Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Should You Work For a Startup Company or a Corporate Giant?

The most exciting, and sometimes scariest, part of looking for a job is the fact that your decision will change your lifestyle for an undisclosed amount of time. The scenery will change, the people will change, the pay will change; your car and your house may change, too. Hopefully it is all for the better, but if you’re lucky you’ll be the one who gets to decide how it is going to change.

A single week has 168 hours in it. A full-time job takes up a minimum 40 hours of that time, and that’s not taking your commute into account. That means that a quarter of your employed life is spent working, so it is important to make sure that quarter is what you want it to be. There are tons of specifics that can go into figuring that out (i.e. how you organize your desk, who your team members are). But even before that is figuring out which options you want to give yourself. A large decision you need to make for yourself is whether you want to work a startup or a corporate job.

For the most part, the two come with very different lifestyles. While corporate culture brings to mind ties and lunch times full of water cooler small talk, working at a startup usually means you have a tightly knit, much smaller group of coworkers. In some situations you may even join the CEO/founder for a weekly game of poker. Socially, the startup environment is usually much more lax. Employees speak directly with the CEO and are usually all managed by a handful of people as opposed to the fleet of managers you’d find in corporate culture. But this doesn’t mean that a startup company requires any less amount of work from its employees. In fact, often times it means more work and more responsibility. In a startup company your mistakes resound much louder than in a corporation because you are a much bigger gear. That can be more pressure than people are used to, but because of it there is one great possible benefit.

That benefit is career growth. The best part about working for a startup company is the potential for career growth. It is a company that is, as the name suggests, just starting up. This means that if the company is a success then you will feel it immediately, be it through hefty pay raises or very quick promotions. Think about Dustin Moskovitz. Who is Dustin Moskovitz? No one in particular, just the youngest billionaire in history. But you’ll probably know his coworker, Mark Zuckerberg, a little better. Moskovitz was one of the four founders of Facebook and an example (albeit as extreme an example as an example can be) of the career growth that can come from starting from the ground floor of a startup company.

But then again there is also always the chance of the company tanking and taking you down with it, which would jumpstart your next job search.

If that’s not for you, you can always take a corporate job. Corporate culture has been the butt of many comedies such as ‘Office Space.’ The 9-5 cookie-cutter desk jobs are the bread and butter of corporate jobs, and although that image is usually seen in a pretty bad light, a corporate job does come with benefits that you cannot find in a startup company.

Although corporate culture may seem drab to some, a corporate job comes with stability and security. Aside from economic crashes of historic proportions you can rest assure that a corporation will stay afloat. This means that as long as you do your job well you will have a consistent income with work benefits. In these positions you can also afford to make a few errors because chances are in a company of that size no one will notice, hence the stereotypical lazy worker in corporate culture flicks. You won’t be sailing through promotions like you would with a successful startup company, but you’ll make a guaranteed living for as long as you want.

What do you think? Would you rather work for a startup company or the tried and true corporate job? Share with us in the comments section below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Incase

Bane Srdjevic

Bane is a Purdue graduate and has been through a lot of the trials and tribulations every job seeker goes through. He is looking to spread his knowledge so that other job seekers don't make the same mistakes. Learning by doing is fine, but knowledge is king.