller companies
- Opportunity to progress more quickly
- Greater responsibility, and thus wider experience
- More autonomy
- Often better atmosphere
- Increased interaction with senior figures
- Agility in decision-making and development
So, when considering a job offer, ask yourself the following questions. Like this, you can find out whether the company has the right size for you.
Seven questions you should think about
1. What resources will you have in your new role?
- What budget will you be allocated for projects?
- What are the key measures of success in your role?
- Will your position be focused on maintaining and implementing current procedures or innovation and invention?
2. How much responsibility will you have?
In a larger company, you will have the opportunity to liaise with large clients from around the globe, however your role may be more specialist. In a smaller company your remit is likely to cover a wider breadth of responsibilities. The levels of bureaucracy in smaller companies also tend to be reduced, meaning that you have greater scope and less oversight on your projects.
3. What opportunities are there to work abroad?
Larger companies will have multiple offices across the country, and often the globe. Are you someone who values global mobility opportunities? Larger companies are always better able to offer these.
4. How will your role be evaluated by future employers?
Are future employers in your desired vocation likely to appreciate a bigger brand name on your CV or a varied skillset gained through experience working at a smaller company? Often to reach a certain level, employees will need to demonstrate a variety of types of experience – what are the gaps that you need to fill?
5. What are the chances to advance your career?
One of the big advantages of a larger company is that employees can evolve their role without actually having to leave the company. There will be plenty of opportunities for sideways career movement, should you wish to modify your role, whereas in a smaller business this is often more difficult.
6. What about payment?
Bigger companies can typically afford to pay their staff better. Smaller companies, on the other hand, occasionally offer sharing schemes.
7. What kind of person are you?
- Do you respond well to pressure or shy away from it?
- Do you appreciate a range of responsibilities or a more structured task list?
- Do you value change or stability?
- How important is the social side of work to you?
Only you can know the answers to these questions, and it’s up to you to match these against the advantages and disadvantages of larger and smaller businesses that have been identified in this article so far.
So, what is your next step in the right direction?
Companies of different sizes often fit into different phases of your career. This can also depend on your current industry. For example, if you work in a highly specialised industry, you simply may not be able to choose from a number of larger and smaller companies. No matter what you do, you should take all the above factors and questions into consideration when thinking about your next career move. Then decide what's right for you.