Startup Vs. Corporate Culture: Which is Right For You?

Not so long ago, the thought of working for a large, established corporation with its steady pay and job security was all a working professional could…

Startup culture reflected in a company meeting

Not so long ago, the thought of working for a large, established corporation with its steady pay and job security was all a working professional could ask for. While that may still be the case for many, the exploding startup scene and its unique approach to workplace culture has altered the way young professionals view the job market. Both certainly have their merits, but it’s worth comparing the two to decide which best suits your personality and work style. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the key differences between startup and corporate culture so that you can determine which is the best fit for you.

Startup Culture

Widely known for their laidback atmosphere and generous employee perks, new startups are popping up around the world at an unprecedented rate. Between 2018 and 2019, 672,890 startups launched in the UK alone. Put another way, that’s a rate of 76.8 new businesses founded per hour. This number may have dipped slightly during the 2020 pandemic, but all signs points to record breaking numbers for 2021 and beyond. If the following factors appeal to you, a startup could be the perfect atmosphere for your next job.

You’re the Jack of All Trades Type

Startups are built around small teams and impossibly scrappy work ethics. In order to stay ahead of the curve and respond to rapidly changing market demands, it’s not uncommon to find your responsibilities shifting at a moment’s notice. Undoubtedly one of the most challenging aspects of startup culture, it’s also what many find so appealing. It’s an exciting and ever-changing environment to work in, and you’re likely to pick up many new skills as a result of it.

You Value Your Independence in the Workplace

For those drawn to startup culture, one of the biggest perks of the job is the high level of autonomy granted to you. Of course there are still goals to be hit and objectives to be met, but generally speaking, how you arrive at those endpoints is open to interpretation. With an emphasis on finding creative solutions and the flexibility to work how you work best, it tends to be a great fit for those who struggle with rigid guidelines.

You Truly Believe in the Company/Service You Are Supporting

In spite of their many perks, startup roles aren’t all fun and games. As your company hustles to gain a foothold in the market, you’ll need to go above and beyond to help it do so. Until some level of secure establishment is reached, tight budgets and long hours are the norm. Even then, nothing is guaranteed. Despite best efforts, 90% of startups ultimately fail to find success.

Simply put, startup roles should be viewed as investment opportunities. You are investing your time in an unproven venture and giving up a potentially larger salary for a similar role in a bigger company. So why choose this over a corporate job? Because you believe in the company both morally and in their ability to grow. If how the company operates is in line with your passions and you are confident that there is a market demand for their service, the investment could very well be worth the initial drawbacks.

Corporate Culture

The 800-pound gorilla of the business world, corporations are the pinnacle of successful companies. Backed by proven results, corporations often stick to their established methods of doing things. As a result, corporate employees can rely on consistency in the workplace with few surprises. Those who prefer the following factors may feel more at home in a corporate working culture.

You Value a Structured Approach to Work

If the thought of startup culture’s ever-changing responsibilities makes you uneasy, corporate jobs can provide some much needed structure. Roles in large corporations tend to have clearly defined responsibilities and schedules. Barring the occasional surprise, you can head into each day with the comfort of knowing exactly what to expect. You’ll also likely have access to much better resources when it comes to support documents and standard operating procedures for your role.

Financial Stability is Your Top Priority

Unless you are extremely fortunate, your corporate job most likely won’t align with your passions. That being said, there is no shame in choosing a job based solely on its compensation package. A smaller startup company may support a cause you believe in, but not everyone can afford to gamble on an opportunity with a 90% failure rate. If you’d rather not take chances with your financial future, a corporate role is the safe choice for long-term stability.

Find Your Culture Fit

No matter whether the startup or corporate culture appeals to you more, our recruitment specialists can help find your next career. Get in touch with us today to learn about the opportunities we have available.

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