Working for a Small Company VS Large Corporation: Pros and Cons

The workforce can offer a vast sea of employment options with a variety of industry choices, both established and emerging. Yet, one decision that job seekers often find themselves having to make is whether to work for a large or small organization.

Understand What You Need

small-vs-large-company-woman-with-glasses-thinkingDepending upon what is available to a candidate with your specific skill set and experience level, you can certainly choose what sized company to work for according to your own partiality. Chances are you’ve heard numerous, albeit valid, arguments through the years, boasting the advantages and drawbacks of each.  As with most things in life, there are pros and cons to companies of all magnitudes, so doing your research as well as being in tune with your own preferences, will determine what decision is best for you.

Recognizing your own work style, personality attributes, and career goals is the first step in making a solid decision.

Small Companies

Remember that a small company can sometimes offer the opportunity for you to wear many hats, so to speak.  When you work in a smaller, family-like atmosphere, individual roles do exist but are sometimes less distinct, and you may have the opportunity to participate in vital areas of the company which you might not have in a large corporation.  This, in turn, can offer you the chance to accumulate broad areas of expertise.

While you may be able to work more closely with upper management, offer ideas, and participate in crucial decisions, your employee benefit package may not be as munificent as with a larger company for the simple fact that there are fewer contributing employees.  On the other hand, small organizations can offer a sense of unity and bonding that may not exist in large companies with multiple, spread out departments. In addition, small company employees may find they are able to communicate more freely and frequently with superiors when important issues arise.

Large Companies

Some individuals appreciate the definitive structures and stringent regulations of a large company which can take away a great deal of guess-small-vs-large-company-blue-double-buildingswork through formally established human resources and legal departments.  Yet, while small organizations can offer you more varied experience in a frequently less formal setting, larger companies provide talented employees with opportunities for gradual, steady advancement in what is often a more stimulating, fast-paced environment.

Organizations of a larger size often don’t feel the effects of a slowing industry, slight economic downturn or even a bad management decision quite as intensely or quickly as a small company might, yet employees can still be individually affected by downsizing if the need arises.  Also, large companies are usually able to offer their staff more bountiful benefit packages, based on the larger number of participants, however, employees may need to really step up their game to be noticed and considered for promotions and raises.

What to Remember

It’s important to bear in mind that neither decision to work for a small vs. larger company is necessarily right or wrong; it is merely a judgment of which one matches your personal and professional needs.  Furthermore, what may fit your career goals right now might not be the case five years from now.  So, whatever your decision, don’t hesitate to accept the challenges each one has to offer, because you are sure to acquire valuable experience either way.


Fred Coon, CEO


Take your job search and LinkedIn profile to new levels and achieve your career goals with Leveraging LinkedIn for Job Search Success 2015 will transform how you use LinkedIn on a daily basis and create a profile that will WOW recruiters and hiring managers.






5 Key Qualities of Team Players in the Workplace

During a job interview, we all know how important it is to portray ourselves as a true team player.  It’s a question we have come to expect, and rarely would anyone think of answering it negatively.  However, once we’ve landed the position, we must live up to our original promise without forgetting how to actually be a team player.

team-players-in-the-workplace-teamwork-drawing-collageEmployees with a team player attitude consistently place the advantages and objectives of the group ahead of their own individual circumstances. While we may know and understand the meaning of being an effective team player, it’s possible we may sometimes forget the essentials of what goes into being a productive and supportive part of the sum total.

Therefore, as employees, what qualities must we exhibit for our superiors to notice us for the team players we truly are?

1. Flexibility

Being schedule-oriented is part of being an organized, efficient employee.  However, when unforeseen circumstances call for a deviation from the norm in order to reach a new or unanticipated goal, then it’s important to be able to adapt to changeable conditions in order to support the rest of the group.  Team players are also open to new ideas and strategies that are not their own, realizing that rigidity and inflexibility are counterproductive.

