It’s all the rage these days to trash traditional jobs. Seemingly everyone wants to be a freelancer or entrepreneur. The allure of more flexible work hours and passion projects has many looking to see if the grass is greener on the other side.
Many organizations are starting to offer flexibility to align traditional jobs with the up-and-coming gig economy. This is becoming even more true on the other side of the pandemic. Organizations realize that millennials now comprise most of the workforce and like to work differently from previous generations. Organizations that adapt to the changing desires of the workforce will be more successful in the long run simply by attracting top talent. Millennials tend to favor flexibility and purpose over job security and money.
Six Advantages of Working for a Large Company
When I think about the person I was when I started working for my current organization, the difference is night and day. Working for a large company has several advantages that have accelerated my growth.
Besides my one internship in college, this was my first taste of a full-time job in my study area. My wardrobe consisted of quickly wrinkled shirts and pants, mainly from American Eagle or similar stores. I knew virtually nothing about leadership, teamwork, or even how to be a professional.
Some people know exactly what they want to do right out of college. That wasn’t me. College does a great job of helping us develop skills for the workplace. However, taking action on the job is the best way to explore the work you enjoy or dislike.
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to participate in a networking session with area interns. Many were business majors who were nearing graduation. None of them knew exactly what they wanted to do with their professional lives. I wish more people would tell them this is perfectly okay. There’s no need to feel anxious because almost everyone goes through something similar.
You have a much better chance of finding meaningful work that you’re good at through real-life opportunities. Working for a large organization allows you to try many different things. Eventually, by taking action and trying other things, you’ll find the meaningful work that fills your soul. And it would be best if you didn’t settle until you find that.
Below are several additional benefits of working for a large organization.
Growth and Development Opportunities
There is a vast difference in the person I am now compared to 15 years ago when entering the workforce. Much of my growth during the past 15 years can be attributed to on-the-job experience.
I came out of graduate school as a timid and inexperienced person with much to learn. A few of the skills I have developed over the past 15 years include the following:
- Public Speaking
- Relationship Building
- Leading a Team
- Gaining Followership
- Written Communication
Regardless of your profession, these are essential skills for your tool belt. Of course, I’m not saying I’ve mastered any of the above. However, I can say that on-the-job experience has allowed me to grow in these areas exponentially.
You can grow all of these skills by working for yourself as well. However, when you can work in an organization with more experienced professionals, you may find yourself in a better position to learn these skills from others. You’ll learn so much simply by surrounding yourself with great leaders.
The key is to find an organization that supports personal development and has opportunities for advancement.
Opportunity to Begin Investing in Retirement Early
The earlier you can take advantage of compounding interest, the better. Many organizations even offer retirement matching options (free money). If you invest a few thousand dollars into a 401(k) for a few years early in your career, you’ll set yourself up with a strong foundation.
You’ll likely become a millionaire even if you only invest for the first five or ten years of your early career. This strong foundation may allow you to take additional professional risks while your retirement savings compound. Playing catch-up with compound interest is hard, so the earlier you start, the better.
Ability to Change Jobs and Gain Different Experiences
Job hopping can be an effective way to increase salary. Often, you have to change jobs to get more than the standard 2 to 5 percent merit increase. However, what’s not discussed enough is in a large company, you can change jobs within the same organization.
During my career, I’ve had at least six jobs of increasing responsibility and have tripled my salary since starting. Navigating an organization can be tricky, but it can be beneficial if done correctly.
Additionally, changing jobs within an organization allows you to maintain existing relationships and retain knowledge of your company’s culture. If you have a positive reputation at an organization, you and your colleagues may find yourselves in other roles. Through those connections, your reputation will spread more broadly within your organization, which can result in significant benefits.
Steady Salary to Pay Down Debt and Establish an Emergency Fund
Setting a strong financial foundation is paying down debt and establishing an emergency fund. Dave Ramsey’s baby steps are the roadmap. If you are naturally a risk-averse person like me, reducing your debt and having a backstop of savings may allow you to take additional risks if you decide to step away from your traditional job. In addition, a steady income will allow you to develop a plan to pay down debt, build savings, and invest in retirement accounts.
I’ve written quite a bit about the benefits of paying down debt, establishing an emergency fund, and seeking ways to increase income. Below are a few related articles you can explore.
- How To Go From $22k Per Year To Six Figures (From Chief Mom Officer)
- A Short Tale About Why You Need an Emergency Fund
- Financial Advice for Young Families
Health Insurance and Other Benefits
One of the most significant barriers to entrepreneurship in the United States is the lack of affordable health care. Most companies will provide subsidized health insurance, which is critical if you have a substantial medical expense. That said, health insurance is just one benefit of large organizations. Many organizations may also provide the following:
- Paid holiday, vacation, and sick leave
- Educational assistance
- Flexible work arrangements (working from home or flexible schedule)
- Wellness programs or on-site gym
- Employee assistance programs (e.g., legal, self-care, addiction)
- Subsidized on-site cafeterias
- Flexible spending or health savings accounts
- Retirement accounts (as noted above)
If you pursue working for a large organization, consider all benefits included. It’s not just about the pay.
Runway to Establish a Side Business
If you already have a job that pays your bills, you’ll have the opportunity to establish a side business with relatively low risk. Set up your business by becoming a nighttime or weekend warrior. You can experiment with various businesses; if you fail, it may not be a big deal. On the flip side, if your business takes off, you’ll have a tough decision to make.
What if You Hate Working for a Large Company?
There are a few situations where you should consider quitting your job at a large organization, regardless of your status. Of course, you should not leave a job if it could mean losing your home or being unable to afford necessities. However, life is way too short to work at a job where you are miserable. Here’s a short list of items to look out for:
- If you work long hours (60+) in a role without passion, you will burn out and be miserable. There is nothing wrong with working long hours for a short period. It’s not sustainable long-term if it’s not part of your life’s mission.
- Finding balance in your life will be challenging if you are working a job where the stress carries over from your job to home life. Of course, most of us have a decent amount of stress in our jobs. However, you may consider stepping away if you cannot manage the stress effectively and it carries over into your non-working hours.
- If there is minimal growth or development potential, you should try to find an opportunity to provide better options. This doesn’t necessarily mean promotions or more money. However, it does mean that you should find opportunities to grow and develop your skill set. In most situations, if an individual has ambition and drive, they will find opportunities for growth and development, even in the most mundane cases.
- If you are in an abusive or threatening environment, get out now. You should probably stop by HR on the way out to keep the next person from going through the same situation.
Advantages of Working for a Large Company as a Young Professional
We all hear about the big startup’s success stories, though we must realize that there are many other failures for every success story. However, having a strong financial foundation, the necessary skills, and professional connections later on in life will benefit you regardless of your path.
This post originally appeared on Financial Pilgrimage.
Mark is the founder of Financial Pilgrimage, a blog dedicated to helping young families pay down debt and live financially free. Mark has a Bachelor’s degree in financial management and a Master’s degree in economics and finance. He is a husband of one and father of two and calls St. Louis, MO, home. He also loves playing in old man baseball leagues, working out, and being anywhere near the water. Mark has been featured in Yahoo! Finance, NerdWallet, and the Plutus Awards Showcase.