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Multinational vs SME – When Choosing Your Next Position

multinational

You have reached a crossroads in your career, you are looking for a change, but you are unsure as to whether you should make your next move into a large or small organisation. Here are a few pros and cons, regardless of your area of expertise that may help you decide, depending on your mind-set and how you as an individual want to grow professionally.

 

Large Multinationals

Pros

  • Well recognised brands are known worldwide and will add an impressive badge to your CV that will inevitably open other doors down the line.
  • They provide strong career prospects and a definite career path.
  • International opportunities to join other departments and most companies are keen to encourage their talent to work in other sites abroad. Firstly you can upskill and grow within that organisation, and secondly for those with the travel bug to “scratch that itch” without losing them from the organisation.
  • Remuneration and benefits tend to be better within multinationals, because they have economies of scale and therefore deeper pockets.

 

Cons

  • As this is a huge machine everyone has to have a highly defined role for it all to work. Sometimes you can get pigeon holed into one area which in turn can, for some people, lead to boredom. The pace is fast, the quantities are high, but as you get better and faster in your role, you can feel like you are on an assembly line. High Volume X Specified Task = under challenged drone.
  • It can sometimes feel like forever before something gets done. While policies, procedures, controls etc. have their place of importance within a large company, this can sometimes be their downfall. Red tape and sign offs can hugely delay processes, which in turn, can hugely frustrate employees, particularly those with high ambitions.
  • You can often feel like you are just a number and not a valued employee who is making a genuine difference.

 

 

Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

Pros

  • No two days are the same. As is the nature of the SMEs, you will work as part of a small team and this breed’s variety. It’s an “all hands on deck” environment where one minute you are signing off on the annual statutory accounts and the next you are recruiting for a part time receptionist. This, in turn, can lead to excellent experience that you would never get in a Multinational, granted, on a much smaller scale.
  • Decisions can be made quickly. If you need something done or you have an idea to implement then a 2 minute conversation with the General Manager can make it happen. Politics plays a very small role within SMEs and sometimes it can be fly by the seat of your pants.
  • You feel like you are making a difference and often feel more appreciated as you are a big cog in a small engine.

 

Cons

  • Career prospects are capped and you sometimes have to wait for someone to leave or retire in order to move up the ladder.
  • Pockets are shallower within the SMEs and they always want to get the best bang for their buck, salaries and packages are no different – with them tending to be lower.
  • Small businesses can rely heavily on 1 or 2 big customers or suppliers and so, if they lose a big customer, this can be devastating to a business which in turn leads to cuts which in turn adds more risk to your position within the company.

 

There are many pros and cons to both the larger and smaller companies and this is just a flavour. Individuals have their own take depending on their own experiences and what makes them tick.

In general, and there are many exceptions to this, if you are ambitious and money motivated then multinational companies are a strong option for you, but if you are more interested in making a difference, want to feel part of a company’s success and variety drives you, then SMEs are an excellent option.

However, if you are starting off in your career with no experience of either, or if you are purely torn as to where to go, then why not try both, but remember, it is a lot easier to get into a small company from working in a large company than it is to get from a small company into a large one.

 

Posted by Recruitment Consultant, Sigmar on 30 November 2017

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