Pros and Cons About Working for a Small Company Vs. Corporate America

Updated on March 13, 2008
S.C. asks from Norwalk, CT
8 answers

I currently am working for a large insurance company but after so many years noticed that they are just not family friendly. So, I have decided to start looking around to see what is out there. I have sent my resume and have received a few call backs already. I am interested in this small irrigation company `10 minutes from home. I already do 45 min. commute day and evening. But, I wanted some input from someone else beside the HUSBAND who already said NO - because he doesn't feel comfortable w/ me working by myself and the 2 MALE owners. Who are in and out all day anyway... What are the pros and cons in working for a small company vs. a large company. Has anyone made that transition??? Your comments are welcomed. PS. I have already started a little business to work from home doing secretarial things for small business (landscaping, flowershops,etc.) I just havent gone through with this because I don't have time so lets just say it hasn't taken off yet. So what do you think?

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answers from New York on

Hi, S.!

I have worked for big companies before and one was fantastic! They were very family friendly. Unfortunately, there was a merger and most of us were laid off. I am now working for a small subsidiary of a larger company in France. Our US office only has three employees. That's because they laid off 3 people at the end of last year because we weren't being profitable.

When I started there two years ago, there were 4 of us. A few months after I started, our then VP decided everyone was going to work 8-5 instead of 9-5. He promised us health care benefits but we were there for a year before they were provided. We don't know if we have any maternity leave. We may have a unique situation since our headquarters is in France, but the HR department rarely answers our inquiries. We do have 10 vacation days and 5 sick/personal days per year. That's all that we are sure of! Our schedule of holidays for the year has never been approved. It's been very difficult going from a nice, big company where policies and procedures are in place to this small company that is struggling to survive. We were told we would not be getting a raise or a bonus this year because our company did poorly last year, and we are extremely overworked. I am close to home (less than 2 miles) and I can go home for lunch, which is very nice.

My advice to you would be to investigate right away what the medical benefits are if you need them. Make sure everything sounds right to you before you make the move.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I think a lot of it depends upon a lot of factors and what is important to you. A large corporation offers more diversity of coworkers, bosses, and even jobs. A large corporation offers the potential for advancement. Labor laws vary for large vs small co's i.e. Family leave. Small companies tend to be more personal. If you don't care for someone, you're pretty much stuck. Generally, you're not going to be promoted very far. You might want to jot down an old fashioned pro and con list for each and weigh it out that way.
Good luck. Change, even positive change is stressful!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albany on

I currently work for a small information technology company and it has proven to be the best decision I've ever made. There are only 11 of us in the building/company, so it makes things a lot easier when I have to leave for a family sick, doc's appointments, weather related issues, etc. If I am home for a reason, I still remote into my work computer and get things done via phone and e-mail, so I'm never far away when they need me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I work for a huge company and I love it. I had a friend that worked for a small family owned place which was interesting to say the least. Every time something came up the owners didn't know what to do because 'that situation has never come up before.' Since she was the only one doing her specific job it was difficult for her to leave when her kids were ill. Scheduling for half days when school let out early was also terrible.

I agree with the list of pros and cons idea.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Syracuse on

I have also worked for both and prefer the small business. You want to make sure you check out the dynamics first. Possibly talk with others who work there to see. I agree the politics could be rough in a smaller office, but you could also inherite a 2nd family.

Your husbands concerns are vaild, it doesnt hurt to interview and check them out. Talk to your husband about his concerns. I worked in a small office with 3 men, no problems and they were gone alot also, I locked the door when they were gone,(it was actually "manditory") and they used a key to get in.

Family time was not an issue with the small business as it was family run and they were with the mindset "family first" even if they had to answer the phone.

Not all small business are the same, again, do your do dilligence and check them out. Best of Luck whatever you decide!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

S. ~

My situation: I went from a Corp job to a little non-profit office <close to home, better hours yayaya>. NEVER EVER in my life will I ever work in a ‘small’ / ‘family’ :<whatever you want to call it> – Business again.
Politics in a large company are one thing, when you get into a small environment it is TOTALLY chaos. THAT however is me, YOU need to decide what is best for YOU.
YES, do the pro/con list. Make sure to give enough weight to your HUSBANDS issues. ALSO keep your options open, if in three months you decide to ‘move on’. Do so, so many people 'just stay'- BE H.!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

It all depends on YOU. What works for you? There are a million large companies that stink and you are just a robot in the assembly line, that is easily replaceable and there are another million large companies that are fabulous, family friendly, have child care, etc. The same can be said for small companies. Some are just better than others. It is up to you to explore these options and if you don't like what you see, move on. If your hubby isn't thrilled with the surroundings on the job you are interested in, take that into consideration and weigh your options. I have worked for both, small and large companies, and frankly, they both have their pros and cons and you have to be the one to decide whether it is a good fit or not. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I have my own home based business and I love it! I think both a corporation and a small family business stink to work for! With this there are no politics, bosses, layoffs, or BS in plain english. I work 10-12 hrs a week and work them into my own schedule. I got into the company 6 months ago and has been great ever since. The $ is great and the job security connot be found anywhere else. Call me if you would like more info ###-###-####.