After all the hard work you’ve invested in your education to become a computer programmer, it’s time to step out into the big world and – drum roll, please – get that coding job.
Other than starting your own business, there are three options available to you – working for an established company, a startup, or a digital agency.
Working for a Corporation
Working for a large corporation has the advantage of stability. Google, Microsoft, and Salesforce are good examples. They’ve been around a while and plan to stick around. The pay and benefits also tend to be good. They also have great perks like education reimbursement, annual bonuses, and paid healthcare benefits.
Corporations also have the resources to focus on specialization. With larger teams and larger budgets to play with, they’re able to hire specialists. This allows you to focus on the one area that interests you.
Choose the company that best fits your values and interests – not just the one that pays the most. The excitement over the great paycheck will wear off if you aren’t satisfied with the work. You will be happier if you’re interested in what you’re doing from day-to-day.
Joining a Startup
Working for a small startup that’s trying to find its feet is a very different animal. Their budget is much lower, so the pay tends to be lower. And the stability just isn’t there – 90% of startups fail. Yikes!
So why would you consider a startup?
If you’re the type of person that likes to generalize, then a startup would be for you. Since the team is small, people are required to wear many different hats. You will gain exposure to different parts of the business and use your talents in a variety of ways.
And being part of the start of something great is pretty darn exciting. Choose a startup whose mission and purpose resonates with you. Working with like-minded people makes it easier to develop a sense of camaraderie and teamwork.
Plus, if the startup does take off and go public – the payout could be huge.
Working for an Agency
A digital agency deals with different clients and works on those clients’ projects. When you work for an agency, you will be assigned to work on those various projects. It’s a great way to gain valuable experience in different ways of building web technologies. And you’ll gain exposure to companies of various sizes – from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.
One downside of working for an agency is that you won’t always be working on projects that you’re excited about. Check out the types of clients the agency deals with. For instance, if they often serve pharmaceutical companies and you aren’t interested in healthcare – you may be stuck in a project that bores you.
The pay and benefits can vary with agencies. Some are willing to invest more money in their talent than others. The stability also can vary – if the agency loses a big client, than they might have to downsize.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
Each type of business – big company, startup, or agency – has pros and cons. But the good news is there’s no right or wrong choice. What matters is the direction you want to take in your coding career path and what kind of environment will help you thrive.