2. Dependability

Any team is really only as effective as its weakest member, and this holds emphatically true in the workplace.  An employee who is timely, meets deadlines, picks up slack for less efficient colleagues, and is an overall dependable worker, will be perceived in an extremely positive light by their employer, and ultimately as an effective team player.

3. Neutrality

Most offices experience a certain amount of “politics” between coworkers at one time or another.  Employees who can steer clear of issues that don’t directly affect the fundamental objective of the organization are showing good teamwork.  This means avoiding trivial rivalries with others and not taking sides with those who do partake.  By showing your employer you have the ability to work without conflict, you are presenting yourself as a dedicated team player.

4. Honestyteam-players-in-the-workplace-group-of-diversified-professionals-at-work

While working conflict-free is necessary, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t express constructive opinions in a professional manner.  Employers appreciate workers who provide honest feedback and sensible suggestions, especially if a situation is not working the way it should.  By offering your ideas on how a lacking circumstance could be improved, you are not only demonstrating effectual communication and trouble-shooting skills, but you are showing that you truly care about the end result, as any real team player should.

5. Loyalty

A committed team player is supportive of their colleagues and respectful of views differing from their own.  While we all enjoy praise and accolades for a job well-done, a loyal team player is encouraging to the rest of the group, and not afraid to let them shine.  Effective collaboration is non-competitive, and occurs when all gears are in motion; therefore, your partners’ success will reflect positively on you, and vice versa.

By Fred Coon, CEO


Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200




Reentering the Workforce After a Long Absence

The reasons why an individual may leave the workforce indefinitely are multi-faceted.  The most common include maternity/paternity, palliative care for a sick or elderly relative, raising children, additional education, starting a business, stress-related leave, or simply taking time for creative endeavors.

reentering-the-workforce-long-corridorA parting can take place in an official capacity, such as a sabbatical, while some workers may choose an early retirement.  Yet, while the reasons for prematurely discontinuing your employment may vary, the rationales which motivate one to return to the workforce also range in basis.

 Voluntary Return

In some cases, it’s simply a matter of daily monotony that attracts the willfully unemployed back into the workforce again.  Children reach adulthood, personal goals were reached, retirement was unfulfilling, or various circumstances may have left you seeking additional purpose in your life.

Obligatory Return

In a situation where there is a compulsory decision to return to work for financial reasons, for instance, your options may be more limited; however a great deal of the same logic applies.  It’s possible that when you planned your sabbatical or early retirement, you didn’t properly anticipate certain life circumstances that may have caused you personal economic strain.  However, don’t despair because this is an obvious and common concern, which can also be met with an additional sense of fulfillment if approached in the correct capacity.

Consider the Climate

Businesses are losing an immense amount of talent in a short span of time due to the large group of baby-boomers who have reached retirement age, and employers are scrambling to find their replacements.  In most cases an early-retiree is welcomed back with open arms, and possibly, a certain sense of relief.  These returned employees have expertise; they already know the ropes, and can work autonomously.  If these experienced employees choose to spend a few extra years training the newer recruits for future leadership roles, then that is also a tremendous bonus for any company.

Therefore, whatever your line of work or reason for leaving, don’t necessarily look upon your absence as a hindrance.  For every company looking to hire the twenty-something college graduate with no actual hands-on experience, there are countless employers who appreciate maturity and a longer range of experience, despite some work history gaps; so it’s important to maintain your confidence, and focus on these types of opportunities.

First Presentation

Chances are, if you have been out of the workforce for a substantial length of time you may not even have an electronic résumé.  If this is the case, focus on converting your hard copy paper resume into a format which modern employers can handle.  Remember that the long gaps in your work history can be addressed during an interview, yet any volunteer experience you may have acquired during your absence should certainly be included; as good employers appreciate a well-rounded job candidate.

If you furthered your education and earned an MBA or any other degree or certification which would be valuable in your chosen field, no further explanation is necessary.  An employer will be happy to speak to somebody who’s interested in expanding upon their education.

