The U.S. job outlook is grim–has been for a while, but we’re all just doing our best to trudge on. Much of America is in “take what you can get” mode, so mass applying inevitably ensues. The problem with this is you end up searching for the job rather than the companies you want to work for. This is obvious, you might say–after all, you want to do a specific kind of work so that’s what you’re applying for–but where you undergo that work is almost as important as the work itself. Do you want to work for a large corporation or a small outfit? There are several factors to consider that may help narrow down your job search and ultimately help you be more successful in grabbing employers’ attentions.
Perks of a Small Company
- Tighter relationships with coworkers. At smaller companies, buildings are generally smaller and the number of employees may be smaller as well. That calls for closer proximity to other coworkers, which can lead to more conversations and making friends. Having that relational foundation helps break awkward tensions in the office too, especially at work parties. Larger companies, on the other hand, may have substantially more workers, so forming relationships may be intimidating or less personable.
- Better work spaces. Small companies may provide better working conditions (e.g., individual offices or more personalized settings) because they’ll have less workers to accomodate. At larger companies, the need to provide everyone with an adequate work space often throws cubicles into the mix. If you’ve seen Office Space, you’ll know how drab that can get.
- A clear stake in the company. Less people means you’ll have more of a voice. The sheer numbers at some larger companies make it easy to get lost in the mix.
- Flexibility. Smaller companies may provide a more relaxed atmosphere, which can make way for better scheduling options and creative freedom. Larger companies have become so based on process after well-planned process. When operations are conducted to perfection, a more rigid atmosphere may be the result.
Perks of a Large Company
- Higher salaries. The bigger the company, the higher its potential revenue stream gets. This can equal higher starting salaries, more frequent raises and bonuses. At smaller companies there may be less money to go around, despite the hard work of a minimal staff.
- Greater perks. With higher company revenue comes newer work equipment (e.g., company tech equipment, like mobile phones and computers, or vehicles), which may be issued to new employees at no extra cost or deduction of pay.
- Advancement opportunities. More employees means more spots that will eventually need to be filled. It may take longer to move up at smaller companies where employees are at a minimum.
- Mentors for coworkers. Large companies with higher revenue will be able to attract higher paid, highly qualified workers, which could in turn provide better networking opportunities or even industry-respected, professional mentors.
With your next round of applications, consider the company first and search for your dream career within it. If it’s not there, consider other related occupations within the company or move on. The point is, if you’re planning on sticking with your next job for a while you want to make sure the environment is one that will allow you to grow as a professional and keep you happy for the long haul.