Saturday, 23 March 2013

Career Growth: Small vs Big Companies

Career Growth: Small vs Big Companies

In this article "Small vs Big Companies", we try to compare small companies with big fishes. Which one is better for you for better overall career growth in terms of salary, learning, work-family balance, work culture and job satisfaction. What are the advantages and disadvantages of working in a big or small company?

While there is no general rule why a smaller company is a better place to work than a larger company, small organisations do offer advantages, which are otherwise difficult to avail in a big company.In the case of small organisation, focus point is not salary or career growth opportunities but better discretionary perks to recognize employees’ contribution, which give these companies a competitive edge over bigger players. The advantage of working in any small company arises out of this ability to attend to detail.

Small companies tend to be flat, typically 4 levels at most. So it is easier to get the attention of seniors. If the seniors and the individual are good at their work, it is much easier to find opportunities for individual advancement.

Since, small companies have limited areas of operation, so it is much easier to understand the overall business. If one can make the effort, then an individual gets an understanding of an industry in a shorter time than in a big company. In small businesses, you are exposed to the entire gamut of business, rather than just your function / department. You can feel the impact of your decisions and work on the overall business performance.

Experts have named flexibility and work-life balance as the biggest benefits of working in a small-scale organisation. Reward and Recognition is another area where employees of small companies are treated well in comparison to large-scale industries.

For this same reason, salary negotiations tend to be simpler because the relative value of the contribution is more easily demonstrated. Better performance elicits better discretionary perks because the relative contribution of employees is higher.

Lastly, you really get a lot of autonomy while working with small businesses. Autonomy to think, to experiment, to fail, which actually fascinates. This also involves you emotionally in your work, encourages you to take your new initiatives and ultimately leads you to success.

If you have an entrepreneurial drive and out of box thinking capability, then you must work in a small business set-up to see the overall impact of your work and have a greater sense of achievement.


  1. I have personal bias for Small companies but I disagree on two points in your article,
    - Work life balance. I am not sure if this is true and it is very likely that the number of hours worked in a smaller company is more than large organizations. This is because most skills run one level deep and there is over reliance on star players.

    - Autonomy. While autonomy may be there but it can lead to pockets of mad managers abusing the autonomy to make things bad for their employees. Large organizations have better risk assessments and training for their managers to avoid such abuse of powers.

  2. I agree with Bimal. I have worked for small companies and while many of them preach work life balance, the reality is that it takes more work to keep small companies afloat and personal life tends to suffer.

    I also agree with the idea that autonomy leading to bad managers making bad decisions. I have found that actually a medium sized company 100-200 seems to be pretty good. Large enough that people are held in check, small enough to make an impact.


  3. What a ridiculous piece of drivel. How can you say you're comparing two things and write such biased crap?

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