Multinational or start-up?
Only you can decide!
Which company should you pick? Big or small? Multinational or start-up? A never-ending discussion. But only you can decide. Based on your needs. Your personality. Your future plans.
So take a good look in the mirror. Start with some personal reflection. List your job requirements. Put them next to the characteristics of these companies. To save you some time, we listed the biggest differences below. No judgment from our side, just FYI.
The organisational structure
Big or small. It can’t be organized the same way, right? Correct! In a multinational everything is a tad more complex. We’re talking about big companies with clear structures, processes and levels of hierarchy. With support services (HR, IT, finance, …) on which you can fall back when needed. The perfect place for young talents that want to start their career within a support system. Afraid of resistance to change? It’s a challenge, yes. But many multinationals changed their way of working to solve this issue. Agile probably sounds familiar. 😉
Start-ups have way less employees. And thus, less complex processes and structures. Fast communication and close contact with the decision makers are part of the deal. This asks for autonomy and flexibility. For some young talents even a tad too much. HR, finance, IT? Probably part of your role too. Time to become best friends with Google! Are you ready to swim directly?
Yes, you’ll develop in both. But in different ways! In a multinational, you’ll learn a lot on the job. But it offers plenty of other opportunities to develop yourself. With databases full of trainings. Smart colleagues that share experiences. Good and bad examples for sure 😉 But you can take your time to get started, to form your own way of managing and doing business. You’ll grow into an expert in no time! Or stay a generalist, if you prefer to. And your development never stops, since internal mobility is always an option!
In a start-up, learning mostly happens by doing. You have to jump right in. Bit like a crash course. Where you’ll learn fast. On technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, … The perfect development track for initiators. In and probably outside your role. Which makes an expert role less evident.
Obviously, you’ll have more colleagues in a multinational. And the relationship with them will be different. Again, up to you to decide what you prefer.
Looking for a multicultural environment? A multinational is your place to be! You’ll meet tons of people with different backgrounds. In and outside Belgium. Who knows… You might even have to travel. Your languages and international network will get a boost. That’s for sure.
A small and close team? Definitely possible to be close with your team members in a multinational. In start-ups this connection will go broader. You’ll know every single one in the company. And probably work together with all of them too. With informal moments to connect even more. BFF’s as they say.
You can have impact in both, but mostly the speed and visibility are different. In a multinational, you’ll have to pass multiple procedures and managers to innovate things. Most of the times, it will be slower, but the budget and support system will be in place to launch it. And the bigger the market share, the bigger the impact in the end.
In a start-up innovation is part of your job. New ideas get launched quicker, and impact might be seen sooner. But time, budget and clients often are an issue. As a new company, they can only hope the target group will respond positively. Disappointments are part of the deal…
Time to add these things to your pro’s and con’s list. And remember, only you can decide based on good reflection. And don’t make it that heavy. Whatever you choose, you can switch afterwards if you don’t fit in after all. And remember, there are programs built to discover it yourself. Traineeships for example!