Let’s Chat…Personal Experience at Small vs. Large Corporations!

Welcome back everyone and welcome to February! How is there another month already under our belts as we navigate 2023? It’s crazy to think that there are only a few weeks left until Daylight Savings and our impending return to warm weather. So, as you continue to bundle up and brave through below-zero days, make sure to read the below and continue reflecting on your career to ensure this year brings you professional fulfillment.

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to work at a large vs. small company, this article is for you! Keep reading here to find out my favorite aspects of both, how I interpreted the changes in my daily lifestyle as a result of the organizational structure, and how to evaluate which is the right fit for you.

Small vs. Large Company Comparisons…

  1. Daily Interactions: If you work for a small company, it is almost guaranteed that you will be able to build strong, deep-rooted connections with each of the employees that you interact with. You’ll come to quickly understand “who does what” and where to go to reach out for help in any instance. However, working for a large company means you will be working alongside many people who specialize in various roles. For that reason, you will likely find yourself reaching out to many different people for each different need. Doing so will help you to immerse yourself in different types of positions and establish a collective understanding of how your company operates and achieves success.
    • Extra Tip: Working for a large company, and in turn being required to step outside of your comfort zone to rely on employees you’ve never met for a variety of tasks, may be key to your professional growth. While it’s comfortable to achieve a family-like work structure, diving into the world of constant introductory conversations is an immediate gateway to organic networking every day!
  1. Lateral Movements: Are you ready to settle down in a position and dig your roots deep? If so, I would encourage you to check out a smaller organization. Doing so will help you to solidify your role and gain deep, intellectual knowledge in your newfound specialty. However, if you are someone who is still unsure of what you want to do in the end game (which is also totally okay – and is more like me!), then you may want to think about working for a larger corporation that will provide you with the ability to make lateral movements often, sometimes even yearly. Lateral movement will help you to explore new opportunities without having to conduct a whole new job search – and make sure to ask questions that get at this idea during your interview process! Before joining a new org., it’s key to understand how they view career exploration and lateral promotions or prefer employees to stay in their roles for years at a time.
  2. Mentorship Opportunities: If you work in an office that requires people to work in all types of roles in order to continue to operate (ie: Google, Apple, Sephora, etc.), your mentorship opportunities will range across several different “sub-industries” of business. However, if you are someone who is confident that you want to stay in your position and become a specialist, working for a small company may help you to find that person to act as a mention and vision of who you hope to be further on in your career. In my personal experience, not knowing exactly what I want to do, I enjoyed finding a mentor in a Marketing role while I was housed in Risk, as it helped me envision a future outside of the office I was currently a team member within.
  3. Meetings Meetings Meetings! At large companies, and as a result of several teams relying on each other, you should anticipate a large part of your role being encompassed by team huddles, touch bases with leadership, and other kickoff meetings to align on work that needs to be done. If you prefer to work in a silo, not only might this push you toward a certain career path (like Analytics) but might mean that a large office isn’t the best fit for you. Think about your ideal day structure – does it include live calls? Chats? Working alone? Working in-person? Once you’re clear on what you want out of a role, you’ll be suited to answer all of our questions above.

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