Conventional wisdom would say that, all other things being equal, it’s better to work for a big company than a small one. But there’s a significant, often overlooked benefit that employees of small companies enjoy to a much greater extent than their peers at larger firms.
Let’s get the argument for working for a Fortune 50 (or even a Fortune 500) company out of the way: Larger companies have more resources, so they’re more likely to be able to offer perks like tuition reimbursement and paid-for memberships in professional societies or trade groups. A large company can give you a great base for networking, and if the company is well-known and prestigious, that can help make your resume stand out when you want to advance your career. Having a large number of employees also gives a company more bargaining clout when it comes to the selection and costs of benefits like health insurance and 401(k) plans. And of course, if the small company in question is a start-up, you run the risk that the venture capital funding could dry up before you get a workable revenue model off the ground, and you’ll be back searching job boards again.