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Smaller is better for some job seekers

It’s no surprise that many Gen Y professionals are seeking jobs with startup/small-to-medium business (SMB).

It seems like a short while ago that size really mattered in your career, the large company was the norm, and the bigger the brand on your resumé, the more opportunities you’d have. Why the shift in perspective? What happened to joining the big guys and working your way up to a cushy corner office?

Trade that retro leather sofa for shared desk space, and the clunky desktop computer for a netbook. Welcome to startup culture.

Company culture is one of the primary driving factors for young professionals who are looking to get more out of their career. These days, if your office doesn’t have a foosball table and communal lunches, you’re old school.

It takes more than fun perks, though, to make a great company and entice job seekers. Young professionals want to make a visible contribution to the company with their work, and work in small teams where they’re more likely to be recognized.

The opportunity to learn, be challenged, and grow often happens much faster and on a larger scale in small companies.

“The beauty of a startup is that there is always too much to accomplish and very few bodies to do it,” says Zainab Ali, a product s pecialist at Toronto-based Eloqua. “Every startup has a story and cultivates an experience so enriching, it forces you to grow beyond your years as a person and a professional.”

Canada’s startup/SMB ecosystem is growing, particularly as Ottawa and Toronto battle it out for rights to the title of “Silicon Valley North.” The tech market is booming, and increasing support for small businesses is helping nurture the startup/SMB market.

It’s an exciting time to build a company, and enthusiastic young professionals want to be part of it — no longer looking at company size as the primary indicator of career success.

However popular startups/SMBs are right now, though, there are still those who feel that their career goals are better achieved in a large company.

“Having worked at both small and large companies I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m more apt to succeed at a larger company,” says Chris Im, a digital strategist. “Irrespective of the size of the company, your choice of company should come from how well you fit into that company’s culture and how much you’ll enjoy the work that you’ll be doing.”

At the end of the day, your career is about you. Ask yourself what kind of company will get you where you need to go, and what you have to do to get there.

Julie Tyios is the marketing manager and chief matchmaker at, a career destination for young professionals. Contact her at