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View Poll Results: Which should I choose? The brand-name company or the small maverick company?
Go for the brand-name! It'll be good for your resumé. 9 40.91%
Go ahead. Be a maverick. You'll be a lot happier. 9 40.91%
Why work for someone else? Start your own gig instead! 4 18.18%
Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2008-05-08, 04:48   Link #1
TinyRedLeaf
. . .
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Singapore
Age: 39
Would you work for a brand-name company or a small company?

This poll is directed more at working adults, but I think it would be equally valuable to our younger members who are still in school.

The reason I'm asking is because I'm currently in the fortunate position of choosing between working for one of my country's national newspapers, or working for a relatively young and small media company that deals mainly with Fortune 500 clients.

Needless to say, I'm very excited to be in this position. I'm torn between two equally attractive options. Working for the big publisher would give my resumé a much needed boost. Plus, it gives me the opportunity to learn from some of the top print journalists in my country. On the other hand, I'm very wary of the office politics that permeate this company. The pecking order and bureaucracy is very apparent, as it took the company almost a month to give me an (extremely lucrative) offer, simply because they needed to get the Editor-in-Chief's approval before getting back to me. During the interview, I got the chance to catch a glimpse of the newsroom and the journalists' desks. It felt tantalisingly prestigious, but with my eight years of working experience, I pretty much know what to expect underneath that glamorous exterior - lots of cloak-and-dagger dealings. I thought I detected that shady corporate "vibe", but maybe that's because I went in with jaundiced preconceptions.

I should add that if I join this publisher, I fully intend to use it as a stepping stone to greater things in international journalism.

The smaller media company is currently made up of around 10 individuals with a variety of experience in journalism, public relations, events management and graphic design. It's a very cosy outfit and I liked it right away the moment I stepped in for my job interview. It's got a good "vibe". The people are young. The culture seems supportive and casual. Not at all confrontational. I feel I have a much better chance of learning from a supportive group of people who seem passionate about their work. Plus, they work with an extensive list of Fortune 500 companies, so it does also offer strong possibilities for valuable corporate exposure. Not bad for a three-year-old company.

Bottom line, I believe I'd personally be much happier working in the small company rather than the big newspaper. But working for the big newspaper is probably the best chance I'll ever get to join the "major league". I'm already well past 30-years-old, and such opportunities are steadily dwindling as I grow older. I get the feeling that it's "now or never".

Granted, no one loves the corporate rat race, but it's a necessary evil for what I hope to achieve one day. But at the same time, I'd also like to enjoy my work, and I think I'll have a better chance of this if I join the small company. Tough dilemma indeed.

In any case, I've already made up my mind, more-or-less. But I'd like to find out what others think. This could be the biggest turning point in my career. It would suck if I end up regretting my choice.
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Old 2008-05-08, 05:06   Link #2
escimo
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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I think both options have their benefits. Career-wise a big company may be a bit better move as there are generally more possibilities to advance within the company. However smaller companies usually provide more enjoyable working environment and the tighter community usually runs a bit smoother without the endless bureaucracy of a larger unit. Workload is probably higher in the smaller company as the resources tend to be quite stretched. I'd say it depends on people you'd be working with. If the community is unpleasant the size of the company doesn't matter much.
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Old 2008-05-08, 05:25   Link #3
brocko
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Well a family member of mine just recently moved from a brand-name company to the smaller one. Reason? The smaller company was offering a bigger paycheck along with extra perks lol =P
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Old 2008-05-08, 05:29   Link #4
TinyRedLeaf
. . .
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Singapore
Age: 39
Lol. That's part of why this is an agonising decision for me. The bigger company is offer a lot more money and perks. It's too tempting to turn down outright. Decisions, decisions. I'm consulting a few of my close friends as I type.
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Old 2008-05-08, 05:53   Link #5
brocko
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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I'm probably not going to be a very good source of advice seeing as though i have zero work experience under my belt, being a student and all and on top of that some stranger you've randomly met on some anime message-board to boot too . But I would just like to say this: If you feel as though this is going to be a 'once in a lifetime chance' to achieve whatever goal/dream you've been working up towards until now, then take it. Take it and grab it with both your palms. IMO it's better to have tried and possibly fail than to regret not trying at all. Plus if everything were to just so happen to fall apart with this new job, what do you think are the chances of the smaller company welcoming you back? If it's high then all more reason. I wish you all the best and hope that with whatever decision you decide to make you are content with
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Old 2008-05-08, 06:13   Link #6
Anh_Minh
I disagree with you all.
 
