Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?
Old 06-13-2006, 01:55 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
saluki9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,032
Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?

Ok, this is going to sound a little strange to a lot of you. I know because my friends tell me I f'ing crazy.

I've never in my working career worked at a large company. (being a stockboy for Walgreens when I was 14 doesn't count)

Most of my friends went to work for mega corps when they graduated, most have left for greener pastures. I've always worked for small organizations and feel as though I've missed out on some interesting experiences. I'm only guessing (after hearing what others have to say) that it is really different to work for a big company compared to what I'm used to.

I think if I had done it, I would have had greater exposure and more possibilities. It seemed like my friends always got to work on bigger deals, more interesting projects, and got to travel to cool places to do it.

Now, they always point out that by not working at a MC I avoided most of the political BS, and other fun stuff that happens at public companies. They also correctly point out that by working for a small firm you are almost always in the middle of every major decision, and more likely to know when it's time to jump ship. Also, this isn't a money issue because I know our comp has been about the same in most cases.

How nuts am I?


__________________

__________________
saluki9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?
Old 06-13-2006, 02:00 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?

Very nuts. I've worked for huge companies, mid-sized ones, and small ones. The big ones invariably involved huge amounts of BS instigated by people who wouldn't know you/your work if they backed over you in their Bentleys. The big companies also had an annoying tendency to pigeonhole people doing one specialized thing in a box.
__________________

__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?
Old 06-13-2006, 02:49 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saluki9
How nuts am I?
My BIL the CPA who's always worked for very small companies & partnerships, says that you're very nuts.

No need to jump out of the frying pan (or the slowly heating pot of water)...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?
Old 06-13-2006, 04:15 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
lazygood4nothinbum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,895
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?

i worked for a fortune 500 company for, yikes, 17 years. before re-engineering it was really fun. our division ran like a small company. you'd come up with an idea, get credit for it and suddenly there'd be 600 people working on it.

however, after they re-engineered and started acting like a big company, things started to suck. now when you came up with an idea, you got no credit and 600 people simply stole it.

your mileage may vary.
__________________
"off with their heads"~~dr. joseph-ignace guillotin

"life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages."~~mark twain - letter to edward kimmitt 1901
lazygood4nothinbum is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?
Old 06-13-2006, 06:02 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
VoyT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 445
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?

I think you're crazy, too

If mega-corp leaves your department alone, then it's not so bad. You probably have access to better bennies..
Usually doesn't happen that way, though. The bean counters usually get involved, meaning perioic cutbacks and out and out cheapness. You deal with the boss of the week as corporate cycles management types through its divisions. Or worse, you're constantly being moved....
__________________
"Coffee: the finest organic suspension ever devised." -- Kathryn Janeway
VoyT is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?
Old 06-13-2006, 06:37 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,643
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
your mileage may vary.
That says it all.

Some people flourish in environments that others find toxic. I enjoyed most of my 32 years with the Government (a lot like mega corp) while others hated every minute - same agency. Think of it like a big high school. All the same personalities are there doing all of the same stuff they did in HS. The arguments pro and con are probably similar to the arguments for a small, private school vs a big public school. And the variations from one big company to another are comparable to the differences you would find in big schools in one community vs another.

I think I would feel stiffled in a small company. If you don't like your boss or co-workers there your only answer is to leave the place entirely, you can't just move to another division. The thought of feeling financially trapped in a toxic small business makes my skin crawl.
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?
Old 06-13-2006, 08:03 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
cube_rat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,466
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?

You're definitely not missing anything at megacorp. My company is a phlethora of Dilbert-isms, butt sniffers, cutsey corporate jargon, mealy mouth, moronic bosses who don't understand technology (this one really pi$$es me off to no end) you get the picture. :P I regret the day I walked into mega corp 6 years ago. I wish I worked at a small company where I'm not a piece of meat to be rotated around the corporate freezer when someone high up comes up with a brilliant strategic initiative.
__________________
fuzzy? cute?
cube_rat is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?
Old 06-13-2006, 09:44 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Spanky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 4,046
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?

The biggest drawback of working for a MC is the politics. However, there are some pluses: profit sharing, 401K (+ matching), employee stock discount program.
__________________
May we live in peace and harmony and be free from all human sufferings.
Spanky is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?
Old 06-13-2006, 10:55 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Helen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Portland
Posts: 1,343
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?

The biggest advantage I have found in working for a megacorp (or Gov't) is that you can switch jobs without having to switch companies. I don't think I could last in the same job for more than 3 years.
__________________
Helen is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?
Old 06-14-2006, 04:53 AM   #10
Full time employment: Posting here.
TargaDave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 588
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?

