First job at MNC or startup: A perspective

First job at MNC or startup, this is a question that rattles many young fresh graduates. With India becoming the new startup hub, after ranking third in terms of number of startups reaching over 4,000+ each year, the opportunities to join one are also on the rise. As per NASSCOM, the Indian startup technology landscape has seen tremendous growth over the past one decade with a 100% growth in number of private equity, venture capital and angel investors. There has been a 125% growth in funding in 2015 compared to the previous year. India is considered the youngest startup nation with around 72% of the founders less than 35 years. Under this backdrop, it is a question mark to many aspiring fresh graduates whether to land his/her first job at MNC or startup. First job at MNC or startup, each comes with its own advantages and associated risks.

Here are some of the upsides of first job at MNC vis-à-vis the disadvantages of working at a startup:

First job at MNC

Social and financial security:

Joining an MNC or a large corporation gives a sense of stability, higher salary and higher status in the society. A startup company has its own difficulties in raising finances, thus posing immense risks in getting a regular paycheck every month.

Clearly defined roles:

In an MNC or large corporation, the roles and responsibilities of a person are defined clearly. This although provides limited scope for learning and developing in-depth understanding of work outside an employee’s assigned zone, it is relatively easy to complete one’s task before calling it quits for the day. Whereas, in a smaller setup, since the resources are meagre, there will be no clearly defined role or responsibility for any individual, thus often lacking in accountability at work.

 Ease of work:

A big MNC or a large company has its own brand name, and hence it is relatively easy to complete task especially when dealing with external parties.  Handling similar works at a small startup is more difficult without having any brand presence.

Opportunities to work and travel:

Employees working with large companies will have several opportunities to work across continents, across cultures and languages to learn and share the best practices. While working with small startups, employees need to learn to do things well, the hard way.

First job at Startup

The other perspective elaborates in contrast to first job at MNC:

Broader roles:

Employees in startups usually have to face to higher responsibilities and broader roles as the team is smaller, an article published in Times of India explains. Many freshers are also of the opinion that these employees have more flexibility, greater degree of freedom and better encouragement for creativity and implementing new ideas. Every single position in the company will create a significant impact on the work and the overall business.

Quick learning:

A startup culture needs one to learn things quicker to complete their day-to-day tasks. Since the roles and responsibilities are broader, one has more opportunities to learn new skills on a regular basis, which brings in richer experience and better capability to the table, ultimately giving way to greater job satisfaction. A startup environment will be more suitable for individuals that are interested in starting their own ventures in future, while first job at MNC or big company cannot offer that type of an environment.

Opportunities for faster growth:

The success enjoyed while working in startup companies is very encouraging and brings more freshers to join them. The achievements and work of an employee are recognized more in startups when compared to MNC or big companies.

Financial benefits:

Startups have of late started offering competitive salaries to attract the best talent from the industry. This apart, most companies offer stock options, shares and other non-liquid benefits that largely help employees build wealth in the longer run. Hence, largely the financial position of an employee turns out to be the same whether in MNC or startup over a period, if the startup does not fail.


Thus, first job at MNCs or startups, both have their own and disadvantages. One must consider their financial background, career goals, long-term interests and competence of the individual. There is no hard and fast rule that first job at MNC or startup is beneficial. If a fresher has strong financial backup and is interested in better job satisfaction and quicker professional growth, first job at startup will be beneficial.  On the other hand, for graduates expecting a stable monthly income and wanting to learn industry best practices, first job at MNC is the way to go.

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