 
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Hard to say. I guess it depends on how ambitious you are. If you really want to make it big, and are willing to sacrifice short term happiness for long term goal, go for the big one. Plus, if you're in your thirties, it's a good time to make money and save for rainy days.

But if you feel you can be happy now, with what you have, there's really no point in sacrificing.
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Old 2008-05-08, 06:35   Link #7
TinyRedLeaf
. . .
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Age: 39
I should also add that most media-related professionals in Singapore are well aware of how hard it is to actually join that big publisher. So, for me to have survived two rounds of interviews and writing tests to get a confirmed job offer is in itself a very significant achievement. It's basically a stamp of recognition that is of immense value to my resumé.

This is where I think my present "dilemma" serves as an educational case study for younger members of AnimeSuki. This is a very good problem to have.
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Old 2008-05-08, 07:36   Link #8
MakubeX2
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Age: 34
Do you have the confidence that you can make it big in the big company without being stuck in the same job for years until retirement or at the very least have an increment in your income for an annual basis working for them ? If you do, feel free to join the big players.

For me, I'm working as a....executive (it's what the company put my post as in the income tax returns, but my job scope is somewhat a storeman) in the HQ of a comic/video game/toys retail chain. The pay may not be much, but at least I have access to all the things I'm enjoy as a hobby. And the perk is, I get to sample the stuffs before I made the decision on whether I want to keep it. (The Games, especially. 360, PS3, PSP or NDS, you name it.)
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Old 2008-05-08, 07:38   Link #9
Slice of Life
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One shouldn't forget that a little cosy company can become a pretty hostile environment in times of crisis. You know, like ten people in a life boat that can carry only eight?
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Old 2008-05-08, 09:44   Link #10
Kyuusai
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I can understand your dilemma.

I chose from the beginning of my career to go the smaller route, but I work in IT where the pressure to get away from the "corporate mindset" is higher and the path to success isn't always through a few major players. Ultimately, where I end up is entirely in my own hands. That's just not always true for journalism, though (which is one reason why I didn't go into it).

I think it ultimately comes down to what your goals are. If joining the "major league" is your only true true and you really know you wouldn't regret doing the work it if you made it, then keep your eye on the prize and do whatever it takes to make it happen. Even the best job can eventually become soul-crushing if it's in the way of your true life purpose (I can personally vouch for this.). If you're sure the startup couldn't eventually lead you where you want to be, there's only one choice.

On the other hand, if the startup COULD take you there and the larger company position offers you no guarantee of going where you want... Well, my personal choice is usually to eschew the path that has a high chance of coasting into success but offers little in the way of personal growth and to instead take the path that offers a better learning experience in exchange for requiring that I gain my success by my own ingenuity. My personal choice sounds nicer, but it's NOT the better option for most. I just state it to offer my perspective.

Whichever you choose, I pray that you have the utmost success and happiness in it.
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Old 2008-05-08, 11:36   Link #11
King Lycan
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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I would love to work in Sony
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Old 2008-05-08, 15:54   Link #12
cheyannew
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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We used to be an independantly owned company. Then a ginormous company (EA) made an offer. We didn't like it, so we said no. They came back with an altered offer, and we said yes.

It's giving us the $$ to do more w/ the projects we're doing and so on.

It's also given us more red tape to deal with and let's not start me on that

IMO, it was beneficial for us to work w/ a larger company, we have big dreams and NOW we have the money to put those into reality.
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Old 2008-05-08, 16:16   Link #13
james0246
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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I think the real question, when posed with this problem (this is assuming that you would be happy at either place), is one of home life and family or possible family. If you already have a wife and kids (or a husband and kids), then the job that offers more securities is a must. If you are single, and plan to stay that way for awhile, then the job that offers more money is a must. It all comes down to the type of life you think you will have in 5 years (the so-called 5-year plan that some companies ask for (p.s. never say you are going to have the boss' job in 5 years, that never goes over well ).