I like to call it the Good Guy-Idiot metric (no sexism intended). DW had a great experience at one Megacorp due to a decent Group, Boss, Division Head. Most of the Idiots just happend to be sufficiently removed from her group for a long enough period of time. Now she works at a small 60 person manufacturing startup, and while her co-workers are all decent the new Plant Manager is beyond pathetic. Excellent ratio of Good Guys to Idiots but the one Idiot is in a key position that rubs off heavily on everyone. Huge turn-over and moral problem.
__________________
TargaDave is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?
Old 06-14-2006, 07:11 AM   #11
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 714
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?

You're not nuts.

This is like any other prejudice ... perhaps based on real tendencies, but actual experience differs greatly by individual / company.

I've worked for both as well.* Some big companies are great, and some are a royal PITA.* Tendency is way too much bureaucracy, no question.* But the pros are more resources, bigger projects, chance for major responsibility (e.g. doesn't hurt to say you managed a $1.4B division ...), great experience acquiring and developing businesses most folks could never hope to run, better employee benefits, less risk of financial ruin, good on the resume.* [Note many executives in small and medium-sized companies love to see big company experience in the folks they hire ... they know they'll bring plenty of best practices to the smaller company.]

Small companies have a nasty tendency to go bankrupt, accept nepotism, display small-thinking and an inability to take smart strategic action, and are very very dependent upon the CEO / entrepreneur.* If the CEO / owner is great, these can be wonderful experiences.* If not ... hold on.* Napoleon rides again.* When these CEO's / owners are great, it can be a wonderful ride ... honest brainstorming, continuous improvement, exciting growth, true appreciation for each team members contributions, stock options that actually become worth something.

Medium-sized companies are small companies that have survived and prospered ... trying to make the transition through what has been called "no man's land" by Tatum Partners ... too small to be big, too big to be small.* Adopting bureaucracy, because without more structure, they're out of control.* Still laboring under some small-company challenges, like Napoleon sometimes.* If these companies prosper, they become acquisition targets for larger companies, from larger markets ... your employer may get acquired out from under you. Sometimes good, sometimes bad.

Bottom line ... your mileage will indeed vary, and you are probably best off taking the right opportunity without paying too much attention to whether the company is big, medium or small.* Is the job interesting, good pay, opportunity for advancement, great experience, do you think you'll like your boss (huge) and coworkers, would you be proud to work there, acceptable benefits, educational opportunities?

Best of luck.
__________________
Craig is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?
Old 06-14-2006, 09:49 AM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Houston
Posts: 1,435
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?

There's plenty of anti-MC sentiment here but I would say that you should consider what you can learn from time at an MC. I work for one of the largest MCs and I have plenty of frustration over inefficiencies and burecracy. However, I'm learning a ton about the right and the wrong ways to do business. I've seen how the pressure to make quarterly numbers for a publicly traded company has resulted in poor long-term decisions. I've also learned a ton about management styles and how good/bad they can be. And although "job security" no longer exists, there is more of it at this company than at a smaller shop...I don't have to worry about them not making payroll this week or the CEO dying and the company falls apart. A steady paycheck and decent benefits (which are getting harder to find at small companies) have helped start me down the road to ER.

If someone told me I have to spend 30 years at this MC, I would go crazy. However, I am putting in my time here, learning what I can, and building my resume. There is no question that it will pay off in the future once I take my skills to a smaller outfit.

A former boss at this MC once told me "stay on the big ship for a while, work for the captain, and learn all you can. then go to the little ship and haul in the fish."
__________________
soupcxan is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?
Old 06-14-2006, 10:43 AM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 301
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?

One potential mega-corp advantage is that being just a small cog in the operation, you might find it possible to spend a significant amount of time crusing the web and researching FIRE topics while getting paid for it.

Or so I've heard anyway - I of course wouldn't do that, in fact I'm working on a C program at the moment...
__________________
runchman is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?
Old 06-14-2006, 12:09 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
BunsGettingFirm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,502
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky
The biggest drawback of working for a MC is the politics. However, there are some pluses: profit sharing, 401K (+ matching), employee stock discount program.
These are no guarantees. I have worked for big computer companies that shared their wealth (bonuses, trips to cool places, free dinners, parties, regular raises), and I have worked for an el-cheapo company that really believes that just giving you a job is reward in and of itself.
__________________
Got retiree health care through your company? What if the company goes bankrupt? Retire and go RVing full time? RVs are not structurally sound. You'll die in a fiery crash. Retire and live overseas? What if you die? Aren't you worried about your body? No, I don't think I will be able to seeing how I am dead.
BunsGettingFirm is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?
Old 06-14-2006, 04:43 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?

