85 Big or Small Company

Several people ponder working for a big or small company.

Superbowl Party

Chris / England
speakerI suppose there are advantages to both, working for a small company, you might have more space and more time to work on projects that you're interested in, but a big company, I suppose, you might think, you have more job security, so on balance I think I'd prefer to work for a big company, but I've worked for small companies in the past and there was a bit more freedom involved in those jobs.

Aki / Japan
speakerActually, I want to try working in a big company. The first job I got, it quite a small company. There were only about maybe one thousand people and my department only had about six people in it and it was quite small. I had to work under the president which was quite stressful so, if I work in a bigger company, I guess I don't really have to work under the president and go under all that stress.

Prae / Thailand
speakerFor now I think I would like to work for a big company because I'm really new to the working ... because I'm a newly graduate and I think it would be nice to learn all the system in the big company first.

Matthew / England
speakerI've worked for big companies and for small companies and they all have their own problems but in general I prefer working for small companies.

Lori / Canada
speakerWell, I'd rather have my own business to be honest, but if I had to choose between a big company and a small company, I think I'd prefer a small one because I think if you work for a big company often you get lost in the shuffle and you become just a number rather than a real person, so if I had to choose, I'd go with the small one.

Eoin / England
speakerI used to think that a small company would be a much nicer environment to work in but having actually worked for a small company, now I'm much more in favor of a big companies and standard working hours and standard working conditions.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lessons

job security


In a big company you have more job security.

'Job security' means that, if you want, you can continue to do that job for many years. Look at the following examples:

  1. Nursing is a career that has very good job security.
  2. The job security isn’t so good in a small business because many small businesses fail.



I had to work under the president which was quite stressful.  

If something is 'stressful,' it means that it is very hard and there is a lot of pressure on you to do well. See two more sample sentences below:

  1. Speaking in front of a lot of people can be extremely stressful.
  2. I had to take some time off of work because I was totally stressed.



In general I prefer working for small companies.

'Prefer' refers to liking something more than something else. See the examples below:

  1. Which would you prefer, red wine or white wine?
  2. I prefer to exercise early in the morning – at night, I’m too tired.

get lost in the shuffle


I think if you work for a big company often you get lost in the shuffle.

When you 'get lost in the shuffle' it means that you can disappear into a crowd of people because you don't stand out. It can also refer to something that is misplaced because of every day actions. Here are two more examples:

  1. I was never very popular at school because I am very average and I think I just got lost in the shuffle.
  2. I’d much rather live in a small city where everyone knows you and you don’t get lost in the shuffle.

become just a number


You become just a number rather than a real person.

'Becoming just a number' means that other people don’t know what you are like as a person. If you work for a big company, the boss and other employees may not know you at all because there are just too many people. Notice the following:

  1. As far as the government is concerned, I am just a tax-paying number.
  2. If you work for a small company, you never turn into just a number.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
job security • stressful • prefer
the shuffle • a number
  1. Would you like to go a school where everyone knows you or one where you are just .
  2. Teachers and doctors have good .
  3. I just moved, so many of my things got lost in .
  4. This time of year is always really because there are a lot of exams.
  5. I definitely spicy food.