Is it better to work for a large or small company?

Throughout my career, I’ve worked in both. When I worked for a five-staffed company not far from the Antal Baker Street headquarters, I was thrilled to be a part of something small, but developing… until I realised everybody in that said company thought I should know every sordid and awful detail of their lives.

It was like they saw me, a nervous young woman taking her first tentative steps in the corporate world and collectively thought: ‘I must tell her all about my marital issues. She’ll love that’.

Leaving and coming to Antal a few months back was undoubtedly the best move of my fledgling career. My new-found appreciation for larger corporations is best summed up by what I dub the ‘Milk Test’.

‘Do you need to check the expiry date on the milk before you pour it into your coffee?’

Yes?   You work in a small business.

No? You work in a mid-to-large sized business. Someone, somewhere, is making sure it’s in date.

I breathe a sigh of relief that I no longer pour lumpy milk into my coffee whilst wearing an expression of absolute defeat, but still very much appreciate the warmth and sharing spirit of a small company.

Advantages of working in a small business

  1. You learn the business inside-out:

    In small businesses everyone works together to fill each and every gap. This is particularly advantageous to your future career as finding a new skillset or interest is more or less guaranteed. You may have never been in a web-design role before, but you did step up and run the website of your small business. Which is as good as a start as any if you find yourself craving a career change.

  2. Get Noticed:

    It’s easy to get lost in a larger organisation, whereas being in a small business is like being a big fish in a small pond. You share breathing space with everyone in the company so your successes will be noticed. It goes without saying the disadvantage of this. Mess up, and everyone will know.

  3. Flexibility:

    A small business is likely to be accommodating to employees who want to work from home or have more flexible hours.

Advantages of working in a large business


  1. Set job role:

    You have a clearly outlined job and a role in a slickly functioning team. Once you’ve learnt this role inside out you can execute a plan for each day. Your job is also likely to be more stable. With smaller businesses sudden cuts can leave you out in the cold. Working in an established, reputable business means your job is likely to be more secure.

  2. Promotion:

    Unless you enter a small organisation at a relatively high rank you’re essentially trapped in your position until the person above you leaves (and more likely than not they’ve been there for twenty years). Whereas, in a larger business people leave, are promoted and take on different roles all the time. If you want a different position within the company in a few years’ time the option is likely to be available to you.

  3. Better Benefit Packages:

    Larger companies in general are much more likely to provide benefits such as health insurance or retirement plans than smaller companies. The smaller a corporation’s revenue is the less likely it can afford to pay for benefits.


Throughout your career it’s likely you have been offered roles in both larger and smaller organisations and have formed your own opinion on what best suits you. You find the busy whirl of a larger office either nauseating or thrilling, and the quiet hum of work in a tiny backroom either monotonous or heartening. Or, perhaps you think you’d much rather decide for yourself on office sizing? In which case you can have a look here… >>

Lauren Deal
Sales & Marketing

Tel: +44 (0) 207 467 2520

64 Baker St, London, W1U 7GB, UK