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Corporate vs SME - why your next move could be to a start-up

If you are thinking about your next career move, chances are you’re already looking at opportunities at the kind of well-known pharma and life science companies which are going to look great on your CV. But what if your next big move was to a start-up? Here, we’ve put together our top 5 reasons why joining a small company can get the best out of you:

1. Start doing some real work

On your first day at a start-up you may feel like you’ve woken up in Wonderland, having to unlearn everything you thought you knew about working for a corporate company. No longer merely a cog in the machine, at a start-up everything you do makes a difference and your input contributes to the success or failure of the business. So get those sleeves rolled up, it’s time to muck in and do some real work.

2. Start learning

At a start-up your learning journey is on fast forward, and you will be given more opportunities to flex and develop your skills than at a large corporate company. This is because you will be part of a smaller team, where even specialists are expected to wear multiple hats to contribute to the running of the business.

3. Start taking responsibility

Being with a start-up will quickly open doors for you with more opportunities for taking on responsibility and also putting what you know and your talents into action. By comparison, career progression in large pharma companies can be slow, and a minefield of politics and ‘who you know’.

4. Start shaping the culture

At large corporate companies, the culture is very much there already and employees merely fit in to the status quo of existing practices, customs and values. However, at a start-up – particularly if you are going in to a senior management role – there is the opportunity to sculpt the business culture in a way you believe will drive productivity. Your ideas and practices can help to shape the company philosophy and ensure its a rewarding and enjoyable place to work.

5. Start innovating

One of the most rewarding things about start-ups is that you often find yourself working with a team that is passionate and enthusiastic. This can spark inspiration on every level, leading to truly innovative ideas and developments that can help the business stand out against its competitors. Entrepreneurs are not afraid of failure, or taking risks, and you will find that your ideas and advice is more readily accepted and actioned than at a big corporate company.

A start-up is a roller-coaster ride which can offer incredible career experiences and teach you some invaluable life lessons. You will rapidly expand your knowledge and skills, take on more responsibility and understand more about the internal workings of a pharma business and the challenges it entails. With all the confidence and experience behind you from working in a start-up, you may even be inspired to start your own venture.

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10th October

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