Explore Your Ideal Company Size

Choosing where to work can feel like picking between different adventure paths. Each company size—small, medium, or large—offers its own set of experiences. Let’s dive into what it’s like to work in each type of company and what pros and cons come with it.

Small Companies: The Close-Knit Community

Small companies are like tight-knit families, where every member plays a pivotal role in shaping the organization’s success. This company size has fewer employees, so individuals frequently wear multiple hats, fostering a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose. An employee at a boutique company may love being involved in every aspect of a project and forging close relationships with her colleagues, likening the workplace to a second family.


  • Learning Playground: Small businesses provide fertile ground for learning. At small companies with fewer employees, you’ll have the chance to dive into various aspects of the business, gaining invaluable experience along the way. Employees wear multiple hats, allowing them to gain diverse skills and experiences beyond their job descriptions.
  • Hierarchy Hacks: Unlike larger corporations, small companies often lack rigid hierarchy This means that less experienced workers have more access to seasoned employees.
  • Shine in the Spotlight: In a small business, your ideas can turn into reality quickly, and you (and others) can see the difference you make. Since decision-making is decentralized, everyone has the opportunity to contribute ideas and shape the company’s direction. Your efforts are likely to be noticed and appreciated.
  • Flexibility and Agility: Small companies are typically more agile, enabling quick decision-making and adaptability to changing market conditions.


  • Burnout Boulevard: Budgets might be tight, and you might have to do more with less. Many employees will have to wear different hats and take on responsibilities outside their job description.
  • Career Growth Constraints: While small businesses offer ample learning opportunities, advancement paths may be less defined. Not only will there be fewer opportunities for promotions there will also be fewer specialized roles.
  • Stability Stumbles:  While small businesses offer exciting opportunities, they can also be prone to fluctuations. Economic downturns, changes in market conditions, or unexpected challenges can create uncertainty for employees.
  • Crossing Work-Life Boundaries: The close-knit culture may blur the lines between work and personal life, leading to a lack of privacy and increased gossip.

Medium-Scale Companies: Finding Balance

Medium-sized companies strike a balance between the intimacy of small firms and the structure of large corporations. Someone who works at a mid-sized firm might enjoy a dynamic atmosphere that combines the agility of a startup with the resources of a larger organization. They are likely to find a collaborative culture that encourages innovation while providing a safety net of established processes. This company size offers a blend of stability, growth opportunities, and a supportive work environment.


  • Adaptive Work Culture: Medium-sized companies may have more established processes but they maintain a degree of flexibility, allowing employees to innovate and adapt to changing circumstances. There’s a good mix of rules and freedom to try new things.
  • Richer in Resources: You’ll likely have access to better tools and benefits like employee development programs, more advanced technology, and other resources that enhance the employee experience.
  • Many Career Trajectories: In medium-sized companies, there are more career paths to explore without dealing with the rigid hierarchy of larger companies. Whether you’re interested in climbing the corporate ladder or transitioning into a new role, you’re likely to find opportunities for growth and advancement.
  • Established Culture: Medium companies often have a defined company culture, giving employees a sense of belonging and processes.


  • Specialization Shortfall:  While medium-sized companies offer more resources than small businesses, they may lack the specialized roles found in larger organizations. This could limit your ability to develop expertise in a particular area.
  • Competitive Landscape: Medium-sized companies must compete with both smaller startups and larger corporations, placing pressure on employees to perform at a high level. This competitive environment can be demanding and may require employees to continuously innovate and adapt.
  • Crowded Arena: In a larger talent pool, employees may face stiffer competition for recognition and advancement opportunities.
  • Growth Pains: As medium-sized companies scale up, they may encounter growing pains such as organizational restructuring or shifting priorities. That may cause workers to be overburdened with tasks or to lack direction on roles and responsibilities.

Large Companies: Navigating the Giant

Large corporations command vast resources, global reach, and established brand identities. They offer stability, extensive benefits, and opportunities for specialization within diverse departments. One of our employees recounts a story of a colleague who left a start-up for a large company because they were seeking stability and high-quality benefits for themselves and their family.


  • Resources Abound: You’ll have access to top-notch training, state-of-the-art technology and tools. Established processes facilitate large-scale projects and innovation making it easier for employees to succeed.
  • Stability & Benefits: With strength in size and market share, larger companies offer employees more stability and peace of mind about their job security. These positions often also come with generous benefits packages and perks that make them even more appealing.
  • Room for Growth: With their expansive organizational structures, large companies offer numerous career paths for ambitious employees. That includes moving laterally to different positions or departments. Additionally, the ability to network is increased not just with a larger number of colleagues but with outside vendors, contractors, and more.
  • Name Recognition: Depending on the company’s history, its brand could add a lot of heft to a resume. Some companies are known for their hiring, training and talent, and that can help open doors in the future.


  • Bureaucratic Blockades: Some people might chafe at feeling boxed in at a larger company. Status structures and processes may hinder agility and innovation, leading to slow decision-making. Employees who want to act creatively and with flexibility may find this frustrating.
  • Invisible Contributions: Individual contributions may be overshadowed by the sheer size of the organization, making it challenging to stand out. Employees may struggle to see the direct impact of their work, leading to feelings of detachment or disillusionment.
  • Work-Life Balance: The demands of corporate roles, coupled with high expectations for performance, can sometimes lead to a blurred boundary between work and personal life and require long hours.
  • A Web of Office Politics: Navigating the intricate web of office politics can be challenging in a large organization. Moving forward requires relationships and visibility, and that may require strategic networking and diplomacy skills.

As you weigh your options and consider your career trajectory, it’s essential to understand the nuances of working in small, medium, and large organizations. Regardless of whether you choose big or small, there is no guarantee your experience will be the same from one company to the next. Each company has its individual perks and pitfalls.

One of our staff members worked at a company with 15 employees. They ended up taking on more work than what was in their original job responsibilities. This led to burnout and ultimately a decision to leave. The same person has also worked at another small company where their boundaries were constantly respected. In this role, they felt valued without being expected to take on more.

Finding the right fit requires careful consideration of your goals, preferences, and values. Remember to do your research, ask questions, and trust your instincts as you embark on this journey of self-discovery and professional growth.

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