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When looking to begin a career, there are a lot of different paths to choose from. If you’re just starting out, it can be difficult to decide whether to begin working for a startup or if you’d prefer working in a traditional corporate culture. Before deciding what will be right for you and your career, it’s important to know the major difference between a startup and traditional corporate culture:


The main difference between a startup and a traditional corporate office is the way it is structured. In a startup business, it is often less constrictive. While working in a startup for the first time, many people will note how open and transparent the workplace culture is. Many times, you will work with smaller teams and work together to complete the work from day to day. This can also mean that sometimes an employee will be given tasks that they may not have much experience in.

In a corporate setting, there is much less freedom and a person will solely rely on themselves to get the work done. Instead of working together and picking up task that you don’t have much experience in, you will be given one job or task that needs to be done. Though this type of structure may seem a bit constrictive, it is a great way to become highly specialized in your specific field of trade.

Office Politics

In an open environment like a startup company, you will have much more access to those in a higher position than you and more freedom to interact with them. Managers and supervisors will have much more contact with their employees than a manger would in a corporate environment would. Communicating with supervisors more frequently may also mean you could have more of say and a better chance for your opinions to be taken seriously.

A corporate setting offers a bit more of a bureaucracy. The traditional corporate culture is usually much larger than a startup company, therefor there could be many more hoops to jump through to speak with a manager of supervisor. In this kind of setting, your say on what should happen in the company will be less heard. But this way will keep your business life much less personal and there will be less likelihood of your opinion getting in the way of someone else’s opposing views.


The last major difference between a startup and a traditional corporate culture is the stability. When working for a startup company, there can be a bit of risk. The company is much less established and there is risk of job security. Startups are great for the short-term, but not a great option if you are looking for a long-term job opportunity. Although startups offer more of a opportunity, many do not offer the same work benefits as corporations and less salary compensation.

Someone working in a traditional corporate setting will often have more job security for the long-term. Working for a corporation, you will see a steady increase in salary, have more work benefits and have greater security. But it’s important to choose the environment that is right for you and your career path. There are some people that will flourish in a startup company, Others do better in a corporate environment. Be sure to weigh your options and think about the kind of work environment you see yourself being successful in.