Brief classification of companies by size
Companies come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. What organizations are today is strikingly different from what it was ten to twenty years ago. One way or another, organizations can be divided into three types:
Startups. Startups are considered relatively new companies to the market (which were created within 1-3 years). The number of employees varies from 1-2 people to 100.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Such companies range from 10 to hundreds or two hundred people. Family businesses fall into this category. Typically, these companies cover only one city or one country. SMEs and family businesses are very different from typical corporations, but they can also be great places to work.
Corporations . Unlike small and medium-sized enterprises, large companies are characterized by an international presence, and the number of employees in them ranges from 1000 to hundreds of thousands of people.
Differences of SMEs and / or a startup from a corporation
Small and medium-sized enterprises are less structured than large corporations in terms of work processes and organizational structure (take, for example, strict accountability). This is due to the fact that significantly fewer people are involved in the processes of small companies. While in corporations everything is strictly structured: in which team is this or that employee and how this team fits into the global business.
For many, strict accountability and the presence of an organizational structure can scare away, but for someone it can turn out to be a plus. Since it means that the tasks of the employee, the results, as well as the opportunities for growth, are extremely transparent. In a startup, this structure hardly exists.
The difference between a startup and an SME
The ability to try yourself in different roles. Small and medium-sized enterprises have great potential for internal relocation. While in a startup, some functions may simply not yet be available due to their uselessness at the initial stages of the business. On the other hand, a startup will need to step out of its comfort zone over and over again. There will be no such concepts as “this is not within my competence, so I will not do it”. Almost everything you come across in a startup will need to be done for the first time, from scratch and on your own, without relying on precedents.
Gaining new skills. In SMEs, you will most likely have bosses having experience in this particular area. This is an opportunity for you to learn from your elders and develop experience in your chosen field.
Career growth. Small and medium-sized businesses have a slightly more stable structure than a startup, which means there are opportunities for growth here also more. In most cases, startups have remained unchanged for many years, so it is difficult to move from the bottom up to new positions.
How to understand what is needed right for you?
Think about what stage of your career you are now
If you are a yesterday graduate, it is recommended to start a career in a large corporation. The reason for this is as follows: a) you will get acquainted with the basics of work; b) get an idea of all the processes of the business; c) you will be trained.
If you have advanced further in your career and you want to learn to think outside the box, then a job in a startup is for you. Here you can test your experience and knowledge and start doing many new things for yourself.
In the event that you still have very little experience, but you do not want to dive into the corporate environment of a large company, but want dynamic work, you can consider vacancies in small and medium-sized businesses. Unlike large companies, here you still need to be quite flexible in terms of functionality, but you still have to respect the existing structure and general culture. However, the likelihood that you will need to work closely with other departments and from time to time to try on new related roles is quite high. In corporations, the functionality of employees is limited by regulations and there are not so many opportunities for movement.
Think about your personality type
Perhaps you are not the most extroverted type, but in an international corporation you will definitely have to communicate not only with numerous colleagues, but also with colleagues from other countries. In this case, you will not feel comfortable in the workplace.
Another option: you do not like change, it is stressful for you. In this case, a corporate company is best suited. Here you are unlikely to encounter large-scale changes, while in the startup environment they certainly cannot be avoided.