Hey Gen Y, Big Companies Want to Make You Small

January 18th, 2012 | Posted in by

There are 31,000 employees at Google. If you got hired there today, you would represent .00003% of the company. Go to Microsoft and you would be 1/92,000th of the organization. Too big for you? How about Facebook? You could be 1 one of their 3,000 employees.

Or you could join a Canadian start-up and make a name for yourself while the chefs make dinner for your cohorts at Google. Don’t be seduced by the stories you hear. When it comes to your future, bigger is not necessarily better. Besides, wouldn’t you rather play for Canada?

You got a degree. Now, get an education.

Remember your favorite prof in university, the guy who taught your more than all the others? Start-ups offer a similar experience. Seasoned founders are usually magnets for talent – they attract the best hearts and minds. Learning from top-ranked leaders and their teams make you better, fast. There’s a very good chance that you learn more than you ever did in school.

Competition that feels right.

In a large corporation your competition is your co-worker. You need to outperform (out-politic?) your peers in order to get a promotion or a raise. For some people, internal competition is wrong. On the other hand, join a start-up and your competition is in another city or country – not the next cubicle. This makes everyone more productive – and it just feels right.

Bigger is not better.

Regardless of what friends and family might tell you, don’t be swayed by a company’s revenue, real estate or global operations. It’s not likely that you will ever own those assets, so don’t mortgage your future to work there. Do put a value on the intangible assets you acquire from an employer. The best job for you is not necessarily the one that pays the most. Choose the experience, not the brand.

What’s the key difference between a start-up and multi-national?

Start-ups are born to disrupt the status quo – they thrive on learning and adapting. Big companies dominate their market – they want to do things faster and cheaper. So, while the little guys thrive on creative problem-solving, the big companies want execution and repetition. You might think of it as the difference between creating art and mass-producing it.

Which one is best for you? Give our Canadian startups a chance –
Start here: A Canadian Startup Twitter List