Spotlight your accomplishments, your abilities, and how they are relevant to the job you’re seeking.  If your extended absence was due to strictly personal reasons, adding “further details available on request” is more than sufficient, and no added concentration is necessary.  If your initial reason for leaving the workforce was to raise children or care for a family member, it’s important to remember that you are not the first person to make this decision and you certainly won’t be the last.  A modern and sensible employer is aware of this and should be respectful of this fact.

Updated Skills

If your absence only spanned a few years, your job skills are most likely still valid, however, you may find that you need to brush up on certain proficiencies.  Nowadays, five years can seem more like ten due to the speed at which workplaces are evolving, due mostly to technological advancements and changes in communication techniques. Try looking into training webinars, online tutorials, and adult education programs in your area.

If you have been unemployed for close to ten years or longer, then it is well worth your time to investigate many of the free online schools (including some fine ivy-league colleges that would surprise you) to get a new certification, or even a degree.

If you have been out of the workforce for a considerable amount of time, but walk in to an interview with a freshly minted diploma or certificate, you are demonstrating that you are self-directed, well-versed in your field, and ready to work.


What is extremely important for candidates who have been out of the job-seeking world for ten years or longer to remember is that the methods for seeking employment have changed drastically.  While individuals were utilizing online job searching techniques ten years ago, there is a possibility you have never personally experienced these changes, especially if you spent many years working for the same employer before your departure.

There is currently an expansive array of employment websites to register with as well as mobile apps to get you started on your search.  Luckily, they are not difficult to find, and a little extra time searching the internet should direct you toward the right path.

Moreover, don’t forget to set up a LinkedIn profile, since employers in recent years have been relying heavily on LinkedIn as a viable recruitment source.  This will also give you the opportunity to network toward the job you want.  In addition to listing your skills and experience, be sure to display on your profile that you are seeking employment.

Starting Out

In all cases, seeking out a reputable employment agency or career counselor can also help you reenter the work force through proper coaching and correct representation of your talents.  Inform them of your skills, and try out some of their assessments.  Another important part of their job is that they can reveal overlapping areas of interest that can lead to a new career you haven’t even reentering-the-workforce-multi-faceted-candidate-collageconsidered.

Consider accepting a part-time or temporary position through an employment agency to help you acclimate yourself back into the working world, and don’t be afraid to agree to a temporary position that is outside of your original line of work. Temp assignments can be short-term and consecutive, and may even offer you the opportunity to discover a new endeavor you never realized you had a talent for.

If this is the case, the agency can help you focus on acquiring full-time employment in the particular area you are interested in.  You can build credibility with a particular employer, while seeking out the full-time position you want.  You can also attain a reputation as a reliable worker for the employment agency, and they, in turn, will find you better quality opportunities once you have proven yourself as a valuable, dependable worker.

Additionally, a career counselor or recruiter can help you brush up on your interview skills; which will be invaluable when seeking employment after a long break.  Job interviews can be nerve-wracking for the job-seekers who have never left the market, let alone for someone returning from a long absence of non-employment.  This is also something you can do at home by reviewing and answering practice questions, and even video-taping your replies to assist you in smoothing out your verbal (and non-verbal) communication.

In the Meantime

While we may be living in a digital world, especially in terms of job-hunting and employment in general, there is still much to be achieved through the fading art of making in-person connections.  Print up some business cards and keep them handy.  On the occasion you encounter someone with a connection to your field of interest, whether at a dinner party or walking through a shopping mall, don’t hesitate to hand out your card.

The Takeaway

Regardless of the reason you left the workforce to begin with, or your reason for returning, the world is full of opportunities.  Approaching this new stage in your life with a smile and an upbeat attitude will get you there faster. Positivity is a very attractive attitude to employers — and people in general — and quite possibly, one of those people may just lead you to your perfect job after all these years.

By Fred Coon, CEO


Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200

Are You On The Wrong Career Path?

