Having a satisfying job is still an ideal for me, but perhaps it was never meant to be a corporate job. I am still finding out, but here’s some experiences to share, having worked in both:
Small Companies –
Usually you are expected to multi-task. I made the mistake of joining one, hoping that as it grew, I could work with a narrower job scope with a larger volume. I loved working with Excel spreadsheets to produce sales reports, managing inventory levels and processing orders. I had also hoped to be able to meet colleagues who could guide me and then hone in on these skills. However, my full job scope really included customer service, packer, logistics for local and overseas import and exports, tea lady and all the above.
In reality, small companies seldom grow fast enough; not even if the CEO is Steve Jobs. Most like it would take another 10 years (maybe 5 years if it were Steve Jobs) and many, many uncomfortable changes in the meantime. I am talking about snap decisions and having to react quickly on day-to-day matters. Small companies also have small staff numbers. If you were really lucky, you might chance upon an experienced staff who could guide you along. So if you do want a stable job with a narrow focus, start straightaway with a larger company that has already built up the volume to sustain itself – and also some longtime staff.
Medium-sized Companies –
We are talking about 50 – 200 people here. They have a reasonable sized manpower, meaning you have a chance to work in a team to handle sufficient volume of work and a narrower scope. They are also in the midst of transitioning from a medium to a large sized company, hence you can expect many company level changes along the way, like system upgrades. These companies might be still keeping SOPs or procedures that worked for small companies but aren’t working well for them at their current size.
While the above might seem generalised as the size required really depends on the type of industry it is functioning in. These are issues you might want to consider before choosing the size of a company to work in.