Difference Between Startup and Corporate Culture

Yash Gupta Yash Gupta
Sep 24, 2021 7 min read
Difference Between Startup and Corporate Culture

With many of us being at the junction of our career, from where we can see an ocean of opportunities ready to take us aboard, the options seem to be endless, you can choose to study further, explore your field, and interests, or you can step into the economy and be a part of an amazing corporate, or chose the ever-evolving startup work environment, you can also start building on your very own empire.

The decision you make here has a great impact on your financial status, stability, the quality of experiences you’ll gain, the kind of organisation you choose to work with, is as crucial as the role you have there. Let us look at the - Difference between startup vs corporate culture.

Startup Culture
Corporate Culture
Difference between Startup and Corporate with an example
Benefits of Working in a Startup
Benefits of Being in a Corporate
FAQ

Startup Culture

The startup work culture offers you the freedom of being creative rather than robotic, which has flexibility in terms of timings and targets, smaller teams, and an environment that is at a more comfortable pace rather than the tight-collared corporate jobs.

Corporate Culture

Corporate companies have their own benefits, they mostly have a risk mitigated environment, mind you there’s always a plan B, a cushy office, concessions, healthcare plans for employees, wider quality exposure, and a sense of security that things are falling into a routine.

Choosing any one of them might be your key to success, so you need to know where will you bloom and excel.

Difference between Startup and Corporate with an example

Let’s look at this from the scenarios of two people, Rahul and Divya. Rahul is an individual who has been a techie since the beginning of his college. He loves to code.

Coming at Rahul’s personality traits, he’s someone who has always managed his life around a clock, has a timeline for everything in his life, getting a job means a financially stable life for him so that he can help his aging parents. Rather than risks, he believes in coordinated plans.

Now let’s talk about Divya. She’s all about ideas, she’s an avid reader and aims to unfold life rather than cross it. Divya is a risk-taking person and she does not believe in a normal paced life. She loves challenges and values skills over knowledge. As the college is ending, Divya wishes to earn some money while continuing to discover her interests.

The two people are a clear example of how the world consists of two different mentalities, with different priorities and expectations from life.


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Benefits of Working in a Startup

An Innovative, Creative Space

Startups pride in their innovative approach. It’s quite normal if your role in the organization keeps on changing frequently. This is particularly advantageous as you would gain the experience from all views, work in many people’s shoes, embrace the change, and there’s always a challenge awaiting you.

Creative minds excel in a startup environment because it’s always ready to evolve, you can always put your suggestions forward, there’s always room for something new and inspiring. Out of the box thinking is what startups build upon.

You’re Always Up For A Responsibility

Startups are said to be synonymous with risk, being at a sapling stage, a startup demands a lot of risk-taking tactics, and employees who are willing to be a part of both success or failure.

It offers you a high-pressure environment where even though, there’s always that one big mistake to rip it all down, but the team still gives 100%. It gives you the privilege to take on more responsibility than you thought you can handle.

The Infamous Flexible Culture

Startups mostly have a smaller team than a corporate, this increases the possibility of getting more than one role, rather you play with a variety of roles in different projects. This gives you unmatched exposure.

The flexibility of a startup brings the opportunity to advance quickly. You climb a corporate ladder, but in a startup, you sprint. At a startup, it’s normal for someone to start merely as an intern role and quickly ascend to a senior-level one.

Startups trust their employees on managing their own schedules, startup culture is breaking the paradox of fewer benefits with parental leave, more generous vacation time, and paid off days. Dropbox, even offer unlimited paid time off, understanding their employees respect their work and would not abuse their trust.

Other than that there are often other more intangible benefits, like free lunches, nap pods, a bright office, flexible happy hours, casual dress code, and a more laid-back less tense work environment.

Startups Work To Bring A Change

Startups are driven by millennials who work on their own terms with a motive to see the change. Millennials aren’t content unless they notice the difference they aim to make.

Even with limited words, they find room to give back to the world and including their employees in the process.


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Benefits of Being in a Corporate

The Much Needed Work-Life Balance of a Corporate Life

Corporates have no midnight work calls, no impromptu brainstorming sessions, after that 9 pm deadline no one expects you to work until the next morning. The line between work and home is a blur in a startup. Lesser employees and limited resources push to demand a push on the clock.

Considering the hourly pay system two identical jobs with the same salary—one at a startup working 60 hours per week and one at a corporation working 40 hours will result in a lower hourly rate at the startup since you are working more hours than you would at a corporation.

You Prioritise Money Over Passion

Giving you a reality check, Three out of four startups fail. Even if you work at that one, thriving startup, the benefits will reflect in your pocket at a later stage.

Usually, Startups can’t offer competitive salaries due to the initial lack of funding and cash crunch. Health insurance or paid time off might be the benefits you might never experience.

At a corporation, you can expect to have a competitive salary and benefits packages, with stability in an already tried and tested environment.

Well Defined Responsibility

One important point you need to know about startup vs corporate is unlike a startup, you won’t be expected to work on everyone’s behalf. You just have to finish the responsibility given to you. You’re not expected to have hands-on experience in working with everything, so just have to be exceptional in the role assigned to you. There’s a well-developed process for onboarding, which is timed to lead you up for success.

The Experience Counts

When you step into a corporate, there’s already a vault of knowledge ready to be explored. You can take timed and planned steps, there’s someone to tell you the shortcomings of your work. There’s always a scale to compare, rather than staying like a blind rat in the race.

There’s a protocol for everything, you’ll find that there are many resources at your disposal: your colleagues have a wealth of knowledge, the bosses have years and years of experience.

Abundance of Funds

The biggest difference between startups and corporations has to be the number of funds. Startups are always tight on cash, corporations are about the profit, but  they can serve without a profit too.

Corporations also spend on advertisements, multiple locations, talent hiring. While Startups have to be careful in every step they take while big corporations and there’s always a rebound plan.

Essentially it’s about setting your priorities. Are you willing to be in a risk-taking environment, ready to accept a lower salary for the sake of the opportunity of seeking your passion? Is financial stability a priority right now? Do you want a settled, less creative more analytical life? All these questions might lead you to your safe haven.


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FAQ

What is a startup?

Startups are companies that are focused on a single product or service that the founders want to bring to market.

What is a corporate social responsibility?

Corporate social responsibility refers to practices and policies undertaken by corporations that are intended to have a positive influence on the world.

What is the Difference Between Startup Culture vs Corporate Culture?

A startup environment is typically a fast-paced culture in which creativity and communication are valued. Startup culture is often perceived as being less formal than that of a corporate environment and usually puts less emphasis on hierarchy within teams.

How do you build a strong culture?

Six steps to help you build a strong culture:

  • Start with a purpose
  • Define a common language, values, and standards
  • Lead by example
  • Identify your (cultural) ambassadors
  • Be truthful and always communicate
  • Treat people right

What is the difference between startup and company?

A startup is a temporary organization designed to look for a business model that is repeatable and scalable. While a company is a permanent organisation designed to execute a business model that is repeatable and scalable.

What is the difference between startup and corporate entrepreneurship?

Corporate entrepreneurs don't have the same autonomy as a startup entrepreneur, they have rules they have to follow and corporate guidelines. A startup entrepreneur, on the other hand, completely autonomous, at least when you first start the company.

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