A college degree means doors to a good career that may have once been closed are now about to open for you. But what door should be the one you choose? Many recent college graduates feel like they are on a game show and are not sure which door the prize is behind. Some grads choose the big corporation while others prefer the nimble startup. People with work experience know that the right work environment is almost as important as the size of the paycheck.
Some employees like the excitement and fast pace of working at a startup where anything can happen on a given day, and you are noticed more for your contributions. Others prefer working for a large corporation where career moves happen through more defined paths. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of working at a start-up and a large corporation.
Jobs for college graduates – working at a startup
Startups are a young man’s game, and for good reason. Start ups are characterized by long hours, high risk/high reward, fast paced, free flowing environments, and creativity. If you choose to work at a small start up the employee demographic is somewhere between 22-35.
Start-ups are great for individuals who do not have a lot of other commitments such as family. The hours often vary and are long. That means burning the midnight oil as well as working on the weekends. This may not be the ideal situation for the family man or woman.
Start ups are not the most secure companies. They have a high degree of failure. It also depends on what phase they are in the start up process. If a company just got a huge round of venture capital funding then the risk will not be as great as other start ups. Start ups are appealing to many because of handsome stock options that may be available. This is not as prevalent like it was in the late 1990’s, but there are still start ups that offer great stock options.
Jobs for college graduates – working at the corporation
Corporations offer stability. There is a stereotype that corporations inhibit creativity and entrepreneurism, but it all depends on the corporation you work for. Some large corporations have very creative and innovative business models and cultures. Due to the sheer size of the large corporation you may feel like a rat in a maze sometimes or a cog in the machine, but knowing you have a steady paycheck and great benefits brings a lot of peace of mind.
The corporate environment offers a wide mix of ages. There are bound to be people you get along with and others you don’t. That is certainly not something that is limited to just the corporate environment though. Also, working at a corporation you can count on plenty of paid holidays and time off. This is often an important benefit for people who have other priorities in life such as family.
No path is better than the other one – they are just different. Making the right choice depends on what is best for you.