Which is better for a career that is about to take off — startups or MNCs? A look at the pros and cons involved in both.
The uncertainty and ambiguity that everyone faces at the beginning of their career and the alternate career choices that they can opt for is one of the most important decisions in life. The career path you chose plays an instrumental role in being the driving force as you will be spending a large chunk of your time there.
However, the realities of working in a startup are different from those involved in working in an established organisation or corporate.
Step one involves knowing what kind of job you like and what you are skilled at. Having a B.Tech degree does not guarantee that one will be good in engineering roles. Thus, choose the area that you are truly interested in.
Next comes the bigger choice of choosing an MNC/big corporate or a startup. The latter has caught the fancy of Indians of late, especially with Prime minister Modi encouraging them coupled with the reality that startups involve a great work culture and learning environment. However, there is more to them than what meets the eye. Startups have their own pros and cons. One advantage is that, early in your career, you get tremendous exposure to real work and get the opportunity to shoulder important responsibilities. The sense of purpose and satisfaction you get for your work is unmatched. The disadvantages, on the other hand, involve lower pay, uncertainty of long-term and assured jobs, as often. The long-term existence of the startup is uncertain. Understand that the real startup are not the billion-dollar companies such as Flipkart, which are valued more than most MNCs, or have a work force larger than most corporates. Real startups are typically sub 100 people, which will invariably have bad offices, and a high work load. Often, your role will be not clear-cut and will continuously change every few months. So, some might find that change difficult and confusing, while others might thrive in it.
In MNCs or large corporates, with typically more than 200 employees, the work and work culture is different. There are many advantages, the obvious ones being better pay, better work environment, and clarity of job description. Though it might seem boring and predictable, it offers the much-needed stability in the work environment.
The flip side of MNC life is that you are a small cog in the large machine that works at its own pace, and employees are easily replaceable by the company. The real complexity and challenge in the big corporate culture is the challenge of office politics or how to drive a big team and many individuals to achieve an objective.
There are processes that are necessary to run that machine which can get frustrating at times and make you feel enslaved.
Choosing between a startup or a corporate life ultimately depends on what drives you and makes you happy.
While it is advisable for those starting off their careers to work in a startup as it has a steep learning curve, it is equally important to work for a big corporate or MNC to to understand how big companies and processes work, how big teams come together and work for a common goal.