I will be graduating in May and wanted to know your thoughts about working for a big, established company versus a startup, or for one of the exciting newer companies that have a huge growth trajectory. What’s the better start for my career?
Don’t ask me! Well, I mean you can — and did — but that’s like asking should I have fish, steak or mixed veggies for dinner? Depends on your appetite.
Small startups can be fun and entrepreneurial, where you can roll up your sleeves and wear many different hats. Some grow up to be as big as Amazon and Google, but most never grow up at all. Later stage startups that aren’t mature but are big can seem exciting, such as Uber, which is going to IPO with a valuation of more than $100 billion. (That’s with a B, making them larger than 90 percent of the big name, highly profitable mature firms of the S&P 500, even though they lose billions of dollars a year.)
Mature established companies are being disrupted all of the time. Some make it and grow — think Disney. Wow, what a company. Some are not too big to fail. That’s a long list, too.
So, there’s no right or wrong, better or worse. Just get started in something that interests you, with people you like, and gain experience. Use that experience to navigate your career going forward and you will no longer have to overthink which is the right path for you.
Gregory Giangrande is a chief human resources and communications officer in the media industry. E-mail your career questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande. His Go to Greg podcast series is available online.