Following are some possibilities of different types of Work Environment :
1. BIG CORPORATIONS/LEADING COMPANIES IN FIELD.
These huge companies are exciting, dynamic places in which to work and offer opportunities smaller companies may lack, including the chance to work in foreign offices, rotate through a variety of jobs, and compete with some of the best and brightest minds in a given field. On the negative side, these organizations often have cutthroat cultures and can make mince meat of C students and others who aren't ready for an ultra-competitive environment. It is easy to get lost and stuck in large companies, and bureaucratic red tape can be frustrating for people who like to get things done quickly. Politics are often part of these cultures, and the people who succeed know how to play the game. In some of these corporations people reach the management level by working an old boy's network. If you lack the pedigree to be included in this network it will be more difficult to reach your career goals.
2. SMALLER, ENTREPRENEURIAL COMPANIES.
In most entrepreneurial environments what counts most is what you can contribute. Management tends to discount background—schools, grade point averages, ethnicity, gender, and so on—in favor of performance. People will give you a chance to prove yourself here, but be prepared for long hours and challenging Work. Software firms are an example of this type of company, and they often are dynamic, exciting places in which to work, but they can also be volatile places where the workforce can be cut dramatically or the entire company can go under with the loss of a single customer. You need to determine if a risk-taking, fast-moving, open culture fits who you are.
3. FAMILY BUSINESSES OR FAMILYLIKE CULTURES.
C students often benefit from nurturing environments, and family-run companies or cultures that treat employees like family may be a good place for you. You may be the type of person Who learns best when bosses are patient and supportive and your colleagues cooperate rather than compete. Family businesses have downsides, though. As in a family, the patriarch or matriarch can play favorites, and if it is a true family business, the sons and daughters of the people who run the business will receive the top positions. Family businesses can also be idiosyncratic places where issues aren't always handled professionally or in a consistent manner.
4. PROFESSIONAL SERVICE FIRMS.
Law firms, public relations firms, financial services companies, ad agencies, and consulting firms are common types. Professional service firms are usually meritocracies, more so than product-based companies. This is great for C students, who receive more opportunities to prove themselves. If you like working with other professionals and providing a specialized service to potentially demanding clients, this may be a good place for you. Major differences exist between the practice of law and public relations, for instance. Nonetheless, most firms, regardless of their particular area of expertise, are intellectually challenging, people-oriented places, and being a good relationship builder is often a more valuable skill than being brilliantly analytical. The largest firms in each area, however, tend to resemble the largest corporations: They place a high value on where you went to school and other aspects of your background. Professional service firms can also reward the "grinds" people willing to work around the clock for their firms. Junior members of management consultant firms and associates at law firms are especially vulnerable to this workaholic syndrome.
5. SOLE PROPRIETORSHIPS/OWN BUSINESS.
In theory, being your own boss is an ideal situation for C students. In reality, it's not always feasible. As I told my son, the best time to go into business for yourself is early in your career when you aren't responsible for a spouse or children and don't have a large mortgage payment or a house to maintain. When you're young, you have the time and freedom to devote to your business, and the consequences of the business failing aren't as serious as they are when you are supporting a family. Of course, many younger people lack the financial wherewithal to start their own businesses in the first place. In addition, not all C students are cut out for being in business for themselves. It can be a lonely experience, and not everyone wants to take on the multiple tasks that being your own boss entails. If you're not certain you want to have your own business—or you lack the financial means to do so—it makes sense to work for someone else initially to get a feel for that environment.
6. NOT-FOR-PROFIT ASSOCIATIONS.
C students with high emotional intelligence often feel comfortable working for not-for-profits. They want to make a difference in the world rather than a profit, and these associations give them that opportunity. While the salaries usually aren't as high as in the for-profit world, these associations often offer generous benefits. Their cultures tend to be more humanistic than those in the for-profit sector, and many of these associations are highly professional and well-run. The ability to empathize with the plight of the groups these associations serve is prized, and C students who are passionate about specific causes can flourish in not-for-profits. At the same time, some not-for-profits are surprisingly political, and people fight and maneuver to get ahead with the same ferocity as in the corporate universe. Be aware, too, that not-for-profits can impose restrictions and regulations on their people to the point that you can feel hamstrung. If you hate bureaucracy and paperwork, this may not be the best place for you.
These six categories aren't the only ones, and in some instances you'll find hybrids—the entrepreneurial corporation, for example, or the family-run professional service firm. But these six categories can help you to start thinking about which types appeal to you and which ones you find not to your liking. Too often C students are so grateful for any job offers they receive that they'll accept one without considering the environment. Recognize that you have options, and that you should at least determine in advance which ones make sense for you.
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