By Neal Shyam | The Muse
Last year, after a decade of working at small startups, I set my sights on larger, established companies: Series Bs, recent IPOs, and the Fortune 500. Recently married, in my mid-30s, and staring down a global pandemic, I was looking for stability and structure, two things not typically associated with small or early-stage companies.
Big companies weren’t entirely new territory for me; I started my career at Caterpillar and I interned at Time Inc. while I was still in school. But it’s definitely been an adjustment going from a struggling startup with 20 employees working out of a converted loft apartment to a multinational corporation with enough employees to fill a large city.
I’m glad that I’ve found a place where my contributions matter and I’ve got room to grow. But if you’re thinking of joining a large team, it’s fair to question whether the grass is really greener on the other side. Aren’t big companies slow and old fashioned? Will you be stuck working alongside a Dwight Schrute?
Frankly, it’s not black and white. It depends on what kind of environment you thrive in and what your current priorities are. I’ll share the most significant adjustments I’ve noticed as I transitioned back to a big company and what the advantages and disadvantages have been for each one. But remember—what seems like a pro to me may be a deal breaker for you, and vice versa.
And of course, every company is unique, so while some things are more likely to be true at larger or smaller companies, it’s always worth doing specific research on a company you’re interested in to see if these general trends apply.