Just as the approximate eight hours per night we spend sleeping replenishes our energy, repairs cumulative wear and tear, and allows us to assimilate all of the information we’ve collected in the last 16 hours, our jobs can be thought of in a similar way.  We spend approximately eight hours per day working to replenish our financial resources, pay our expenditures, and feed our sense of purpose so we can hopefully enjoy the remaining hours of our day.

are-you-on-the-wrong-career-path-businessmen-walking-down-hallYet, if one portion is out of balance with rest — for example, our job is causing us distress or unhappiness — chances are the rest will suffer.  Consequently, if your current line of work isn’t suiting you, there is a great likelihood you are already aware, even if you haven’t quite admitted it yet.

Knowing When to Make a Change

You may be thinking that since you’ve already got a job, it pays the bills, perhaps there are only a few more years to retirement (depending on your stage in life), why make a change?

Security is a powerful influence.  Some of us approach our jobs with such aversion and apathy in the name of perceived security, it’s a wonder we can even bring ourselves into work every day.  A negative outlook can permeate your day, even spreading to coworkers and beyond.

Recognizing the Signs

  • If you’ve found yourself feeling down, think about your line of work since one of the major causes of depression is job dissatisfaction.
  • You notice your home-life has been disrupted in some way.  Frequently, if you can’t get excited about your job, it translates as a lack of interest in your partner or your children, and sometimes dissatisfied employees bring their frustrations home with them.
  • You know you’re capable a doing a better job, but can’t seem to find the inspiration to provide your best work.
  • Even after being offered a raise or promotion, you still are not excited about your job.
  • You find yourself frequently searching job listings, although you haven’t applied to any.
  • Although you update your résumé regularly, you significantly downplay your current position.

Ask the Right Questions

  • Would working for a different company, doing the same job, solve my problems?  If not, you need to consider a different career.
  • Is there anything about this job that gives me happiness?  List your transferable skills.
  • What would allow me to love any job?  Make a list.

Finding Answers

Once you have ascertained you are better suited to another career or field, what are some of the first steps you should take?

The questions above may have provided you with some sort of idea of what you would like to do.  Now is the time to do some research.  If you enter blindly, you may be in for some surprises.are-you-on-the-wrong-career-path-new-career-sign-blue

Find someone who already holds the type of position that you covet and has been at it for at least a couple of years.  Ask them what their lifestyle is like; if there are downsides to the job; if there’s anything they might like to make you aware of that could help you make a decision.

Let’s explore a case-in-point.  Suppose that you want to be the person who rolls out the SAP software in all of your company’s international headquarters — in every city in the world.  You’ve never been on a plane before in your life, and this would offer an exciting chance to see all those great cities without personal expenditure.

The reality of that lifestyle may translate to two weeks in Paris; two weeks working from home preparing the next rollout; two weeks in Des Moines; two weeks at home; two weeks in Mexico City; and another two weeks at home, and so on.

If, however, you had performed your research, you may decide that after about a year of extreme traveling, the excitement would most likely wear off, or maybe there is a chance you could rouse a genuine interest in traveling all the cities of the world.  Perhaps, your personal life is such that traveling to that extent may cause you to miss out on a great deal at home; or maybe it would fit perfectly with your current lifestyle.

In other words, beyond researching, try to role-play in your mind what your existence may resemble if you take on your career of choice.  Remember that there are so many individual positions within most fields of choice that you are bound to find what would compliment your well-being, lifestyle, and financial necessities.

The Takeaway

Even with a conventional job on a less grand scale, involving no extraordinary travel, aspects of the job that you are unaware of might make it unbearable.  Investigate new opportunities before committing yourself.

Of course, jobs don’t just magically appear when we want them to (for the most part), so you’re going to have to invest little time and effort. It’s definitely worth it because somewhere out there is a job that suits you perfectly.  You just have to find it!

By Fred Coon, CEO


Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200