So you have just stepped out of college. Undoubtedly, you might be surrounded by a thick air of doubt when it comes to making career options. Think about it this way – there is confusion only where there are choices. Having soaked in some optimism be prepared to learn the outcome of making a choice.

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Thinking about joining the small guy (read: a start-up or a small firm)? You’ll have to face certain opportunity costs of making that decision. Similarly, if you are adamant on landing a job with the big fish, the threats come as a side dish to the main course. Careerbuilder brings you some fodder for the brain to ponder upon, before making the final call.

BEING WITH THE BIG FISH

First things first, the big fishes are the most sought after by the majority. You might be working with a small firm, but somewhere deep down you always aspire to swim with the big fish. The sheer size of the fish is overwhelming. Though the attraction of being with an international firm or a big fish might be blinding, it’s better to know the advantages and disadvantages of being with one.

The Good
1. Working with a big firm means that you won’t have to prove yourself to anyone. A tag or a brand name that shows up on your resume is sufficient to highlight that you are successful. That’s the charm of a big fish – You get noticed without making much effort.

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2. You learn to work with a team. And yes that’s important. The entire team celebrates the wins and suffers the blows. Team work also teaches to become more agile and think from a broader perspective.

The Bad

1. Your individual efforts get lost or remain hidden because you are working in a team. Moreover, you struggle to create a name for yourself in the company. Too much competition, we’d say.

2. Office politics may add up to the stress. In a big organization, rumours and politics are omnipresent. You might not be your bosses favourite and can therefore suffer set-backs in terms of growth.

BEING WITH THE SMALL FISH

Now, while start-ups might not seem to be an impressive choice for making a career, they offer a completely different set of pros and cons. They might not lure you into running after them when you are looking for a job, but they make sure that they provide you enough to make the foundations of your career path stronger.

The Good

1. Learning never stops. In small organizations and start-ups, there is enough scope for growth. If you are looking forward to resume a lot of responsibility and emerge as self-sufficient, being with the small fish is the right thing to do. In big organizations, roles are delegated; therefore, you might not get the chance to be all and do all.

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2. You get noticed for your work. Small firms are very particular about noticing and acknowledging the efforts of their employees. That’s how motivation works in the school of small fish. While recognition might not be always monetary, you will never feel short of admiration and esteem.

The Bad

1. Too much work is an obvious con. Since, you will be required to put in the work of two or may be even three people, often you will find yourself feeling exhausted and frustrated. If you are not willing to give in 300% of your effort, small fish is not a good choice for you.

2. Stagnation is a long-term risk. While you will never find yourself complaining about learning and development in the short-term, spending any more than three years with a small fish will catch you feeling stagnated in your career.

Which company do you prefer?  Big or small?

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