Startup vs. Big Company – Which One To Pick For Career Advancement?

At some point in your career, (if you’re lucky enough) you would have multiple job offers, but you might be confused to pick one out of them, especially when it’s startup vs. big company. On one hand you have a company that has “made it” and on the other hand you have a startup that is executing its plan to pass the test of time. Which one do you pick?

startup vs big company

In startup vs. big company, none of them is better than the other, they both are different. Both of them have their own charms and cracks.

Here are the differences between the two so that you can pick the one that is best suited for your career advancement:


  • In startups, you will work towards a single goal and that is to create a product that people would actually like to use. You need to generate a “product market” for whatever you build may it be a product an app or some service.
  • The work environment in a startup would be way cooler than that of big companies. The benefits of joining a startup includes “water cooler” talks all the time, you can get free food and free travel, you can be a part of all the decision making, and you would have a great influence on company’s progress.
  • You have to be a jack-of-all-trades.
  • Startups can help you decide what you want in the long term of your career. If you want to make your place in the C-suite, then startups can push you to reach there in shorter time as compared to bigger companies.
  • As a part of a startup, you need to take bigger risks and have to take quick decisions. Startup works with the “high risk/high reward” philosophy, so if you are expecting better outcomes, you should be willing to take higher risks.
  • You would feel more responsible for the company’s growth. If you are working at a company with 15 employees and if the company succeeds, you would be partly responsible for its success, you will share the glory, fame and riches that it brings. Similarly, if the company fails, you would be 1/15 responsible for its failure. If you and 14 of your colleagues give their best, the chances of your success increase significantly.
  • It is more of a lifestyle and less of a job.

Big Company

  • If you like to play it safe, joining a big company would be better for your career advancement. Big companies are risk-averse as they have set rules and systems in place.
  • You have to focus on growing something that is already successful, so you need to make sure that you don’t make any mistakes that would diminish company’s reputation.
  • Your boss and your colleagues will expect more from you as you would be guided how to get things done and would be provided with all the resources to get the job done.

When you need to pick from startup vs. big company, pick the one that better suits your personality and the type of work culture that you would like.

Anna Verasai
Anna Versai is a Team Writer at The HR Digest; she covers topics related to Recruitment, Workplace Culture, Interview Tips, Employee Benefits, HR News and HR Leadership. She also writes for Technowize, providing her views on the Upcoming Technology, Product Reviews, and the latest apps and softwares.

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