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Finding the Right Company

When you are looking for work, finding the right company can be as important as getting the right job. Most people simply focus on the job - what does it pay, how long is the commute and so on - but finding the right company is just as important, because ultimately, it is the place you work, the people you work with, and how much you enjoy the day to day job that will determine your happiness.

One of the major decisions in finding the right company is whether to work for a small employer, or a large multi-national company. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Small companies give you the opportunity to learn fast - because there are fewer people, jobs are typically less specialized, so you will be expected to fill a variety of roles at different times. You will therefore acquire a wide range of useful - and transferable - skills. You'll also find that promotion can come quite quickly, and you might find the job more interesting because you will be doing a variety of interesting tasks.

The social life can be mixed when you are working for a small company. While you might form close relationships with other members of staff, if you don't get on well, or they just aren't your type because of age, interests, etc, you won't have any choice. You either socialize with them or you don't.

There are other downsides to be considered. It is quite likely that you will earn less than if you were working for a large organization, and it's likely that the benefits - things like free healthcare, company car, mobile phone - won't be as extensive as with a big organization.

Economic viability is also a consideration when choosing an employer. In the current uncertain economic times, small companies may be less secure, so it's worth doing your homework on the background and current state of any employer before committing to any job.

Large, or multi-national companies, offer all the things that smaller companies can't offer. With their clear career structures they can appeal to more career-minded people - but they are likely to provide not just higher pay and benefits, but also longer hours, higher expectations, and the pressure to keep up with your peers.

You'll struggle to get your work noticed, but on the upside, these companies are typically more stable, and there will be plenty of other people to socialize with.