When it comes to our careers many people focus on what they want to do, rather than where they want to do it. You may decide that you’d love nothing more than to be an accountant or a mechanic, for example. However, you will have a different experience of work within these jobs depending on who you work for. Firstly, there are the personal (or ‘personnel’) issues, such as what your boss and co-workers are like. If you get on well with them, chances are you will get on well in your work too. However, that is not something that is easy to consider as you send in your C.V. in reply to a vacancy. Despite this, where you work is an important consideration – and in many cases it is very much about the size of the company you apply to.
Imagine, for example, that you wanted to work in book publishing. There is a difference in working for a large international publisher than working with a small, local outfit. They both have their pros and cons, and it all depends on what you want from your work, as well as what you hope to get out of it and your own personal preferences.
A large employer, like British Gas or Morrisons, has a number of advantages to you as an employee. With many more jobs within the company, the chances of being able to move within the firm are increased considerably. This may be promotion up the ladder, or even a move to another department that is more appealing. Many people take lesser roles at larger companies in the hope of being able to move elsewhere within the business at a later date.
Larger employers also tend to have better structures in place than smaller, less formalised businesses. This structured approach can encompass everything from training to applying for opportunities across the business. A larger company will also be better placed to help you if you needed or wanted to relocate. With offices, outlets, and openings around the country, if not overseas, a bigger business will clearly be in a better position to find you work elsewhere.
However, smaller businesses also have their positives. Often offering a more intimate, family-like feel, a smaller business may have more appeal. You might prefer the closer working relationship and the the chance to be seen by your bosses. Knowing a greater percentage of people in the business will mean that you might stand more chance of getting promoted or moving to another role than if you get ‘lost’ among the employees at a multi-national company. A smaller business is also more likely to offer a wider working experience, with many small firms requiring their employees to get involved and help out with different tasks. This hands-on approach may pay dividends as you learn more skills on-the-job.
Ultimately, it is a matter of prospects and working atmosphere. In some cases a smaller business will be more in line with what you want from work (as well as your wages!), while a bigger business may be able to help in other ways, while offering a broader scope of opportunity.