We are frequently asked which companies or types of companies are the best to work for, which is a difficult question to answer as it depends on what you value. In this article, we will examine the differences you may likely find between small and large companies and provide links to "Best Company" lists.
If you stop and think about it, the notion that most of us will spend some 30-40 years of our lives working is depressing. Furthermore, during this period, you will spend 35-50% of your awake hours working. Thinking about these numbers may be good reason for reevaluating what is important to you when searching for employment.
Working for a large company typically means more money and better benefits packages. Most small businesses simply cannot compete in these realms, however, they do have many advantages over their larger counterparts that may make working for the little guy better for you. In order to illustrate some of the benefits you may find we are going to profile 2 real businesses and list some of the intangible benefits that their employees feel they offer (Their names will not be given, however, these are real companies).
Web Design Firm - 38 employees
Breakroom has video games and foosball table.
Employees can bring pets to work.
Can drink alcohol at work.
Freedom of creativity.
Network Solutions Provider - 12 employees
Provides opportunity for relatively inexperienced to develop strong skills in leading edge networking technologies.
Feel like you make a difference.
Can drink alcohol at work.
More input as a result of closer connection with management.
Shorter climb to upper management positions provides for rapid career advancement.
So now we have examples of benefits that one might find, but what do they really mean? They demonstrate the lack of beauracracy, politics and micro-management that plagues larger corporations. Smaller companies often tend to have a strong sense of freedom, identity and culture that makes work seem less like work.
So which should you choose? It really depends on where you are at in your life and if the types of benefits listed above are more valuable than the pay that you might receive elsewhere. Smaller companies tend to attract younger, less experienced people who develop their skills and then leave to make more money. If you currently work for a small company and are considering looking for another job, you may wish to spend some time talking to your current boss about the company's direction and growth rates. If they hit the big time, so will you and for this reason it may be worth sticking around.
On the other hand, if money is your main concern there are plenty of medium to large corporations that have livable environments and can be very rewarding places to work. There are some companies out there that offer the best of both worlds.
If you would like to discuss this topic with others, feel free to post comments and questions in our forums.