If you are a newcomer in the world of work or still on the fence about which career path to choose between corporate and startup, this post will clear the air for you. Of course, we are not here to make any life decisions on your behalf, but rather to help you understand the differences between the two environments so that you choose the one you are more compatible with. Read on to find how.
If being proactive is in your nature as an inextricable part of your modus operandi, then working for a startup might be better suited for you. However, if you are not an initiator then a larger organization might be the best professional habitat for you as, there, you will only be required to meet pre-set goals.
Impact on Decisions
Due to the size (and scope) of startups, every little employee action or decision can have a lasting effect on the business both in terms of success and failure. On the other hand, in larger organizations both being an exemplary employee and falling into pitfalls might go utterly unnoticed.
In startups, the excitement of having to adapt to different situations and roles at the drop of a hat is ever-present. One day you are a salesperson, the next you are a coder! In case you find this volatility somewhat disquieting, then a corporate environment where you can focus on a specific area of operations with few disruptions and changes is the best place for you.
The Learning Curve
In startups, the learning curve starts steep and remains so. You are likely to be left to your own devices with scarce or non-existent training to handle a multiplicity of constantly-changing tasks. Conversely, in a corporation you are likely to receive all the resources and training you may need to perform well. There, the learning curve does start steep but eventually goes flat.
Because of the impact every action has in startups, a team member’s success or failure will also have a great effect on the team. On the other hand, meeting goals or failing to do so may have no impact on one’s team in corporate environments. However, competition is cut-throat and stealing credit is a common occurrence.
The risk factor is ingrained in startups. Thus, one should not expect a high income or even one equivalent to what is offered on the market. The good news is however that if the business succeeds your income will rise incrementally. Corporations, on the other hand, offer a standard income which is subject to minor fluctuations. This means that a rise might be harder to get.
In startups, breaks are out of the questions if you really want to see the business thrive. So, the level of commitment required is significantly higher than when working for a larger organization. In corporate environments, you will hardly ever have to take work home or have the fate of the company absolutely depend on a day’s work.
The benefits offered at a startup usually include free food and drinks as well as a wide variety of fun activities. With larger organizations, however, you usually get health care coverage and gym memberships among other things.
If you are a creative-thinking, multi-tasking high performer, chances are you will land a promotion at a startup in no time. On the other hand, corporations have quite rigid hierarchies which entail that being a rock-star employee may mean next to nothing. You will just have to wait for your turn.
Adding a startup in the list of previous employers on your CV may not get much attention from a prospective employer. This happens because startups are not as easily or readily acknowledged for their successes. Corporations are, unsurprisingly, quite a different story. Listing one of them on your CV will always look good.