3 reasons why working in a big company is a must before switching to a startup
As a person who experienced both the startup and corporate fronts I believe that all people can be divided into two groups: those who were made for working in a creative cosy chaos and people who weren’t and value stability and structure more. To understand which type are you, in my opinion you must first experience the corporate side, and not the other way round. Here’s why:
1. You’re not scared of anything
Any company goes through change every X years and the bigger a company is – the tougher it is to manage change. I’ve come through significant changes in a couple of companies and I must say it was really hard. There was a complete makeover of the entire operational model, my role changed several times in a few months and all the processes were constantly changing. I felt like balancing over the abyss, because there was no “normal” state you could get back to, every day it was like learning from the beginning. But I must say that was the moment in my life when I learned the most. This period gave me a good lesson that growth brings chaos and it affects everyone, but you can control it by planning your communication thoroughly and establishing new processes.
-> In smaller companies a lot of things are based on personal relationship and when you reach the stage when there are no processes and personal relationship are not enough to regulate chaos, you might feel extremely frustrated if you haven’t experienced that on a larger scale.
2. You know where you want to land
Every businessman wants to succeed and to grow their business. If you are in the right place and your company is going to become the next Google it’s not going to happen only because of luck. Even though your business proposition might be super innovative and unique, most likely your company processes and problems aren’t very different from what other companies have experienced. Then why would you try to reinvent the wheel? Experience of working in a bigger company will help you understand how to scale processes, how every function in a company must evolve on the next stage and what are the challenges of a bigger company you have to be prepared to.
-> Of course you can always hire an advisor you knows how it works, but it’s always better to have the captain who knows how to survive a thunderstorm on his own.
3. You value creative chaos more
One of the biggest challenges of working in bigger companies is the rule of processes and bureaucracy and the lack of creativity. When there are many people in a company it’s hard to control the direction of its development if everyone is free to do whatever they want. Limited creativity is unfortunately one of the fees for growth and increase in revenues. Bigger companies give you more expertise (there are much more people doing similar job, you have more knowledge exchange), you have instructions what to do in case of any problem and you get the feeling of stability. Some people love it, but if you value creativity more than stability, then working in a bigger company will teach you a good lesson.
-> After that, working for a startup or starting your own business feels like a breath of fresh air. You feel limitless and think you can touch the sky. But you can only really appreciate it when you experienced both sides and it’s a rational choice of yours. Creative unstructured chaos is not for everyone and you have to experience a very well structured processes culture before you try to restrain the chaos on your own.