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Thursday, 18 April 2013

Big Company or Startup - What to Choose?

After having achieved your degree you will need to start thinking about your future career, and deciding whether to join a startup or a big company is often one of the important decisions to be made. Both have a great number of pros and cons, however, ultimately the decision must be made considering your own unique personality and individual strengths and weaknesses. Taking this into consideration, here are some crucial aspects to consider when choosing between a startup and a big company after graduating.

Compensation and benefits
Big company:
By deciding to work for a large company you are almost guaranteed a decent starting salary, and often also benefits including health insurance, onsite canteens and gym memberships.

Startup companies tend to lack the financial resources to be able to offer impressive salaries and employee benefits. However, it's easier to get hired as many startups are currently hiring. To read more about the experience of working in a startup, we recommend this article by Ventureburn.

Learning opportunities
Big company:
A large company is often a great place to learn and subsequently master and maximise your skillset. They tend to provide internal training and an excellent technical foundation that will be useful throughout your working career.

Startup: You will be expected to possess a good general knowledge of your field before getting started. You may also find that at a startup you have to work in areas not strictly related to the position for which you were hired. However, this can be a great learning opportunity and broaden your skillset.

Big company:
As a general rule large companies possess a substantial user base and this tends to mean that you can reach out to many people through your work. This being said, when a large number of people work together it can be difficult to stand out.

At a startup you will most likely be working longer hours and have more responsibilities. This often means that you will see a speedy, direct and satisfying impact as a result of your own work within the company.

Future career prospects
Big company:
Working for a large and renowned company looks excellent on a CV and will subsequently help you advance within your sector. You may also have the chance to work up the corporate ladder and be promoted. This being said, promotion may take years and does not come with a guarantee. To get an idea of how working at the big company of your dreams feels like from the career point of view, you can look online for company reviews’ sites, in which employees of big groups such as KPMG or Tui Travel are eager to tell the pros and cons of becoming a colleague of them.

With a startup there is always the chance that the company in question may never be a success and could simply disappear after just a few years in the business. This being said, experience in a startup company looks excellent on a CV as well, as it demonstrates that you are willing to take the initiative and run professional risks in your desired sector.

By considering the above aspects with regard to your decision to join a big company or a startup you will find yourselves well on the way to making a great first career move after graduating. Just remember to do your research and carefully consider your strengths and weaknesses before committing to a decision.

By Emily Jones

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