Choosing the best company to work for is important, we all know that.
Find a gem and you can expect to be valued as an employee, get the career development you’re looking for and be well rewarded. It’s especially important in the world of digital marketing.
But does the size of the business make a difference? We take a look at whether it’s best to work for a small company or a large corporation and the pros and cons of each.
There are plenty of big companies to choose from and they’re always looking for staff. One of the benefits of the sheer size of the organisation is that it will have a clear structure in place that suits many people, particularly those who value security. It means areas like salaries and career progression are clearly mapped out within the organisation’s various processes and protocols.
How you are managed on a day to day basis should also be well defined. There’s generally a good HR department that can support you if you have any issues. There are good benefits packages available as well because the company has many more resources to call on. This could include well-funded pension plans and discounts for certain products such as gym memberships.
If you work in digital marketing, having experience with a large organisation like BT, Sainsburys or British Gas will almost certainly strengthen your CV should you decide to move on. For those looking to improve their career prospects, large companies regularly provide training for those that match their criteria.
There are however a few downsides to going big. For instance, large corporations may be bogged down in bureaucracy. So, if you like a free hand in the way you do things, it can be a problem. There could be set procedures and hoops to jump through before you can implement any new strategy or way of working.
Getting lost in the crowd is another issue when it comes to a large organisation. It’s often difficult to stand out and you could just be another cog in the wheel. Promotions and jobs are may advertised internally but there can be quite a bit of competition and a lot may depend on whether your face fits or not.
With stricter structures, it is more difficult to spread your wings and try new things, even if you work for an organisation as eclectic and boundary breaking as Google. A digital marketer normally has to be a Jack of all trades. It’s something which makes the profession attractive.
In a large company, you may have to stick to what you are given and make sure you use the appropriate person to do a particular job outside your remit. That can be frustrating.
Small businesses are great should you want a role that’s varied and challenging. Rather than take on new staff, a manager or boss will find someone inhouse who can take on that extra task or new role. That may be hard work but it also gives you the opportunity to develop great new skills which will be useful in your career moving forward.
Smaller companies mean close-knit teams. There’s a small number of you and you get to know each other well. This is a major driving point for people who don’t want to be just a faceless employee in a big corporation’s crowd. It also makes life easier if you want to change things or put in your four pennies worth with a new idea or two.
When you do your job well, you’re more likely to get noticed in a smaller company. That means your star can rise much quicker than in any other environment.
That does come with a downside, however.
Because of the size of the business, you could end up reaching a certain point and not be able to go any further. That could mean looking for a new company if you want to develop more.
Small businesses tend to have certain limitations in what they can do. There simply isn’t the funding, for instance, to deliver the clear training path that you might want to follow. Of course, if the business is starting to grow and you’ve got in at the ground floor, it might be worth waiting for those opportunities to come along in the future. But if things stagnate, your career will also.
If you don’t like having extra work or new challenges foisted upon you and prefer the routine of your job, a small business is not necessarily the best place to be. Here, it’s usually a question of everyone mucking in where they can. That doesn’t always suit everyone. The lack of other people in the business can also be a sticking point, especially if the business only employs one or two staff besides the boss. What happens if you don’t get on?
Most digital marketers will work for a wide range of different employers during their career. While a big corporation has it’s merits, the stricter rules can cause difficulty when you want to get more experience in certain areas like web design, content creation or PPC advertising. You may have to wait until someone moves on before you get that opportunity.
A big operation does, however, give you the chance to see the world of digital marketing and telecommunications from the point of view of one of the big players. It’s a great place to network with talented and serious staff and build relationships for the future.
For many digital marketers, however, smaller businesses have the benefit that they can be king of all they survey. There’s the opportunity to spread your wings and, if you don’t mind taking care of much of your own training, you can diversify to a much greater degree.
A lot will certainly depend on your own personality. You may love the challenge of a small team or you could prefer the safety and security of a big organisation. Where you are in your career may be a factor as well. If you’re bringing up a family and have learned the ropes when it comes to all things digital marketing, for instance, a big corporation can seem a pretty good career move.