Individuals working in the information technology (IT) field sometimes find themselves at a crossroads when it comes to deciding which way to go in a job search looking at working at either a larger corporation or choosing the less-traveled road of going with a smaller company. While the choice inevitably comes down to the individual job seeker, there are benefits to working in both kinds of businesses.
While working in a bigger company can offer some substantial perks, there are ways that smaller businesses can attract IT workers. One example is in the area of learning different aspects within the company. In a large corporation, most IT personnel are restricted from simply working in the IT department. In a smaller business, IT personnel might sometimes be called upon to assist in a different area of the company, ranging from helping out as a Customer Service Representative to assisting in overseeing the social media branch of the company.
In a smaller company, there is sometimes a stronger emphasis on workplace culture. While many corporations are quick to point out their workplace culture, the reality is that smaller businesses can have a much more rigidly defined culture in place. This is because larger corporations have to be more inclusive about every aspect of their culture and that can present a somewhat diluted set of guidelines.
For an IT worker looking to advance, it is the small business that offers a greater opportunity. In larger companies, the IT department personnel are not seen with the same amount of frequency as those in a smaller company — especially when it comes to Senior Management. In small companies, there is much greater visibility from the IT staff and that often leads to more rapid advancement within the business.
Forbes reports that one of the perks of working for a smaller company is the level of autonomy given to the IT staff. Larger corporations sometimes have a very strict set of guidelines that employees must follow and small businesses have much more flexibility in what employees are allowed to do. IT staff in small businesses tend to enjoy a higher level of independence.
The IT staff working for small companies are in a position to have important decisions dealt with more quickly. In a larger corporation, any decision tends to have to be run up the chain-of-command. This takes time and when a rapid decision needs to be made, it is usually the small business able to make that happen.
Access to Senior Staff
When it comes to being able to talk to the senior staff of a company, it is the smaller company that has the advantage. In many cases, the IT staff is working side-by-side or in close proximity to upper management. In a larger corporation, however, that isn’t the case. Sometimes, the senior staff members do not even work in the same physical location as the IT staff.
Benefits of Larger Corporations
There are benefits to working for a larger corporation. In some cases, there is a greater sense of job security. While small businesses can sometimes collapse with very little notice, many of the larger corporations have positioned themselves to keep operating. Another area of benefits offered by larger corporations to the IT staff is found in areas such as child care and health insurance. Larger corporations can also spend more money on keeping IT equipment as up-to-date as possible, whereas smaller companies are constrained by budgetary requirements.
At the end of the day, small companies and large corporations have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to their IT departments. Finding the right fit simply comes down to what the individual job seeker places the most emphasis on.