Whether you are just entering the job market or are switching employers, it’s important to realize that there are some significant differences in norms between small and large companies. Being aware of these distinctions is a good idea when deciding what you’d like to do and where you’d like to work.


The job-hunting process is painful, no matter what profession you are in. Getting from the interview process to being hired can be even more so, particularly at large companies. In small companies, it’s easier for decisions to be made quickly because there are fewer hands and hoops to go through. Large companies often require several interviews before determining who to hire.


Either place you work, you will become familiar with a small group of people. In a small company that often means you will be part of the “family” and know every employee, all the way up to the CEO. In large companies, however, the people you see every day usually amount to the team you work with. Since your team will likely be one out of many teams, that means you’re less likely to know people from other departments, floors, or pay scales.


If you’re interested in being a specialist, a large company could be a good fit. Often job responsibilities are less varied at large companies because there are a lot of employees, sometimes with overlapping responsibilities. Smaller companies generally ask that employees take on a more diverse set of tasks because there are fewer people to go around.


It’s easier for large companies to offer more benefits, higher pay, and perks than small companies. This can also mean less flexibility in work hours and environment. Conversely, small companies may work harder to keep better working conditions and happy employees because they know they can’t offer the same perks.


Knowing what you face in either situation is a good thing. If you’re looking to move up the corporate ladder, big business may be the way to go; however, if you’re more interested in joining a close-knit “family,” keep small businesses in mind.