Big YMMV. Digital Equipment Corp in the late 70's/early 80's and Intel in the late 80's/early 90's were pretty darn good big companies to work for.

I worked for a couple of companies with 10-20 people in them that were awful. Big ego's, close proximity, and a few folks who liked to strap on the dorsal fin and beady little eyes every now and then. :P
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?
Old 06-15-2006, 01:52 PM   #16
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 927
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?

A lot of good advice here.

Like others, I've worked with small companies with despotic rulers...er... managers, and life was a living hell.

Right now I work for megacorp, who has run around for the last several years vacuuming up those small companies. For those who still care, it's a living hell.

If you can get hell in both places than I assume (though I have no personal data to support me), that you could get heaven in both places too. The "what makes a good boss" thread is probably required reading -- no matter where I've worked, a boss who knows what s/he is doing has trumped all the rest.

As to the work -- I used to have "cradle to grave" responsibility for several products in a small company. Learned TONS about bringing products to market, working with development teams, etc. etc.

Here at megacorp that same job is split between AT LEAST 50 people. If you want to do focus on one TINY LITTLE area of expertise, this is the place to be. If you're a big picture person like myself, you'll hate it. Unless you think you're CEO material, that is.

Good luck to you, either way.
__________________
Caroline is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?
Old 06-15-2006, 02:20 PM   #17
Full time employment: Posting here.
cj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 517
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?

Lots of good responses so far on this.* I also worked for a mega-corp (for 22 years), and the answer in my experience is, it all depends.* I had some great bosses and great situations, and some really, really horrible ones.* In the meantime, there were some great benefits, and things I could really take advantage of.* Like an 83% match on the 401K plan.* Like an actual pension plan.* Like lots of vacation time.* Like, mega-corp paid for all of my schooling (which I did at night - it took forever): 120 credits of undergrad, 48 credits for my MBA.* After all the years of school, no one seemed to think I was any different just because I had the degrees, so I took them and went elsewhere.* *:* I have a lot to be grateful for.*

In the job I just RE'd from, it was a medium sized company.* I spent 10+ years there, and had some great bosses and great situations, and some really, really horrible ones.* (It can happen anywhere!)

I guess the bigger the company, the easier in can be to move around and find opportunities within the same company - and the easier to get lost in the shuffle and bureaucracy.* That can be good, or it can be bad.

DH also worked for mega-corp, and now he works for a small, family-owned company.* He loves where he is now.* He's much more comfortable in a small company situation.*

To each his own!

CJ
__________________
cj is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?
Old 06-15-2006, 03:36 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,643
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cj
After all the years of school, no one seemed to think I was any different just because I had the degrees, so I took them and went elsewhere.
It is unfortunate that a lot of people experience this. From the employers perpective nothing really does change on the day you graduate so no one feels like anything specific needs to be done. From the students' perspective, the degree signifies a break point warranting something big.

Maybe companies should try to tie some significant job opportunities to the achievement of a major educational goal. Of course, that is easier said than done.
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?
Old 06-15-2006, 05:26 PM   #19
Full time employment: Posting here.
cj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 517
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
It is unfortunate that a lot of people experience this. From the employers perpective nothing really does change on the day you graduate so no one feels like anything specific needs to be done. From the students' perspective, the degree signifies a break point warranting something big.

Maybe companies should try to tie some significant job opportunities to the achievement of a major educational goal. Of course, that is easier said than done.
Yeah, the weird thing is that they are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to educate people, but then they don't seem to think it matters.* Well, it sure helped me get a better job elsewhere!!* Doesn't seem like a good investment on their part, though.* I know there are some companies that require you to stay for at least x years after receiving tuition assistance or you need to pay it back.* That wasn't the case with me, though.

CJ
__________________
cj is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?
Old 06-15-2006, 05:33 PM   #20
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Re: Working for a Mega Corp sounds interesting, am I nuts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cj
I know there are some companies that require you to stay for at least x years after receiving tuition assistance or you need to pay it back.* That wasn't the case with me, though.
That's the way the military does it. Eight years for a service academy's four-year undergraduate degree (at least five of them on active duty), and roughly three-for-one for most graduate degrees.

Unless, of course, you screw up badly enough. Then your obligated service becomes negotiable...
__________________

__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:02 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.