Startups and corporate agencies provide employment opportunities for graduates or anyone looking for a job. But, have you ever wondered which one comes out on top as the best job opportunity for you?
While most job seekers favor corporate companies, some prefer beginning their careers in startups. It comes down to a person’s preference and the opportunity to work in an environment that allows you to grow.
Ultimately, it can be challenging to decide which path to take.
This article examines the differences between working in startups and corporate companies based on various elements, such as benefits, work environment, and employee roles. Then, we will dive into which one suits you best.
What Is a Startup?
A startup is an organization that is in its initial stages of operation. They typically use funds from one or many entrepreneurs who want to meet a specific demand in the market.
Since most startups have limited funds, they often look for capital from different sources, such as venture capitalists.
Ultimately, startups operate the same way other companies function because they have an outlined mission, vision, management, and marketing strategy.
Startup Work Environment
The work environment will likely differ from corporate companies. Here are some variances you could expect when working in a startup.
You Will Feel Valuable
When working in a startup, you can have a chance to make a difference in the company, which will be visible and measurable. Your work will be important, and everyone’s contribution is there to improve the organization.
Your Workplace May Be Different
You can mainly work from 9 to 5 pm, but you may not work in a large upscale office. Unlike corporate companies with good offices, you may work from home, in small offices, or in shared spaces to help save costs.
Your Teammates Will Support You
Most people are helping their careers and looking out for themselves with established corporate companies.
However, in a startup environment, people are more supportive because they work to change the world and make a difference.
Thus, they will be less competitive and cooperative since they are growing together as a team.
Your Future Can Be More Flexible
Your future may be more flexible if you work in a startup since your position in the company can change as the company grows. For instance, you may get a senior role if the organization evolves and increases its workforce since you have more experience.
Ultimately, some people see a challenge for themselves when working in a startup. Others feel motivated as they take the opportunity to grow together with the startup.
Benefits of Startups
There are several benefits of working in a startup. They include:
- You will work as a self-starter. Most startups do not have many employees. As such, you will be solely responsible for making intelligent decisions and being accountable for them. It is motivating and a great opportunity to find out what you want to work with. Most startups operate in a challenging but rewarding and relaxed atmosphere.
- You will grow your skills. Startups are the ideal place to develop your skills because you have the freedom to work the way you want. Furthermore, sometimes your work allows you to gain more skills.
- You have room for innovation. Most startups want to grow fast to establish themselves in the industry. Thus, the employees have the liberty to innovate new things, which will help the business grow.
- You will get leadership opportunities. The main benefit of working in a startup is that you will get leadership opportunities when the company grows. The startup may give you a supervisory role because you have been part of the organization since its inception.
Disadvantages of Startups
In contrast, the disadvantages of startups include:
- The paycheck may be lower. One of the shortcomings can be earning less money. Since these organizations are still aiming for financial stability, salaries may be lower.
- There is less job specialization. Depending on the industry and business, the jobs may be more general, handling many tasks rather than one specific area.
- The workload can be high. You may have a lot of work due to a limited number of employees that can provide support.
What Is a Corporate Company?
A corporation is an institution that acts as a legal entity separate from its proprietors. Such corporations in society include Microsoft, Toyota Motors, and Coca-Cola Corporations.
The Corporate Work Environment
The corporate work environment is drastically different from other business models, like a startup. For example, the stakeholders often own the company and appoint a board of directors to oversee its activities.
There Is More Structure
Thus, a corporation is considered a well-established company with years in the competitive market. It typically has a more formal and structured approach with vast specialized human resources, established company processes, and job safety.
There Is a Corporate Culture in Place
Since most corporations employ a vast workforce, they mostly require strict guidelines, protocols, and procedures that oversee daily operations. As such, a corporate culture determines how the corporation staff and management interact and handle themselves during and after business hours.
The number of business hours, client satisfaction, employment benefits, and office setup often determine the working life in a corporate environment.
Now that you have insight into what corporate means, let’s look at some corporate pros and cons.
Benefits of Corporate
- It offers more job safety and stability. Because of its establishment in the market industry, the corporation does not depend on short-term success. Thus, you can feel safe knowing that your job is secure.
- It provides more specialized roles. In a corporation, you may likely get specific roles with distinctive tasks in the company, offering you a chance to focus on your top skills. You may not be required to complete assignments outside your job description, translating to more productivity and efficient work.
