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Should I work for a start-up or a corporate?

Start-up vs corporate

All of us have considered at some point in our career - should I work for a startup / small business or for a corporate (large business)?

Let's take a look at the positives and negatives of each, to help you consider your options!

Corporates / Large Businesses

✅ Having a ‘big name’ on your CV is often a game changer for your career

✅ Higher salaries

✅ Can have a clearer structure and progression path

✅ Opportunities to work in different locations for the same company

✅ Budget for pension contributions, benefits, support, training etc.

✅ Stability in job role and security of the business… in theory!


❌ Can feel like you are small cog in the system

❌ Change is harder to instigate or influence

❌ Structure can mean you wait longer for pay rises and promotions

❌ Clearer division of responsibilities, which can hold back self-starters

❌ Sometimes the quality of your senior relationships is more important than the quality of your work

Startup / Small Business

✅ Can be fast-paced, vibrant environments

✅ Attracts ‘self-starters’, resulting in fast progress

✅ Opportunities to grow your skills quickly with a more diverse role

✅ Be a more significant part of the business being able to influence decision making

✅ You can benefit from being at a fast growing business, get promotions and job titles that you would not get at a corporate


❌ Lower salaries

❌ Less budget for pensions, benefits, training etc.

❌ Role may be so varied that you don’t specialise, which is a problem to those who prefer structure

❌ Less stability and security compared to established corporate firms

Are we right with these statements?

When have you considered which option is best for you, and what did you decide to do?


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