While choosing jobs it is very important to take the type of company into consideration. Why? – because factors like career growth, work-life balance, salary differ greatly among these companies. A relevant analogy would be to think of start-ups as tigers – lean, aggressive and fast, while MNCs are like elephants – large, strong and slow. Read on to understand the pros and cons of both.

Startups vs Large Multinational Companies

Let’s look at each job satisfaction criteria and compare across both kinds of companies.


Startups which aren’t funded yet, pay lesser salary but give away a good amount of stock options which may make you rich real first if your startup gets acquired or goes public. To understand the value of stock options, read this article titled Stock Options : All You Need To Know. Funded startups pay good salaries but give fewer stock options. However, MNCs are the best when it comes to paying high salaries since they have a good amount of cash.


Again, MNCs have a lot of money to throw around so will offer you the most facilities like recreation facilities, good cafeterias, ample technology resources to do your work etc. Startups, who have smaller budgets expect you to do more with less so facilities at startups are always a constraint.

Work-Life Balance

Though work-life balance depends mainly on the profile, for the same profile, bigger technology companies have a much better work-life balance than startups. The primary reason for this is that larger companies are usually well staffed whereas in startups there is always more work than people. So prepare to spend more hours in the office in a startup.

Career Growth

Now this is one place where startups really score well over MNCs. Because most startups are in their growth phase, there is a lot to learn, greater room to experiment and a greater chance to have your ideas heard and implemented. Startups move fast through development life cycles and have typically are innovation driven. Startups also have an advantage in the roles there being more flexible – one can and often needs to learn about marketing, sales, customer support while being an engineer. MNCs on the other hand have a fairly stable career growth, roles are well defined, work responsibilities are clearly outlined and their main focus is on servicing and retaining customers. Innovation, although present, is slow.

Work Culture

This one is a 50-50 and totally depends on personal preference. Startups typically have a relaxed informal work culture, which is also more chaotic due to non-existent processes. Some startups pride themselves on having a college-like atmosphere allowing employees to play music on their workstations and having beer-Fridays. Startups also have fairly flat hierarchies. In bigger companies, the work environment is very formal, disciplined and sombre. Hierarchies are strictly followed, dress codes are enforced and things around the office are more organized.


MNCs have a lot of processes in place to manage the large scale or products, projects and teams. These tend to make life at work easier and more predictable and uniform. However, the downside of this is increased red-tapism and a slower speed to get new innovations, proposals or changes approved and implemented. Startups have virtually no processes. This makes work at startups more chaotic, but a lot more open to innovation.


This one is a no-brainer – big companies offer a good amount of job security and stability, whereas startups have a high chance of failure, resulting in higher risk of ending up without a company and without a job.


As you may have realized by now, startups and MNCs are very different. Hence, while searching for a job and selecting your target company, it is understand that you know which factors (salary, facilities, work-life balance, career growth, work culture etc) are more important to you and you chose the kind of company accordingly.

Wish you all the best in your job search!


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