The Work Environment

While you're looking into companies, make sure you think about whether the company is small or large, as well as if it is a start-up or an established company.

WorkplaceWork. It’s where you’ll be at least 40 hours a week, if you’re working regular hours. Each day during the week, you’ll be spending more time at the office with your coworkers than you spend with your friends or family. That said, it’s important to find a work environment that’s going to be the right fit for you. So while you’re looking into companies, make sure you think about a few things that hinge mainly on whether the company is small or large, as well as if it is a start-up or an established company.

There’s definitely a different feel between small and large companies. With a small company, you’ll probably interact with many of your coworkers on a daily basis. If you work in a large company, you will spend more time with certain coworkers and work in smaller teams instead of working with everyone in the entire office. Would you rather interface with a company as a whole or would you prefer to work with a team?

Also, the work you do in a small company vs. a large company will differ. In a smaller company, you may be expected to wear many hats and do a variety of tasks, whereas in larger companies it’s more likely that you’ll have more of a centralized focus. Are you someone who likes change and variety, or do you prefer to stick to the same thing?

This also relates to thinking about whether you’d prefer to work at a start-up or an established company. Some things to consider about a start-up:

  • Things can and usually do change quickly
  • There are few employees
  • Rules aren’t likely to be set in stone

In an established company:

  • There are well-documented and enforced guidelines
  • There are good benefit plans
  • There is a good chance you’ll have amenities such as cafeterias, childcare, or discounts.

Of course there are other aspects to consider—which sounds more appealing to you?

Choosing the work environment that is best for you is crucial because of all of the time you will spend there. I personally work at a small start-up, and every day I am at the office is different than the next. This has been great for me—I’m learning so much so quickly. Think about everything you envision in an office and make sure that’s what you get; it’ll determine whether you leave the office with a smile or a chip on your shoulder. 

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

career career advice career search company types job search jobs start up company work environment

About Kristen Fackler

Kristen Fackler

Kristen is a May 2011 graduate of Elon University, with a bachelor of science in English and Spanish. While at Elon, Kristen had the opportunity to complete a lot of writing and editing, two areas she has always been passionate about. At the Writing Center, she worked as a consultant with peers and community members to improve their writing skills. She also worked as an editor of Visions, an environmental magazine published by Elon faculty and students. While in college, Kristen was able to spend a semester in Seville, Spain. During the time she was there, Kristen was able to keep a blog in Spanish. She also was published in más+menos* magazine, a bilingual magazine completed by students and faculty members of CIEE Study Center. Kristen has also written for Examiner and is currently writing for Suite101. She enjoys writing as much as possible.

You can circle Kristen on Google+, follow her on Twitter, or subscribe to her CollegeXpress blog.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo


Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway

College Matches