Creative Career Level Up

My Top 5 reasons to avoid working in big global companies

Apr 25, 2024
Photo by tiend_ on Unsplash

Last week I shared with you the top 5 reasons I loved working in big global companies. 

Today, I'm going to share some of the things I didn’t like. 

Make sure you view this list through your own lens - what is negative for me, might be perfect for you! Only you know this.

In fact, this understanding is what I teach on my Creative Career Level Up programme.  The first part of the programme is called Reflect. Here we work to deeply understand what it is you need from your next role - including how to view other peoples feedback through your own lens.

So keep this in mind while reading this list. 

Let’s jump into it.

1. Self Promotion

It’s such a negative phrase. But it is the best way to describe what is often necessary in big global companies.

When there are lots of people - especially ones that are really good at what they do - you often have to promote your work to ensure it gets seen. It’s a skill you can learn. But not everyone is comfortable with it. 

2. Fast-paced

When you work across many different time zones, you can’t wait to make things happen. If you don’t speak to someone in California at 4pm London time, you’ll be waiting until 4pm tomorrow to hear from them again. Often this makes everything feel super urgent.

Similarly having multiple people, with different agendas, pulling you in many different directions, can make everything feel urgent. You learn how to manage it. But it can be a shock at first.

3. Multi-level decision-making

If you want to get something done, decision making can feel slow. This is often because there are multi-layers to decisions. And sometimes it’s not clear who will make the ultimate decision.

I once had a large campaign launching in the UK, get killed by someone in California who I had never met. I had to explain to my London-based retail partner that we were no longer moving ahead. It was frustrating but a very common occurrence in big global companies.

4. Everything is so publicly visible

It definitely depends on how well-known the brand is, but working for big global companies, it can feel very visible to the public. 

Working for Nike and Apple, it wasn’t uncommon that the work you did or decisions you made, were discussed by the media and the public. 

I once led an England Rugby campaign that ended up on the news in New Zealand. And while it was exciting my parents got to see my work, it also terrified me that the campaign was so visible to the world! 

5. Working in big teams

It’s a pro and a con. I loved working in big teams. But sometimes the amount of time I spent with other people drained me.

As an introvert, I love putting my head down and getting on with work alone. When you work in a big team, it is not always possible to do this. 

It might seem like a big global company is not the right place for an introvert but I have found the opposite. You just have to work out how to balance ‘people time’ and recharging your social battery.

If you are considering a big global company as your next stop, I hope my latest newsletters have helped give you some clarity on this move. 

I help people in the Marketing and Creative and Tech Industries to find their next perfect role. 

If you are looking to level-up your career, use the link below to schedule some time to chat about whether the programme might be right for you.