Corporate v/s Startup- Which Environment is Right for You?

As the world evolves, culture and trends too evolve. Even in the work culture, new waves are hitting in, like that of startups and independent businesses.

We have had the corporate set up for quite some time now and it is indeed well ‘tried and tested’ one. A large number of people have used the experience, knowledge, exposure, and training that the corporate sector provides and done extremely well for themselves. However, there remains a significant section of professionals that did not like the taste of this world – either because it didn’t suit their future plans or just that the environment was too ‘fussy’.

Corporate vs Startup

The trend of the ‘start-ups’ conceived a few years back has now consolidated itself in our society. A large part of the youth is attracted towards this culture, owing to the apparent flexibility and perks these provide. Even though having no ‘boss’ seems like a tempting idea, it doesn’t always work well for everyone. There are multiple things to consider when planning on which of the two routes needs to be taken. The following are some questions you must ask yourself before deciding on a career path-

What is your long term plan?

After having achieved a degree and completed your education, one must have a basic idea of what her/his future plans. There are a few options in this respect – you may want to start with your business right away, or you may want to gain experience first. As is obvious, it is wholly the individual’s choice as to what and how one makes this choice.

Experience is a great thing, and corporates provide a whole lot of it; but it does not mean that experience can only be gained through an organization. Your work in any field and in any form is counted as experience. If you feel that your plan/ idea is something that doesn’t require training or experience in the conventional sense and can be worked upon straight out of college, then going to the corporate sector or a company is unnecessary. For example, if you wish to go into the mobile application business, a technical degree should suffice for that.

On the other hand, if you feel that a few months/years in a corporate company would aid your genius in the long run, then starting from scratch would seem like a good idea. Your experience and your mentor can guide and assist you the whole way long.

What is best suited for you

Apart from keeping in mind your future plans, it is important to analyze how you are as a person and how you like to work. Both the corporate and start- up arenas have highly differing environments and work styles. In a startup, you are generally your own boss with relatively flexible timings. The team generally consists of people with expertise/skills in various fields, who come together to start their own business or achieve a particular aim. All the members share equal status, leadership and responsibility, and they tend to provide in a variety of fields such as management, designing manuals, interviewing interns, etc. In a corporate set up though, you are to work only for a one particular department in particular ways.

If handling a whole project is something you can work with, start-ups may be your thing. If being a part of a team (even if it involves leading a team) for a part of the entire project makes you more comfortable, corporates become your thing. Also as attractive as startups look from the outside, they require more hard work, compatibility of team members, time and constant effort than corporates. You may remain skeptical for the initial period, before the business takes up. This implies more perseverance. Meanwhile in the corporate world, your colleagues are bound to have a wealth of knowledge and experience that you can always count on or bank upon for guidance; plus you get to learn from observation – from your boss’ bosses to your peers- you will constantly learn and grasp the way work is to be done, giving you that slight edge.

What drives your efficiency?

How you want to work, with whom, and for how long- it all depends on your individuality. It thus becomes vital for you to choose a path which best suits your needs and pace.

If you are someone who is a little laid back, who achieves goals by working without conventional deadlines, then startups are a better option for you. In this way, you have relatively flexible timings and you get to decide the style, pace and goals for your own self, and according to you. It is important to keep in mind though, that if you are unable to achieve goals/ aims that you have set for yourself and your start-up, then working on your own pace is futile. Results are required in both the cultures, only the work style differs.

Some people are more driven in a busy, competitive environment. Corporates have that kind of an environment where goals are meant to be met in a certain way and a tighter timeline. It may prove to be a more efficient option for you as it would enable you to complete your work and get the desired goal, in a fixed period of time.

There is no comparison as to which line of action will guarantee success, it all depends on you and the type of environment you wish to work in or are driven by. A typical office life suits certain individuals while others wish to flow against the tide. Think about what experience you would want to gain, and which culture would suit your future work plans/business better. Make an informed choice, and you will never regret your work schedules again. If you are someone who gets work done under supervision and wishes to gain abundant experience, resources, and knowledge in return, then corporates will provide you with everything you need. If however, you wish to work on your own pace with a creative idea and an efficient team as your tools, then go out on your own and make things happen for yourself.


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