Working for yourself or alone is one kind of career experience; but being employed by a large corporation is an entirely different scenario. The work culture is vastly removed from freelancing at home, for example, and requires a certain kind of behavior that you might not be used to. At home or a one-person office, you are the boss and there are no middle managers. In a corporation, there can be multiple departments, each with a manager who has authority over the staff. So, what appeals to you the most?
The question is whether you can tolerate a true hierarchy where people are ranked by title and seniority. You might not find this fair. Sometimes promotions seem arbitrary in a corporation, but more than likely the company has strict rules about employee expectations and advancements. If you perform your work exactly as specified in your job description, you will climb the corporate ladder. It is simple enough. People who obey the dictates from the top do best in a structured environment. More independent types should work on their own. If they find themselves somehow in a large corporation, they more often than not get into hassles with the boss as they can be outspoken. Being an individual is not the hallmark of a large corporation. They like employees to fit like cogs into the corporate wheel. They don’t value deviation although creativity is certainly welcome.
You go to work for eight to nine hours every day and it is imperative for mental health to be in the right job. Knowing yourself is the first step in the quest for a career. People either love a corporation or they feel at sea and compromised. If you have never worked in a large company, talk to people who have and seek a career counselor. You will avoid a costly mistake this way. But there are many advantages to a corporation. They no doubt have the funds to pay good salaries and you don’t have to worry about where your next dollar is coming friend if you are on your own. Sales people, for example, work on commission in the retail industry. Many people prefer the security of a salary. Corporations also offer many employee benefits such as paid vacations, maternity and paternity leave, health insurance, and a retirement plan. These are the main reason people want to work in a structured environment beyond getting to do the kind of work for which they have been trained.
One other benefit of a corporation is that they may have satellite offices. This means that you can transfer and relocate to another city that you may prefer. You retain your rank and salary as a rule, and often get relocation expenses as well. Another positive is the cross training you can receive in a large company and the opportunity to change departments. When you work alone, you will have to ply the trade that you know best. You can always move on to another job in a small to large company, but you are entering a competitive job market rather late.