Is It Better to Work For A Big Name Or For A Big Salary?Chen Wan Lim
At the start of your career, the priority should be to learn as much as you can and to basically ‘go through the mill’. Depending on the company you start out with, the size of the company, the industry it is in and also the job scope, a small local company (ie. an SME) is often thought to pay lower compared with that of an MNC – this is not always the case. In addition, some opine that MNCs are in a better position to offer more employee benefits such as insurance, allowances and allowable claims. The debate however is, is it better to work for a big name or for a big salary then? Here are a few factors to take into consideration to help with the decision:
1. Career goals
What is your career goal? If you are just starting out, then working in a small company and a big company has its pros and cons. For one, working in a small company allows you to play a larger role in the projects you are in. In a larger company, you might just be working on a small part of a project without being involved in other parts. Therefore, if you are seeking to gain experience by getting involved in a project from start to finish, then a smaller company could allow that privilege.
2. Prestige on your resume
In some vocations such as investment banking, having worked with big international names will definitely add a premium and prestige to your resume. Future employers will value experience in big names more compared with smaller outfits. Big financial institutions also have the ability to pay much more compared with that of its smaller competitors.
3. Job security
In this current economic environment, job security is a priority especially for people with financial commitments and family. There are two schools of thoughts to approach this. The first is to go for the highest paying job regardless of company, industry and prospects – this type of companies are often involved in high risk industries such as oil and gas industry or even start-ups. The second school of thought is to work for larger names which are often thought to be more stable. This includes large government-linked agencies and firms.
For some, having a career is akin to running a marathon where career progression is important. Therefore, working for a big name is better as large corporations have structured learning programmes and career progression structures to help employees achieve the best they can be. Others on the other hand, are not really seeking career progression but rather salary progression instead. This is often seen with job-hoppers where they change jobs often in hopes of getting a higher salary at every jump.
5. Work culture
Some prefer aggressive high performance culture that pays based on results and profits. Others prefer a more laid-back culture where team values are placed above performance alone. Most large established companies have fixed operating procedures to undertake certain tasks, whereas smaller ones are more open and approach situations as they see fit at a given point in time.
In the end of the day, everyone’s goals, aims and aspirations are different. While big names are usually more capable to offer larger salaries, some smaller outfits are equally capable as well. While some smaller outfits are able to offer diverse hand-on work experience, some larger organisations are able to provide structured career progression. As such, when choosing between a big name or a larger salary, do consider all the above mentioned factors to decide which works best for you.