As exciting college careers come to an end, you must consider the next steps in your post-grad plans. When applying to jobs, the possibilities are truly endless. Across various industries, there are small boutique sized firms as well as large corporate firms. Everyone has different personalities and goals; understanding the main differences between boutique and corporate firms can help you select the best career fit for yourself. Follow our simple guide below outlining the main differences between boutique and corporate firms.
Culture – When it comes to taking a job offer, company culture should be a main factor of consideration. After all, you will be spending most of your time at work, interacting with your colleagues. You want to find a company where you can comfortably work and thrive in. Companies engage in several different management structures. Boutique firms generally have a flatter management structure, meaning that employees engage in discussion and teamwork across the board. Employees are generally considered more equal with one another and are encouraged to work together and bounce ideas off of each other. Additionally, in boutique firms, employees and clients have direct access to senior talent. In contrast, corporate firms have a taller and more rigid management style. Tasks are more organized and assigned specifically to individuals so that expectations are clear and structured. Because of the difference in management structures, there are significant differences in communication style and efficiency. Boutique firms tend to have a better level of communication as employees are comfortable with working together and collaborating.
Resources – The nature of the size of firms impacts available resources and budgets. Since boutique firms operate on a significantly smaller scale than corporate firms, it allows you to follow a project from start to finish and participate in every little step if you wish to. This is great for learning about the field and gaining experience in order to decide what your strengths lie. Because of the high levels of communication and collaboration, there is also a great amount of flexibility available for you to explore every wild idea and potentially utilize budget money in more creative ways. Corporate firms operate on a much larger and structured scale. This means that they have more resources, better equipment, and of course bigger budgets. Depending on the nature of clients you wish to work with, it is important to understand the underlying differences in resource availability for you to find the best fit.
Benefits – Company benefits vary greatly across fields and sizes. Corporate firms tend to have greater security as well as more opportunities for professional development. This is because corporate firms value stability and often have built-in employee training budgets in order to benefit its employees and retain them overtime. Other popular corporate benefits include various in-house workshops, classes as well as networking conferences and trips. Boutique firms offer more on the job training as employees often are flexible and take on many responsibilities. This is great for learning as it is important to understand the whole picture before narrowing down and focusing on a specific job. Ultimately, boutique firms are not for people who prefer structure and conformity. It demands employees to be independent and adaptable.
Salary – Although some may believe that salary should be the most important factor of consideration when choosing a job, we advocate for a more conclusive evaluation. That being said, there are differences in salaries offered from companies of different sizes due to several reasons including the nature of their clients as well as their market value. Generally, corporate firms offer higher salaries and perks along with benefit packages. Often, stock options are also available for employees. In addition, corporate firms try to increase retention by offering services such as child care, gyms, game rooms, cafeterias, and free travel. By offering these services, corporate firms are also attempting to blur the lines between work and leisure, encouraging employees to stay in the office for longer and enjoy work more. Boutique firms are often associated with having less stressful work environments. This may be due to the high level of communication between employees and encouragement for a better work-life balance. Depending on your priorities and desired work experience, boutique firms generally allow for more family time or time to pursue personal interests outside of working hours.
When considering job offers, make sure that you are open minded and realistic with your own goals. There are many different types of firms and working environments available. Based on your personal preferences, personality, and objectives, find a job that best fits you.