Every year there are new graduates who get stuck with the question of where they are going to work. That is a question I had to face as well, and to answer that question I had to weigh in on what would better suit me, working for a startup or a multi-national company.
When I was taking my undergrad degree, I chose to do my practicum under a multi-national corporation (MNC), thinking that I would learn more there than at any other company. Since it was an MNC I believed that everyone there would have an adept knowledge and skill that would help me grow to become an irreplaceable employee. Although the company I worked for was full of talented people, I did not fit in as I expected. Now I work for Bridge Southeast Asia, one of the fastest growing companies in the Philippines and I realized a few things about working in an MNC and in a startup.
There are a few things that completely differentiate the two. First is the responsibility, accountability, and the impact. It is undeniable that when you work in a startup you will have a lot of responsibilities that you will have to handle, and at the same time you will be accountable for each and every one of those responsibilities. If you do an amazing job handling those responsibilities, it will surely create a big impact within the team and everyone within the company will benefit from it. Keep in mind, it also goes both ways. If you make a big mistake the whole company will get affected as well, so always remember you need to be agile but at the same time cautious.
Second, for those who are interested in more than just one field of work, being in a startup gives you that opportunity to grow, learn, and polish more than just one skill that will surely be useful in the future. In my case, I work in the outbound marketing department which does cold-calling, cold-emailing, and the like, but I also want to learn new things and expand my set of skills, and to do that I also help out with inbound marketing which draws customers in and helps develop a certain brand for the company. This differs from working for a large corporation, wherein the focus is mainly pointed on the one task you were hired to do — which, for me, can get really, really boring, really fast.
Third, culture is very important in a company and what makes working in a startup worthwhile is that you will be contributing to its definition and helping to refine it. Every company is an extension of the founder’s personalities, and our CEO, David Bonifacio, creates a culture that helps everyone grow as the company expands. He also creates an environment of learning, which teaches you to think like a leader instead of blindly following one. At the end of the day, if you’re the type of person whose personality is very strong, it will rub off on everyone else and it will help you create a company that is as much a part of you as you are of the company.
Lastly, being in a startup means being a part of something bigger than just you. You will be a part of something bigger than just what your job description entails or what your manager or boss asks you to do. Yes, you need to do your responsibilities like close a potential customer, find leads for business development, or publish a blog, but it is more than just that. You’re building a team, a family, a company. In the words of Alex Loddengaard: “You’re making something from nothing, with people who are in it for the same reasons you are. You’re at the apex of what might become something big, something meaningful and different. And the excitement is amazingly powerful.” At Bridge, that’s what we’re doing — creating something big and meaningful that may help companies in their journey to expand and be efficient. We are here to make your work life better.