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


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