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Corporate Vs. Startup, Which One Is Better?

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  May 07, 2020

Growing up reading success stories of all those technology giants from Silicon Valley, we often hear teenagers said they want to join big names like Google or Apple after graduation. This isn’t impossible if you’re the cream of the crop. 

 

 

While starting your career with bigger companies can provide you with better references in the future, you will limit your chances to get into the job market if you focus only on those big names. Today we’re going to discuss the respective perks of working in multinational corporations (MNCs) and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or startups. 

 

Before we start, do you know what is a startup? 

 

A startup is a young company that is at the beginning of developing. These companies are usually small and are initially financed and operated by the founder or by a handful of co-founders. Besides, the products or services offered by these companies are usually not found elsewhere in the market yet. 

 

In contrast, MNCs are large corporations and typically have facilities or offices in several countries. They are known for being large in its operations and revenue. While SMEs are companies with lesser employees (not exceeding 50 full-time employees) or annual sales turnover not exceeding RM5 million. Although being smaller in size, SMEs are the main force to absorb the university graduates. According to reports, SMEs contribute 36.6% of Malaysia’s GDP in 2016. 

 

Working Culture in MNCs, SMEs, and Startups

 

Working in MNCs

 

Prestige & Reputations

 

Imagine yourself being questioned about your job during Raya. Most uncles aunties have heard of the Big Four although they have very little knowledge about balance sheets. They would look at you differently when the company you’re joining has strong brand recognition. The same things are going the happen when you’re sitting for interviews when you’re heading to the next career move. 

 

 

Global opportunities

 

Joining an MNCs gives you the opportunity to work around the world. Your employer may require you to go for a business visit or even relocate to another country where the organisation has a presence. 


 

 

Mastering your own trade

 

You are more likely to get the chance to specialise in your area of work in a bigger company as job scopes tend to be quite fixed in comparison to those in smaller companies where employees are often expected to perform cross-functional tasks. 

 

Training and upskilling opportunities 

 

Bigger companies tend to organise more training and courses for employees to advance their skillsets. If you are someone who enjoys learning and listening to lectures, corporates may be an attractive option for you. 

 

Working in SMEs

 

Exposure

 

Unlike in MNCs, your job scope will never be fixed in almost any SMEs. This is due to the lower headcount in SMEs. Your boss would generally expect you to wear multiple hats and sometimes to take on cross-departmental tasks. This means that you are getting more opportunities to cultivate different skills. 

 

Career progression

 

In a smaller company, your competency and achievements are quickly and easily recognised by your employer. For this reason, it is easier to rise through the ranks in a comparatively shorter period of time. Graduate employees in SMEs are also likely to receive early responsibilities at the start of their careers. These are good opportunities to learn on the job and be exposed to more challenging tasks. 

 

Team spirit

 

Because of the smaller structure, most team members in SMEs are not competitors of one another. Instead, they are required to collaborate with each other very often and to assist one another with inter-departmental tasks. Those who are longing to be a part of a close-knit team should really pay more attention to job openings from SMEs. 

 

Working in Startups

 

Innovation

 

There are often no SOP or specific ways to do things in a startup. Things are changing rapidly, therefore you need to constantly innovate the ways of selling, promoting, or developing the product/service. This makes start-up attractive to creative young minds and those who appreciate a dynamic workplace. 

 

Flexibility

 

Your startup boss is less likely to penalise you for clocking in late or for wearing sandals to work. However, as some clients might be based on different timezones, you may need to be standby at odd hours. 

 

Independence

 

In startups, since the operation is very lean, most people are busy with their own responsibilities, you will less likely to be micro-managed. You will be entrusted and can take charge of steering your own progress. 

 

Which Should I Go For? 

 

There are no absolute pros or cons to working in any company. As an intern or a fresh graduate, the most important thing is to be open-minded and to be eager to learn. Try not to be sceptical and allow yourself to meet more companies to feel the atmosphere of each company by yourself. 

 

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