Working for a large company comes with plenty of advantages, but it is not for everyone. Indeed, many start out working for a large corporation or one of the Big 4 accounting firms to take advantage of the benefits early on, and then leave to work at a small business or to open their own accounting firm.
Lots of Perks – Working at a large company often comes with plenty of benefits beyond a generous salary. There may be free tickets to professional games, opportunities to travel, lots of social functions (happy hour) and possibly more vacation time. Large companies have the budget to treat employees.
Training – Large companies typically have a robust training department that offers in-house training about the industry, the company, and your job. In particular, large accounting firms offer constant webinars to stay abreast of the happenings in the accounting industry. Plus, there’s a good chance your CPA studies will subsidized.
Demographics – At large companies, the chances are excellent that you will develop friendships with people that share your interests. Demographics are particularly advantageous for young people. With the opportunity to work side by side, getting to know your coworkers may set you up for lifelong relationships.
Credibility – A successful stint at a large company looks great on a resume. A positive reference from a supervisor can go even farther in getting your foot in the door at future job opportunities.
Long hours – Accounting firms are infamous for requiring long hours with no overtime pay. If you’re young, this may be the perfect time to “earn your bones.” However, if you have a family for whom you are responsible for getting dinner on the table, this could be a deal breaker.
Rigorous promotion and evaluation structures – Most large companies still adhere to structures that offer promotions only after a certain number of years. In addition, they still force employees to go through the yearly evaluation process, unnecessary for strong performers and demoralizing for average performers. With a structured promotion schedule, it hardly seems necessary.
Office politics – Office politics are a risk at any company, however, at a large company where it is difficult to stand out, aggrandizing and backbiting may be a way of life. It’s difficult to change the culture of such a company, so if you don’t like game-playing be sure you understand the corporate culture before you make a commitment to any company.
Overall, working for a large company can be a huge benefit to your future career, whether you choose to work for a small company after that or go it on your own. The opportunities for training and certification subsidies can be worth a lifetime of career success. While many believe that one is a very small “cog” in a very large machine, large companies usually go out of their way to professionally develop young employees. It is also an unspoken rule that this is how “big business” helps one another, by making the labor pool a developed, trained workforce that can enlarge the economic pie and provide excellent employees for all.
About Sara Huter
Sara Huter has over 15 years experience in the banking and energy industries, and over 10 years as an adjunct professor. Her work has been published for BusinessBee.com, the International Directory of Company Histories, the Encyclopedia of Business Insights: Global, EHow.com, and Examiner.com. Find out more about Sara at her Google+ Profile.