3 Reasons You Should Start Your Career In Big Corporate
Deciding where to get a career started is a significant decision. Research currently shows that millennials are most likely to prefer a flexible career path or something at a smaller company. In my opinion millennials, or anyone else looking to get a career started or shift directions, can get a great foundation in a corporate environment. Sure, there are a whole list of cons to working for a large company. Sometimes those large privately held corporations get a bad reputation with good reason! But I also think the pros of working for a big company are pretty amazing. I started my career working for a large corporation and wouldn't change a thing. I'm convinced I learned more in the time I spent in the fast-paced corporate world than some people do in an entire career.
Here are three big reasons why working for a corporation isn't so bad:
1. You get access to lots of mentors
When I started my first job at a big company, I was surrounded by a bunch of really smart people that taught me lots, far beyond the technical components of practicing Human Resources. I was fortunate that a lot of these more senior, smart people were women. There are, of course, some extra lessons for women looking to move up the corporate ladder. I was surrounded by women leaders who were interested in my progression and open to teaching. By being around these more experienced folks, I learned about accepted standards of behavior, the importance of managing perceptions and even how to dress. Some of the most valuable lessons I learned in the early days of my career were pretty basic. "It's not what you say, it's how you say it", "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have". Timeless and important advice that a lot of us already know. On top of these basics, mentors helped me understand everything from how to navigate office politics to how to best communicate with the most senior levels of the company. They also helped me understand the importance of networking inside and outside of the organization - and how to do it!
2. Training Dollars
Often large corporations have training budgets and include learning and development as part of performance management. This means free training for you. This is so valuable as you start out your career and can mean hundreds to thousands of dollars in savings for you. Imagine you want to pursue a professional designation, or a Master's Degree to further your education. In a large company, you've probably got access to budget dollars to pursue something like this. To top it off, you'll have access to folks who have already completed similar training to provide support and guidance.
3. Everything after seems like a breeze
Working for a mature private company can be pretty tough. This is especially true if you're looking to progress. The desire to move up often means extra hours, taking on special projects and making a commitment to continuing education. You're essentially competing with everyone else who wants to progress and vying for a pretty limited number of positions. Due to the competitive nature of the corporate environment, performance is really important and work often becomes all about impressing more senior folks with influence over your future placement internally. It's really complicated with lots of relationships and perceptions to manage. Because most folks are always bringing their A game, you have to do the same. Being high performing in a competitive environment is rewarding but it can also be pretty tiring. When I went from large corporate to a smaller organization, my standards seemed very high because my frame of reference was large corporate.
Whatever you decide, you have to do what's best for you and your family. But don't rule out big corporate right away. It's not all bad and there are some definite perks that might help you advance your career. Who knows, you might even like it!
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I'm on a mission to help ambitious professionals reclaim control over their careers through times of transition. I'd love to hear from you. What can I help you with? Find me on social, send me a message and I'll consider your idea for a future post.