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Ever wondered about the differences between working in corporate vs. a startup? You’re not alone. With over 305 million new companies opening annually worldwide, and numerous multinational corporations to choose from, it’s no surprise that many job seekers are uncertain about what career path to take. The classic job-search duel is even more prevalent now than a few decades ago—meaning the emerging market is giving job seekers choices. However, like Yogi Berra once said, "If you don't know where you're going, you may not get there." Therefore, before accepting that job offer, it's important to fully understand the pros and cons of working in both environments and find out which business model will, in fact, help you succeed.
Generalist vs. Specialist
A huge factor that differentiates a global and startup company is that global ones generally have you in a defined job specification. They are usually looking for specialists who are really good and one particular thing. On the other hand, startups have far more opportunities for generalists. Generalists as people that have interests in a range of fields. For instance, if you are in advertising and would be more interested in working on the website, the data infrastructure, and the mobile app, startups would be more ideal for you. Although startups also need specialists, it’s a lot more advantageous for people who have an entrepreneurial spirit and want to get involved in all aspects of the business. In general, corporate positions tend to have narrower roles, and in startups, you'll gain skills and insight into multiple areas.
Leadership vs. Benefits
Would you rather have free healthcare and paid time off, or be in a position to make a huge impact in the company? One thing is for sure, startups demand a lot of responsibility and accountability. Compensation is generally lower than at a big company, but your equity, or ownership in the business, will be considerably larger. On the flip side, it may take five to 10 years before you see a significant salary increase or higher position in a global company. However, you have access to a variety of resources, from specialist training courses, corporate trips, and not to mention the on-site gyms, child care, and free coffee. It all depends on how you work and learn best. So, if you have a passion for taking risks, is self-motivated and likes to take the initiative, a startup is for you. Now if you prefer that readily available vault of knowledge and experience—and want to advance to the position you want in the timeframe you expect, you might find a corporate position the best option.
Structured vs. Laid-Back
You probably have heard about the startup culture before, something between the lines of “casual, fun environment with great personal freedom.” In general, startups have in fact, high-energy office cultures, where hours are flexible and employees are usually easygoing. Whereas multinationals often have set schedules and well-defined processes and procedures. The structure does have its perks, in which it provides more of work-life balance and stability, with not too many surprises. Conversely, in startups, things change very quickly, including job titles, desk assignments, reporting structures, and project plans. Unlike multinationals that have formal lines of communication, startups have tight-knit teams and regular collaboration opportunities.
The key is to find out where you’re going to be the most motivated, impelled to work and enjoy the most. It all depends on your attitude and what your feel more comfortable with. Remember, the ultimate objective is to determine which environment will help accomplish your career goals. Global and startup companies both have its advantages and disadvantages, and it’s up to you to choose which environment best suits you.
By: Kimberly Milani
Contributor: Mariana Paranhos
Images: Getty Images
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