The pros and cons of going corporate

Hello darling,

Conveniently getting over a cold *just* as Christmas market season is starting here in Berlin. In fact, I may or may not have taken myself out on a solo bratwurst-and-glühwein date on the way home last night. (Spoiler: I did.) 

After sending out Friday's Weekend Workout--and as I prep a little Black Friday surprise for you this week--I wanted to touch on something I haven't talked about too much and certainly haven't talked about in a while.

It's something that's been on my own mind too, as I start considering which clients I'll work with in the UK next year.

It's something I like to refer to as The Name Brand Dilemma.

So, here's what I think:

For obvious reasons, we are drawn to working for companies we've heard of before. Coca-Cola. Deutsche Bank. Facebook. Amazon.

It makes sense that we would be drawn to this, right? It feels familiar. Who hasn't had at least one Coke (...or rum & coke...) in their day?

And so, a lot of us jump on this train. "I work for Coca-Cola!" they'll say. "You know.... the world-famous beverage company!" And that feels good. You can tell anyone in the world that you work for this company, and they'll know just what you mean! How convenient is that?!

 But the thing is: just because you've had a Coke, doesn't mean you know a thing about what it's like to work for the company behind the beverage. Obviously.

So today, I wanted to share a few pro and con thoughts about the draw of the name-brand employer.

I can by no means call this a definitive list, but it may get your juices flowing....


Everyone knows your name, duh

This feels pretty pointless, but it has some major upsides. If everyone knows your name, it means that all your future employers -- wherever you go after this job -- will also know your name. Forever.

It's the "work world" version of getting a Masters--not in knowledge, but in notoriety. Note the difference here.

Potential for huge "corporate job" perks like traveling to different offices around the world, a new free laptop, a company cell phone, a subsidized gym membership or daycare center....

I know a lot of people personally who choose to "go corporate" after they have children, because of the typically amazing insurance and benefits plans.

Those same people will often joke about "selling out" but their reasoning is 100% valid. Priorities change when there are mouths to feed.

- Those perks are actually likely to increase, too. As it becomes cooler and trendier to work for a startup or start your own thing (also both great options), corporate companies will really need to flash the cash for their employees.

Money (especially in the form of benefits) the easiest, fastest way for them to try to make their people happy.


- Corporations tend to, naturally, be ginormous places

I've only worked directly with two companies that employ more than 10,000 people. Coca-Cola, according to the internet, has 130,000 employees. 

That means that you're a verrrrrrry long way away from senior executives and most likely will never meet the people 'in charge.' That doesn't bother everyone, but it will drive some people crazy.

- "Ugh, that's so corporate"

Because there are so many people, everyone kinda has to just stick to the job they're assigned to (or else go through a lot of meetings and approval to do something ever-so-slightly out of the ordinary).

You may come into the Coca-Cola marketing team with a simple idea for a Christmas Facebook campaign, but then you start to realize that the Christmas Facebook campaign team is actually a $10 million dollar department of its own.... run by hundreds of people you've never met.... on the other side of the world....

- Beware of the restructuring

It's relatively easy to get away with doing the bare minimum in certain companies. There are soooo many other people around.

But even if you're doing a perfectly good job--even if your boss thinks you're doing a great job--you could get kicked to the curb at some point because of a senior management decision. Which will not be your fault.

But the numbers are just.... so very much bigger than you are.

But the most important thing to know is this

People who work for brand-name companies are not any smarter than you are. They are not magical. They do not know somebody special that you don't know. They're just people. In fact, they are a f*ckton of people.

So if there's some big fancy job out there that's calling your name? Well, darling, it should be yours.

PS: Digging the #entrylevelboss life? The best way to care is to share, baby. Forward this email to a friend.

PPS: MARK YOUR CALENDARS!! On December 4 and December 11 (both Sundays), I'm getting on the phone with you, and answering questions about how to job search over the holidays. You can all