Is your career dream to work for a multinational? Does it suit you?Let us reflect on the reasons why a startup is better to begin your career than a large corporation.
In terms of the career opportunities both workplaces offer, big businesses tend to be stricter with working hours while they offer a set of must-have incentives. In contrast, startups are more flexible and have a different incentive program in place that includes free food, free travel, concierge services and/or even office pets. However, what is less talked about is whether a corporate or startup job is better for your career in the long term.
What to Expect From a Startup Job vs. a Corporate Job
While a startup may provide the long-sought-after flexibility, the question is ‘Will it give you the opportunity to move to a senior position in the future?’
In comparison, a corporate job may be the ideal place for you to learn new skills and benefit from thorough on-the-job training, yet one thing remains to be clarified ‘Will it allow you to use or develop the creative thinking skills you need to start your own business in a few years?’
Both working environments have positives and negatives. If you’re not sure which path to choose, do consider the following questions to help you make the right career decision.
What Is Your Dream Job?
Working in a startup takes job flexibility to the next level – multitasking. While you don’t necessarily need to ‘go by the book’ and have your working hours recorded with an up-to-the-second accuracy, a startup job can be in fact quite challenging. If you get a job in a newly established company, don’t think that you’ll only be doing the one thing you’ve been hired for in the first place, not for one second. Depending on your ‘job description’ you may be required to juggle tasks like team management, write and compile material for training manuals and user instructions, conduct client satisfaction surveys, customer support, answer the phone, handle correspondence, recruit interns, contribute ideas to marketing campaign development and the list may continue. Startup teams usually comprise of only a few people who are expected to ‘jump in the fray’ whenever the need arises. That may be beneficial for you, especially when you’re only just out of school, looking for a job without knowing exactly what would be your dream job. In the long term, the ability to handle multiple tasks may not only help you develop distributive attention and strategic thinking, but it may also help you tremendously in your career decision-making process, by giving you valuable clues of what career path you want to follow.
Later on, when or if you decide to take another step in your career and embrace the challenge of a corporate job, you will have a better idea of your skills and abilities knowing exactly what to look for professionally.
Delving more into the specifics of a corporate position, large businesses usually look for specialists whose roles are therefore narrower and more focused. For instance, if you’re a manager, you will only focus on management. If you’re a business analyst, you will create reports and statistics. If you’re a social media or marketing consultant, you will bedeveloping social media and marketing strategies for the company, study key-word performance etc. Therefore, if you already know what role you want to end up in, a corporate environment can help you refine those skills without having to focus on a whole lot of other duties.
However, if you’re not sure what you want to be doing on a long-term basis, beginning your career in a young business is an excellent opportunity to acquire skills that are required for various roles. After all, how else would you be able to find out what you want if don’t try it all? From this perspective, a startup company provides the perfect bootcamp environment where you can discover what you really like doing and work towards that professional goal. Find out more at getabstract.
What Does It Take to Achieve Your Goals?
Sometimes even when you graduate from a university that provides you with a more ‘specialized’ diploma like management, you may not be 100% sure that a leadership role is what you really want to be doing. Beginning your career in a startup, where your boss may not necessarily have more experience than you do, is the perfect chance to learn by doing and do a lot of research in the area you’re working in on your own.While trial and error may be a good school, you can use pitfalls (inevitable in the beginning) as lessons so that in the future you know how to drive success.
By comparison, if you start your career with a large corporation, you will find a wealth of resources at your disposal, as well as knowledgeable coworkers ready to help you. However, what you need to establish before you make a lifelong career choice is: What does it take to achieve your goals? If you like adrenaline and thrive on learning by trial and error, while you enjoy full authority and initiative to get the resources you need to succeed, you don’t need the vault of knowledge and professional experience that a corporate environment can offer.
On the other hand, if you better learn from others and prefer going by the book in everything that you do, then a multinational is the right place to start your career. There you will have all the standards and guidelines to help you achieve your goals.
Do You Want to Be Listened To?
Another important thing that you need to establish is whether or not you want people to listen to you, and how fast you want that to happen. After all, we all seek recognition and appreciation at the workplace. However, when you start your career working for a large corporation you won’t exactly land on the position you desire, so you need to be prepared for starting at the bottom and whatever that ‘package’ includes, which more often than not is far from being the influence and recognition you want. If you’re ready for and believe you can handle having no say when it comes to business decisions without taking it to heart, you should go for a corporate job. However, when you do reach the desired C-level position you’ve been dreaming of, it is worth the sweat and tears.
By contrast, if you’re buzzing with ideas and are eager to share them with your peers while climbing the ladder fast, a startup environment is the ideal place to nurture that.
Deciding which path to choose is never easy. However, a startup provides the perfect environment for those who are still finding their true calling, stimulating creativity and promoting cross-departmental collaboration.