Then again, I have always been the maverick, taking wierd jobs and constantly just traveling rather than ever settling down in one place for to long (I am currently working as a freelance science-journalist (that hasn't published anything for awhile), a photographer takining pictures of the Mississippi river and its local towns/cities (presumably for a book that a publisher is putting together), as well as designing content for online radio stations...all the while living out of different hotels with a central apartment elsewhere and receiving a stippend from a family trust .) So, I am not necessarily the person to ask concerning business...
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Old 2008-05-08, 16:29   Link #14
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: In Maya world, where all is 3D and everything crashes
Age: 26
Interesting topic because int he future I might stand for a same decision, I'm a student right now as well and my trainee period starts in August, now I was able to pick where I wanted to aply for a job and while all my other classmates chose a company that was in the region of their home, being less than 30 minutes away fromt heir living area (all of them still live with their parents) I decided to take my chances to get in a large company on the other side of the country, the reason I did that was because of the experience and to learn how life would be on my own, currently I'm making preperations on moving there during the trainee period (I got the spot and didn't even have to do an interview for it! HOORAY!)

you could say that the above situation is simulair but only in some senses, I would do it when it comes to learning new things and gaining more experience, but also to keep in mind that a small company can go bankrupt in uneasy times =)

I love my trainee spot I get to make music videos!
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Old 2008-05-08, 16:42   Link #15
Ledgem
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Northeast USA
Age: 28
From a strategic standpoint, the answer is obvious: go with the more prestigious offer. If you find that you're unhappy with the larger company and really longing for that smaller environment, you'll very likely have no problems going from such a higher position to a lower one. You'll be seen as a very experienced asset, a big name, someone that the smaller company/group is lucky to have. On the other hand, "I was offered a job at a big company" doesn't mean much to many people unless you have work experience there, and it's much harder to go from a small company to a larger one.

I'm not familiar with the field of journalism, so I don't know if the above rules hold true. I know that in certain professions they don't. For example, in science and engineering, having a Ph.D (the highest academic degree you could get for the field) can harm your chances of employment. The reasons vary, but they include people not wanting to hire you because you cost too much (due to the degree) and your expertise for the job isn't worth it to the company. Of course, you can do what one of my professor's friends does - leave the Ph.D off your resume! It's a waste, but it shows that you can still work around some of that.

It sounds like you already know that happiness doesn't take the form of the size of your paycheck, so I can skip that part. It sounds like you'd be pretty happy to work at either place, although you're sort of longing for the smaller company. In the interests of keeping options open, I'd take the larger company. You may find that you'll be happier there than you thought. If you're not (and assuming that what I've said above holds true), you can always switch. On the other hand, if you go to the small company and find yourself unhappy, you may be stuck... that's the scenario you really want to avoid.

Have fun either way - our approach to our work often has more of an impact on our happiness than the environment itself. Mind over matter, as the saying goes.
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Old 2008-05-08, 16:53   Link #16
Aoie_Emesai
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Join Date: May 2004
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Very correct Ledgem. Consider your position, are you longing for much more experience? Or are you at a point where your education and experience are already well endowed. Do you need the money or not? If the small company were to fail, could you with the downing economy find another job relating to your education and career.

If it were me, I'd be in the same boat as you. Confused as hell >.<

Pretty much consider what you need most.
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Old 2008-05-09, 04:25   Link #17
HayashiTakara
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Really for me it depends. If the small company has the potential to grow big in the future, and me securing that position early will net me a higher position when that company grows, so it comes down to foresight with that. Also, it depends on how much creative freedom the smaller company has as well. Corporate policies is very important to me as an artist.
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Old 2008-05-09, 10:15   Link #18
black monster
i don't work for points
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: behind you in the shadows
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for me it won't make any diffrent becuse i will get the same thing from both of them and that is experience.

yeah mabe there is a diffrentshape and moderaequipment that the company ave but as long as i know the basics i will survive in any company.
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