What are the pros and cons of working for a larger organization?

What are the pros and cons of working for a larger organization?

What are the pros and cons of working for a larger organization?

Hi, I’m Janet Granger, answering the question: “What are the pros and the cons of working for a large company versus a small company?”

People have also asked what’s the difference between working at a corporation versus an agency – and I’ll answer that separately. Let’s talk about large and small now – because no matter what type of organization you’re working with, a lot of these still apply. 

I’m going to start with a larger organization – the pros and the cons. 

The pros of working for a larger organization are: first of all, you learn a lot. These companies have typically been around for a while – even if a while is just 10 to 20 years – but they have figured a few things out. 

  • They’ve got some processes in place. 
  • They often have budgets, or bigger budgets than smaller companies. 
  • They’ve got money that’s set aside for marketing. 

It’s a really good way for you to see how things are done, how they do things – it may not be “the right way” but it’s how they do things. How it’s worked for them – or what they’ve put into place. 

It’s really exciting, if you’re working for a brand name, to be a part of that. And it includes things like: 

  • the software packages they use 
  • how they look at data and analytics
  • and that also includes the people 

You’ll make some really good connections. It can be overwhelming, at first, because a lot of times there are internal acronyms – and you may not understand what they’re saying, at first. But in a month or so you’ll catch on. And it can be really exciting and fun, especially at the very beginning. 

Another pro is there’s usually a diversity of marketing roles – a lot of different types of marketing – and you can see all those different things, and what they do. You can get a sense of whether or not this is what I want to do. Maybe I’d like to do that instead. There’s lots of different jobs and roles – you may not have even known they existed. 

One of my favorites is something called “internal communication.” If you’re a bigger company, it’s a pain point for them, internally, to have all of their employees (if there are hundreds or thousands of them) to understand exactly what’s going on within the company. Where, when,  how, what’s new this month. Maybe changing senior leader roles, etc. Internal communications is a job so that gives you a sense of what’s different about working in a much larger organization. 

The other thing that’s great about working for a larger organization – especially one that’s got a good brand name – is helps your reputation. Having that brand on your resume, or your LinkedIn profile, will always serve you well. That’s been the case for me, in terms of the large organization that I’ve worked for,  be it Nielsen or Pitney Bowes or Save the Children. 

People know those brand names, so they can understand where I’ve come from, what I’ve done. So you can see there are a lot of pros to working with the larger organization. 

There are also cons to working in a larger organization.  

First, it’s a “big boat” – think of it like a big ship – and the bigger the organization, the bigger the ship. And it’s hard for them to move quickly. They’re not agile. It takes a while to move a big ship and it’s the same way with a big company. 

People may say that it’s very fast paced and quick moving. Yes, there may be a lot of responsibilities, and you may have a lot of tasks to do. But in terms of really “getting things done” – things have to go further up the management chain – and the further up the chain they go, the more input you’ll get, that comes back down. 

And if you don’t like how things are being done – and they’re done a certain way – it can be frustrating, especially if you’re in an entry-level role or a lower level role, where you have no control over “how we do things here.” You have to do things “the way they do things.” 

The second “con” is the pace. You may have a lot of things on your plate that you’re supposed to do – but processes are in place to make things move less quickly. 

My big “aha” moment came when I got to a big company – after I’d been working for a smaller company – where there were a couple of hundred people, as opposed to thousands of people. When I got there, and I was being shown around very early on, in the first couple of weeks, I ran into somebody in the hall and I said, “Oh, I’ve been wanting to meet you! Can we talk about how I can do X,Y,Z?” 

Where, in the past, I had been used to being able to solve this problem in what we call “a hallway conversation,” the person I was talking to said to me “Sure! Look at my calendar and let’s set something up for the next week or two.” 

I went away thinking: okay, things are going to take longer here to get done. So the pace of movement is a little slower in a bigger organization. 

Finally, because it’s a big organization, you play a very small part – especially if you’re in a lower or an entry-level position. If you’re not yet a big player, it can be hard to feel that you’re really making a difference. You’re one of a cog of many, many wheels. And, as I said, the higher up you go, the more impact you can have. But sometimes, it’s frustrating, at a very large company, to see the impact that you’re having. Especially if there’s a slower pace and it takes longer for things to happen. 

I’m Janet Granger, sharing the pros and cons of working at a larger organization. 

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