- Get access to mentors in your field of interest. Corporate companies often provide easy access to role models in the industry. Thus, if you are a junior staff member, you can seek mentorship from a higher employee in the company, earning the chance to improve your status.
Disadvantages of Corporates
- It offers a narrow work scope. Although a corporation provides a specialized role, the corporate world may not be ideal if you are innovative and need to indulge in different job functions.
- It can be excessively formal. Compared to startup companies that are more flexible in working hours, dress codes, and business operations, a corporate company is quite traditional.
Difference Between a Startup and a Corporate
Of course, you may wonder about the differences between a startup and a corporation. Therefore, knowing how much they differ is essential to understanding which will suit you best.
Let’s look at some of their differences in detail:
Size of the Company
One big difference between startups and corporations is the size of the companies. For example, startups can start with less than ten employees but grow to a higher number. However, corporations can have hundreds to thousands of workers working in different departments.
A corporation has hundreds of employees working in different departments. Thus, as the staff works hard to improve the company’s performance, their work often goes unnoticed, giving recognition to teams rather than individuals.
However, for startups, every staff member is responsible for their actions. Therefore, they may get recognition from the company’s CEO and colleagues if they do a great job and their value is appreciated.
Another main difference between a startup and a corporation is the working time frame. However, startup companies can be lenient with their operating hours since their worker’s performance is the main factor for their growth and success.
As such, the owners provide their staff with flexible benefits, including remote work, especially helpful for workers with disabilities and expectant mothers.
However, when it comes to corporations, they have standard working hours, mostly 8/9-5 pm schedules. Their working hours are often not as flexible.
There are plenty of perks when working at a corporate company. For instance, they may provide exceptional employee packages with a high corporate salary, food and transportation, pension plans, and compensations such as raises, bonuses, and profit sharing.
These companies mainly use perks to promote teamwork, productivity, efficiency, and staff retention. These elements increase their reputation in the market.
In a startup, the most significant incentives are employee discounts and flexible working hours. Startups can give bonuses and raises, but it may be less frequent. What they often do, is compensate for the same by offering their employees a free-spirited working atmosphere.
A corporate work environment is often different from that of a startup company. For instance, a corporation may have a strict and professional working atmosphere where staff mostly interact during breaks or after work.
On the other hand, a startup work environment constitutes a lively and interactive environment. Here, employees can bond, become creative and collaborate on different tasks ensuring their success.
Some startup companies allow their employees to dress casually as they wish, while the company’s standards may include strict dress codes at corporations.
Where You Will Fit Best
Your characteristics depend on what suits you best between a startup and a corporation. Here are specific skills that determine where you fit.
- Creative. If you are creative, you may fit well in a startup because they will more likely allow you to be innovative.
- Competitive. If you like competition, you will do well in the corporate sector because they hire the best professionals who compete for limited managerial positions.
- Flexible. A startup will suit you if you are flexible and can adapt to various situations.
- Experience. A corporate agency is more likely to look for adequate experience in your field. These agencies mainly hire experienced professionals and pay them well for their services.
Steps Involved When Transitioning from Startup to Corporate
Picture this; you have endured the trials of running your startup and managed to make enough profit to take your company a step further.
Here are a few ways to turn your SME (small-to-medium enterprise) into a better and more successful corporation.
Attract the Right Talent for Your Business
Luckily, most SMEs provide a flexible startup culture. This environment makes it easier for the enterprise to attract many employees from different career fields with various innovative ideas.
As a thriving company, introducing better incentives may help your staff feel more comfortable working there, increasing their productivity. In addition, their varying talents may help drive your company forward.
Have a Valuable Management
Growing a business requires more than one person to make it work. So at this juncture, you may consider looking for valuable stakeholders and become a limited liability company, still overseeing all the business activities so they run smoothly.
Be Part of a Value Chain
Your SME does not need to work alone in the industry. There are a lot of opportunities to learn to be part of a large community by working with other companies in supply chain management.
In addition, these companies may help drive your identity forward by spreading the good word about your company.
It will also help you gain a better customer base, increasing your business growth and profits.
The above steps will likely see your startup transition to a corporation.
The startup vs. corporate debate is a controversial issue if you are looking for a job. You may wonder which sector suits you best based on your career’s current position and what you want for your future.
The work environment will vary in each of these situations. Ultimately, startups are ideal for those looking for job experience and who want to be a part of a growing company. At the same time, corporate agencies are suitable for those looking for a static, regulated job where their previous experience is valued.