Have you ever wondered which career path is more beneficial for you? This is especially true when you get two job offers, one at a big corporation and another at a startup or an SME, especially at the beginning of your career path. Needless to say, both have benefits and drawbacks, and everyone has to choose the type of job that suits their preferences and ambitions . So here are some guidelines for any junior to think of before making their first steps in their career path.
1. Learning Environment
When you start your career as a fresh graduate or a junior, you need much time and effort in order to gain the experience that every corporate job requires from you. So basically, SMEs provide you with a full learning environment. You become an active member of a small team that wants to grow together and face several risks and responsibilities. So, you find yourself engaged in multiple tasks and duties that uncover your skills and add to them; you may even be engaged in activities out of the scope of your knowledge. You don’t follow a precise specific job description, you are not given tasks, but rather create them. This allows you to understand the most suitable job position for you for future reference, since you most likely performed the duties of multiple departments.
On the other hand, if you choose to work in a big corporation, you will most likely have defined duties and tasks you do everyday. You go to work and you know what has to be done and when.
2. Salary Wise
Obviously, working in a multinational company or a big corporate will provide you with a higher salary than an SME, and a more defined career path. This is expected not because the SME does not appreciate your skills or knowledge, but because it’s still shaping its way and usually does not have stable financial resources. May be in some cases the difference in salary is not as high as expected since you’re still a junior, but it’s uncommon to find a higher salary in an SME.
3. Teamwork & communication
Because of the large number of employees in any corporation, sometimes people do not even know each other, unlike an SME where you’re around 20 employees and all of you know each other well. On the other side, in a corporation, there’s usually a clear, well-defined organizational structure. This means that you know who you report to and who assigns tasks to who. In SMEs, it’s a bit messy and unclear. In most cases you report to the CEO directly which causes several conflicts. In some situations, you are not a part of a small team, but you are the team.
4. Decision making and flexibility
Decisions in corporates are left for the top management level only. This is because they have previously set goals and objectives and they know exactly what needs to be done. So there’s no space for trial and error, you have to follow rules and orders, and of course you’re not part of the taken decision. In SMEs it’s different, even if the management level has greater experience than you, your voice counts and you become part of the decision making process. You enjoy more flexibility and control in SMEs that allow you to grow and enhance your skills more and more.
5. Stress and responsibilities
Bear in mind that we’re talking about the junior level, in big corporates, you usually don’t carry heavy responsibilities on your shoulders, your duties are limited to the experience that you have so you’re not asked to do complicated tasks that you may not know how to manage. However, in SMEs, you’re the one that builds up the whole company, so the scope of responsibilities that you have to take is wider and sometimes includes complicated tasks.
So to sum it all up, SMEs are hectic and require much flexibility, but they provide an excellent learning environment, while large corporations provide you with a great exposure and help you take the career path step by step. Every job has its pros and cons, but one must choose what matches their skills, preferences and goals.