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Does size matter? The pros and cons of working for a big company or a small firm

Written by Nuskha Semaun on 17 January 2023 for Graduates

What’s better: working for a big company or a small firm? The truth is, there is no right answer to that question. It’s all about your personality and what works best for you. Below we give you the (dis)advantages of both, so you can make up your own mind about which type of company suits you best.

But first, did you know that Exellys – a small(er) company – has many big companies as clients? Which means that as an Exellyst, you’ll experience the best of both worlds: the family and community feeling of a small company and the career possibilities at a big one to mention just two of the advantages.

Advantages of choosing a big company

  • At a large company, there are usually more opportunities to grow.
    • Larger companies tend to have a higher turnover rate, meaning new positions become available more often.
    • It’s also easier to create a new job at large company.
    • You can climb your way up the corporate ladder or move horizontally if you choose to.
    • There might even be opportunities to relocate to another country.
  • At a large company, you’ll get the chance to specialize and develop a deeper, more specific expertise
  • A large company has more resources, which means a higher chance of perks, such as on-site daycare, an on-site gym or free gym membership, a company restaurant, a dry-cleaning service, etc.
  • At a large company, you have access to a larger network.
  • At a large company, there are more procedures and stricter rules. If you’re the kind of person that thrives in a structured environment, a large company may be your thing.
  • Large companies tend to be more stable and more likely to survive a dip in the market.



Advantages of choosing a small company

  • Landing a job at a small business is likely to be a much quicker
  • At a small company, you’ll probably know all your colleagues, from the receptionist to the big boss. There’s a more distinct feeling of community and you can forge deeper relationships with your co-workers.
  • At a small company, everyone tends to wear more than one hat. This gives you a wider exposure to job functions and exposes you to a lot of aspects of the business. This way, you’ll learn a range of skills that form a unique combo.
  • For many people, work isn’t just about making money. It’s a way to make a difference. Chances are much higher that you can affect change at a small firm.
  • Creative thinkers will most likely thrive at a small company, where ‘out of the box’ thinking is generally encouraged. Small companies are nimble and more likely to embrace change and even radical ideas.

Disadvantages of choosing a big company

  • In a large company, it can take forever to get things done. There are lots of hoops you have to jump through, corporate structure to respect, policies and procedures to adhere to, etc.
  • The hiring process can take a long time. Due to the complex decision-making process, you might get called in for three, four or even five interviews and tests before you know if you even know if you have the job.
  • When you work in a large company, it’s harder to be noticed. You’ll likely feel like a number, a meaningless cog in a big wheel, only really getting to know the people you work with day in and day out.
  • It’s hard to affect change in a big company or feel like you make a difference.
  • Big companies are usually risk-averse and reluctant toward change. If you’re an out-of-the-box thinker, the restrictions that come with a rigid company structure might be frustrating.
  • While there are endless opportunities for advancement at a big company, there might also be a lot of competition, meaning it might actually be harder to get ahead.



Disadvantages of choosing a small company

  • At a small company, it’s often harder to switch roles. You may not have a clear roadmap of how you can advance your career there or what the next step might be. Wanting to move up or sideways may mean having to leave the company.
  • Small companies can be unstable and less resistant to dips in the market.
  • If you like rules and guidelines, the lack of policies and procedures at a small firm might give you stress.



At Exellys, we go into detail with you about which type of company would be the best fit for your personality, values and ambitions. We take pride in our matching procedure. Check out our Exellys Stories to see how we make our team happy.

About Exellys

Exellys is a Tech Talent Incubator. We match ambitious companies with the finest tech talent. Are you ready to drive the innovations of tomorrow? Ready to make an impact and become a future-fit digital leader?

Whether you are a graduate or (young) professional, Exellys will unlock your full potential by guiding you to a challenging work environment that perfectly matches your personality, expectations and ambitions.

On top of that, you are enrolled in one of our very own training and coaching programs (based on your personal and professional ambition and experience). This means that, while working as an Exellys consultant, we are helping you to bridge your ambition to excellence.

Through intensive training and coaching, you’ll gain the essential skills, competencies and knowledge necessary to become the highly effective professional you aim to be. Become an Exellyst and get in touch with us today!