Answer to The Baffling Question: Should I Work at Small or Big Companies?


When it comes to deciding where one should start his job search process, it could resemble looking for a needle in a haystack. Options are endless, and one of the things that makes it such a complicated approach is the confusion in applying for a job at small or big companies.

Admittedly, making the proper selection of working at the right company can be faced by numerous obstacles that job seekers often encounter.

To jump-start your process of making this crucial decision, I've consolidated some invaluable information and insights for you in this article, which consist of my personal experiences and findings from global studies to resolve this stressful stage of your job hunt.

Firstly, you have to identify the multiple sizes and forms companies and enterprises break down into, and the main categories of these companies are:

  1. Big enterprises
  2. Medium Businesses
  3. Small Businesses
  4. Microenterprises
The reason we categorize these businesses is merely to understand the number of people you'll be working with daily throughout your career.

On a similar note, the standard ranges of the number of employees for every organization can give a rough estimate of the company's size of operations and revenue generated.

How many people you'll be interacting with per company size?

Big Enterprises:

For instance, Big Enterprises can consist of over 250 employees, which defines the number of people you'll work with only within your department or office. Seldomly you'll have to work directly with the head of your department, or even never get to meet the CEO of the company in person.

Because big entities have a structure of their own to run their operations and schedules, you can consider yourself a drop in the water stream due to the vast numbers of employees in place.

Medium Companies:

While working for companies with employees not surpassing 250 people, in comparison with big companies, the gap in human interaction across the entire firm is lesser.

Small Businesses:

Things run very differently here, with employees only up to 50 people. Companies in this size division can be looked at as a family where you have a higher chance to say Good morning face-to-face with your boss.


These types of companies represent one or even less of a department found at big companies. Employees in this category don't exceed ten employees, and they all work closely with one another.

Although big companies and the small ones don't run the same way, many small and microenterprises grew into big companies over time.

From my perspective, I've always preferred working for big names in the market, with no particular reason but to experience the presence within a massive workforce and take a closer look at how they run their complex day-to-day business.

Starting with small companies:

What are the Advantages of working for a small company?

To be part of smaller firms, it's natural during the daily tasks that you would run into a new line of work that you might've never done before.

Small businesses are mostly run by the same people that might be sitting right next to you in the office, and sometimes working for a boss that is in the same office space as you can require more prominent attention to details from your end, as you might have to deal with new tasks that arise.

The best thing, in my opinion, is to utilize and not overlook other areas or aspects of the job because you can learn a lot about your colleagues' role and explore new things farther than your area of expertise.

As I worked for a local farm once in northern Scotland, responsibilities increased on some days, whereas, on others, they were less. That's a trait that will always be firmly welded into small companies' structure; you will always explore new aspects of the job and get to try new tasks.

Smaller companies also can offer you a better work-life balance, where the work schedule is more flexible than that found in big companies.

That's because they compose such a lifestyle to compensate what big firms can offer you, from benefits to bonuses and so on. And small companies cannot.

What Disadvantages Working for Small Companies Are There?

Remember that you are working in a family-like type of company.

It can be a source of concern if you find yourself in a tricky spot with people you work with or don't quite get along with them.

When working for a small company, you gather knowledge and experience in the broader scope of work. That can be discouraging for people looking to climb the career ladder in their area of expertise.

What Advantages Are There in Working for Big Enterprises/Companies?

Besides the good benefits and bonuses big companies can provide you with, looking at the extraordinary financial capabilities and profit they make, you'll be able to find your way on the career ladder.

Big companies have everything documented, and all their operations are preplanned.

 I recommend investing in your area of expertise by undertaking training sessions and progression programs primarily available at the big enterprises.

Are there Disadvantages in Working for Big Enterprises/Companies?

As previously mentioned, we do know that working in a big firm of over 250 employees will significantly reduce your chances of direct interaction with your boss and managers. Hence, you will be less recognizable to be making a difference. As the complexity of the company's operations is high.

Suppose you are looking to get into one niche or industry with the primary goal of learning all its aspects. In that case, big companies are not your go-to option here as they only expect you to function within your job description with little exposure and introduction to other parts of the company's mission.

To conclude, I believe just like anything else in this life. Moderation is key to understanding what fulfills your expectations and sets you on the right path, as the founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, who is also the richest man in China, said in one of his interviews.

 "It is okay to make mistakes when you are 20-30 years of age; keep making mistakes and learning so once you become over 30 years old, you are good at what you do."

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