Big Business or Small Business, Which Is Right For You?

Job searchThere are so many things to consider when searching for a new job such as, what your career goals are, how far you should travel, what salary to expect, what skill set you will need and so many others . . .and here is still one more to consider: Should you work at a large company or a small company? Both have pluses, both have minuses. Keep in mind that where the comparisons of the two are typical, they are not always the same. Not all large companies are exactly like other large companies and all small companies are not the same either. Below are some general thoughts to consider that might be helpful when making a determination as to which might be a better fit for you. First, consider how you see yourself in your work life and what you want to accomplish in your career, then consider whether the advantages of a large company or small company would be most beneficial to you.

Getting Hired

The process for getting hired can vary widely between a large business and a small business. A large business will usually have a more rigid hiring process that will typically take longer than a small business. Large companies have specific procedures that human resources managers must follow. Some use outside recruiters, that can slow down the hiring process even further, taking more time to get your resume in front of the right manager. Additionally, you may have two, three or even more interviews to get through in a large company. A smaller company’s hiring process will most likely be less involved and take less time, as they will typically have fewer managers and a less formal hiring process and interview procedure.

Job Security

While job security is a never an absolute in any company, you may be more likely to have better job security at a small business. In a small business, you probably will know and work with everyone there, and you are involved in many aspects of the company, making you a valuable asset. If you are well-liked, the company owners may have a more difficult time letting you go than a large company, which usually make personnel cuts based on profit numbers or management mandates.

On The Job Maneuvering

Getting things done may be more challenging in a large business; there are more people to deal with and at different levels, typically more rigid processes and more signatures needed to move a project along. In a smaller company, it may be easier to get things done as there are usually less levels of management, which allows a more direct approach to the decision maker.


Typically, a large company will have more opportunities for growth; a larger company and more people equals more jobs. Of course, this depends on many other factors, especially upon the culture of the company. Some companies promote only from within and others don’t, so where you may be at a large, growing company, that company may not necessarily have the advancement opportunities you might be looking for. The company may also have a high turnover rate, which isn’t good for anyone’s career. A small firm may give you the opportunity to learn many different functions throughout the company, and those additional skills can be added to your resume and potentially expose you to new career options. It is always best to do your homework and research a company carefully. Also, discuss growth opportunities in detail before you accept a position.

Getting To Know You

In a large company, it may be more difficult to get to know everyone and for everyone to get to know you. Aside from department meetings and occasional company functions, you may only meet people from other divisions as you pass them in the hall or meet them in the cafeteria. Small businesses offer a more intimate setting, where you are likely to work closely with and get to know everyone relatively quickly. Perhaps you would rather have an office in a quiet corner than interact with many associates, but you may prefer a setting where you work with associates on every level of the company instead.

A Hat Of Many Colors

If you’re someone who enjoys variety in your job, you might be happier in a small business where you will probably be called upon to do many different jobs, versus a large company where job descriptions are more rigid and less likely to overlap. But, because you may wear many hats at the smaller company, you will be less likely to work in a specific job where you may want to to gain expertise.


Large businesses usually offer better benefits like health insurance, vacation time and tuition reimbursement. If you intend to advance your education, a benefit like tuition reimbursement might be the benefit that tips the scale for you. To offset the benefits that a large company may be able to offer, a smaller company may offer more lifestyle benefits, such as flexible hours, working from home options or more personal time. Your particular benefit needs should be an important consideration for making your career decision.

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