startup or corporation

Where Should You Work? A Tech Startup or a Tech Corporation

Latest posts by Mitali Shukla (see all)

Tech employees are often met with a difficult dilemma: choosing between a startup or a corporate company. As the top employers of tech professionals, corporations and startups are always on the hunt for the best talent. Many prefer the stability of a job in Big Tech, but more and more tech professionals are making the switch from corporate companies to startups. What is drawing employees to the startup space? We’re glad you asked. In this piece, we’ll cover the major factors to take into account as you decide between a startup and a corporation.

The best way to decide between these two paths is to weigh your options and priorities. Below, we’ve detailed the highlights of each path to help you make the best decision for your career.


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Working at a startup

Startups offer a lot more than meets the eye. Although they typically have smaller teams, they make momentous strides in a small amount of time. Keep reading to uncover the advantages of startup culture.

Wide breadth of work

Tired of doing the same thing day in and day out? Startups offer a large scope of responsibilities that go beyond a typical role at a corporate company. Having the same tasks each day is rare. If you’re looking for a fast-paced environment where you can learn many skills fast, a startup might be the way to go.

Access to high-value equity

One huge startup draw for many tech professionals is the opportunity to cash in early on potentially high-value equity pre-IPO. It also lets you grow along with the company and see the impact of your work in no time. Startup employee stock options can offer between 5% to 30% in equity.

Remote work options

Since much of the work at startups can be done remotely, more startups are allowing their teams to work from home or from around the world. For some, remote work can mean better work-life balance and greater autonomy over how you prioritize your tasks.

Rapid growth

Startups can grow quickly — even overnight! Joining a startup means you can see their growth while you grow, too. Since you’ll be on a smaller team, it’s easier to get recognition for your work and make your way up the ladder.

Working at a corporation

If you prefer structure and predictability, a corporate structure might be a better fit. Below are some highlights of what it’s like to work at a corporation.

Specialized roles

Big companies have the experience and people to make the roles they offer specialized. Your job will likely focus on several key responsibilities and is unlikely to give your opportunities to learn more about responsibilities outside of your role. Keep this in mind if you prefer to do different things each day to keep things interesting.

Stability

A huge draw for many employees when it comes to big companies is the stable salary and benefits they provide. If they do offer stock options, it might not be as much as a startup: with high risk, comes high reward.

Mentorship

Larger businesses usually assign you a mentor or manager who helps you navigate the job. On the other hand, startups offer less mentorship and more actionable work that improves your resume in a short amount of time.

Making the best choice for you can be hard, but prioritizing yourself can make it easier. Discovering where your talents are appreciated and where your responsibilities will work to your strengths is the key to choosing between a startup and a corporation. If you’re still working on your decision, take a look at this flowchart from AngelList to find your fit.

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