In the previous articles we suggested that when you are looking for the ideal creative work, you must first understand who you are and “why you do it”; once you have reached that level of awareness, the time has come to ask questions about what kind of work environment is right for you.
This is also a difficult question, but we will lead you step by step on this journey to clarify all your doubts.
The example that we will use this time is that of falling in love: when you meet a person and everything seems simple and pleasant, and you feel as you have never felt before, it means that you are falling in love.
Similarly, in the work environment it’s the same thing: when you feel at home and serene it means that you have found your right place in the world. It’s only a matter of time until you find the right fit for you.
“The best way to live is to find a job that pleases you and to find someone who loves you“, Umberto Saba
It does not mean that there will be no problems, those will always be there, and indeed they are stimulating opportunities to grow day by day.
As in a true love story, thanks to ups and downs, you will become stronger.
But it will be worth it because you are fighting for a right cause, that is, for yourself and for your passion.
Daniele Bucci, who recently passed the first phase of Awwwards, which is the most important competition in the world of web design, explained and told us what is the difference between working in a small agency or in a large one.
“Experience in the agency is always important, small or large, because it is a moment that trains you personally and professionally. First of all, it trains you on a personal level because it teaches you how to interact with professionals like you – even better than you – and then it helps you to always question yourself.
About small teams or freelance experience: getting started can be difficult because you have to know how to manage several factors independently. You must first of all identify the customer and make contact with them. You have to have a general basis and know a little bit of everything. From production costs, to the provision of a service, to taking care of billing and so on”, Daniele Bucci
A large company or a small company?
Big companies are big for a reason. Success is reaped over time, and a company becomes great when it has gained unique advantages in the market.
Instead, working for a company that employs only a few dozen people may not be the same size as a Fortune 500 company, but there are still some benefits to being employed in a place where everyone knows everyone.
And so, which is better to choose?
Deciding whether to go to a large or small company can actually be one of the most important decisions to make when you are looking for a job, and for this reason we want to help you by offering you some tips to better guide this choice.
The 3 advantages of a large company
“A single arrow breaks easily, but not ten arrows held together“, Japanese proverb
1. The structure of your work is clear
When you enter a large company you take part in a machine that has been around for a long time, and so there is usually an established way of doing things.
As soon as you enter, you will know what your job is, how you will fit into your department, and over time you will also learn the obvious paths for promotions.
This isn’t the right path for everyone, but if you want to get into a job with a sense of stability and a well-defined path to advancement, larger companies typically already have proven models.
2. The benefits package is great
Larger companies, in general, are more likely to provide benefits such as health insurance or pension plans.
The lower the income of a company, the less likely it is that it can afford to pay such “benefits”. According to a recent study, 47% of companies in the U.S. with 2 to 99 employees offer no benefits.
A study by ADP showed that just over half of eligible part-time employees of large companies actually enroll in corporate benefit plans.
Similarly, only 77% of eligible full-time employees choose to enroll.
Regardless of the size of the company you work for, it is always good to find out what benefits are available to you.
3. You can change jobs by staying in the same company
Large companies need a lot of people, and even if you have a specific role, it is possible to change location and explore a new area without leaving the company.
Developers can become project managers, designers can become marketers, or the senior vice president of a web browser can become head of a project to create an operating system.
It may still require a bit of research, but if you already work for the company you’re applying for, this is an advantage.
The 3 disadvantages of a large company
1. Changes happen slowly
If you have in mind a brilliant idea that has been buzzing around in your head for days and you want to propose it, be careful: in a large company this can take a long time due to many steps and authorizations that in a large company are the norm.
Even if your company is open to new ideas, proposing a new model or a new product will surely impede your journey.
But never give up!
For example, these are the words of design guru Matias Duarte about the launch of Palm for Google in 2000:
“Coming in and being put in charge of the design and UX for this enormously successful platform that now has years of legacy behind it. It’s completely unlike getting behind the steering wheel of a zippy, agile little car. It’s more like driving an aircraft carrier.” He gestures as if he’s pushing a button, “Okay guys, turning left! Are we turning left yet?”
Not all companies are ready to accept change, and if you are a person who wants to leave their mark on their workplace in a short period time, this can be easier in a smaller company.
2. It will be difficult for you to establish interpersonal relationships
If you are a very sociable and empathetic person, in a large company it may not always be easy to establish important relationships because of the numerous commitments, the meetings set and the routine to be respected.
Even if you are a sociable person, if you work in a company with hundreds or even thousands of employees, you will very often have to compromise.
You’ll find yourself needing to talk to your manager about your way of working, but that meeting could happen after some time. In a large company it is natural to make room only for major critical issues.
But do not let it get you down, it is just how it works. On the contrary, trying to overcome these difficulties can help you to work in a more satisfactory way.
3. The work team that is assigned to you can limit you or make you grow, it is up to you
Very often it is the people who make up your team who cause happiness in the work environment because working with a dysfunctional group can reduce the quality of your work, despite your best efforts.
Here is a statement from a Google employee:
“Your quality of life will vary greatly depending on the team you get assigned to. Being part of a good team will make your life wonderful, a bad team will make your life miserable. Whom you work with has a major influence on your career (don’t expect promotions in a dying product)”
The 3 advantages of a small company or startup
“Be prepared for a long journey with often uncertain stretches. Good results are not easily obtained“, Tim Westergren (founder of Pandora)
1. Everyone knows you and your qualities
While in a large company you are the same as everyone else, in a small one when you get an important result, everyone can see your work and you can easily stand out from your other colleagues thanks to your particular skills.
Best of all, if you’re just starting a journey, working for a small business is a great way to establish your skills and gain references and reputation.
2. Changes happen fast
Compared to the large company, here you have the opportunity to talk directly with your manager and solve problems quickly enough: what can take days or weeks of processes in a large company, here you can solve it simply by knocking on your boss’ door.
3. You have to multitask
As already anticipated by Daniele Bucci, in this type of environment you will have to know how to do a little bit of everything.
One day you will be asked to work your magic on Photoshop, the next day you will have to take part in an important meeting with the top customer and on Friday you will have to spend a few hours with your accountant to put in order some numbers.
Compared to a large company where everything has its rhythm, in a small company you will have to be able to exercise a series of skills that from time to time you will be called to demonstrate.
All this, however, can be very stimulating. You will be able to learn faster and you can apply yourself in more fields, therefore gaining more skills.
The 3 disadvantages of a small company or startup
1. Everyone sees your failure
Knowing that your company’s CEO can see when you land a big customer is great, but this can become a double-edged sword, however, when you make mistakes.
Of course, a good employee should minimize failures, but it’s never nice when most of your colleagues know when you made a mistake.
2. The benefits package is small
Large companies have a wide range of benefits or job facilities compared to small ones.
If you’re in a startup, you should hold off offering things like health insurance until the company takes off; but keep in mind that hoping for something to come out of nowhere is almost always a gamble.
If you need benefits and the company you’re applying to doesn’t offer them, it is better to find one than to hope to get what you need one day.
3. Chances are there is no legal or human resources department
Small businesses often fail to create legal or human resources departments until they have been established for a while.
This can be useful as it simplifies the number of people in your company, but it also means that there is no one in the company whose only job is to file complaints.
In the legal department especially, keeping a lawyer is expensive but there’s a reason for this: knowing if something you want to do is legal is extremely valuable and difficult to figure out on your own.
It is important to keep in mind that regardless of the work environment you choose, not only will you have to think about where you will be paid the most or have the best benefits, but where your particular personality and skills can be used in the most efficient way.
* Credits to “fazeducacao” website for the cover image