You may think it’s all about what you do that helps you climb the corporate ladder or keeps you on the bottom rung. But where you work and whom you work for also play a large part in the success—or lack thereof—in your career. In other words, there are companies that can make your career—and there are ones that will break it. To help you know the difference, here are nine you should work for or run from.
Companies That Can Make Your Career
1. The Mom-n-Pop Outfit
Don’t shy away from a small company, or one run by a family. What it may lack in industry heft, it may make up for in more personalized relationships and career development: at a mom-n-pop outfit, you may find you get more face-time with your boss, who’s willing to teach you the ins and outs of the business. Or maybe you’ll the chance to move up more quickly through the ranks. Either way, it might be worth it.
2. The Fast Growth Outfit
When you’ve got #careergoals, it’s only smart to hitch your wagon to a company that’s on the rise. A fast-growth outfit is headed up: they’re hiring for all the right reasons, creating new positions, earning new clients, and finding other ways to expand—all of which mean that there’s ample opportunity for you to really spread your wings here. In a fast-growth outfit, you don’t feel the need to leave, because a new opportunity could be just one door down.
3. The Business With a Great Leader
As they say, success trickles down from the top. When you work for a company with a great leader—one who leads by example, who’s willing to mentor and teach, who cares about your success as an individual as much as he cares about the success of the company—you can’t help but shine and move quickly up the corporate ladder.
4. The Industry Standard-bearer.
Some places set the standard for the whole industry, and those are the companies for which you want to work. They’re the best of the best, and who doesn’t want to learn from the best—and put the best on your resume? You don’t have to stay in this kind of company forever but stay long enough to learn the ropes and earn bragging rights for your next gig, which will appreciate benefitting from all you learned there.
Companies That Can Break Your Career
1. The High Turnover Outfit
A company with a high-turnover is a big red flag. Think about it: if its employees are constantly jumping ship, that doesn’t say anything good about the management or the company itself. And if the company is always firing its employees, you won’t be able to work without fear that you’ll be the next one on the proverbial chopping block—and working in a state of anxiety won’t exactly inspire your best performance. Aim instead to work for a company people would hate to leave because it’s that great.
2. The Top-Heavy Business
There’s a difference between working for an inspiring leader, which can make your career, and working for a leader who won’t share his or her success with the rest of the team. In top-heavy companies, leaders snag the credit for every single success while passing the blame to their employees for every single thing that goes wrong. That’s bad for a few reasons: it can be difficult to rise through the ranks in this kind of company, and it can be tough to build up a resume with a boss who won’t admit you ran a stellar campaign or brought in new business. Try instead to work for a company with a leader unafraid to recognize your good work and help you improve.
3. The Culture Clash Corp
When you think of a company with poor work culture, you might picture those with drama that’s played out in newspapers or on TV—the kind you’d be embarrassed to keep on your resume. And that’s something that can break your career. But even if a company’s culture hasn’t made it to the news—or the ears of industry insiders—it can still hold you back. That’s because a company with a negative culture can leave you frustrated, uninspired, and unmotivated—which won’t help you move up in this company or move on to the next. Instead, you should want to work somewhere that inspires all its employees to do their best—and that will reward them for hard work.
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4. The Perpetual Promisor
You could waste years of your career at this kind of company—the kind that always promises a promotion or a raise but never, ever delivers. Perhaps they drew you in with the promise of increasing your compensation after a review—but they always have an excuse for never scheduling it. Or maybe they told you that most employees move into new, better roles after a year—and you’ve been in the same position for three years now. Either way, you’re going nowhere fast. Work for a company with a proven track record of keeping its promises, and you can make your career instead.
5. The “Stagnator”
You may be long done with college, but your education should continue throughout your career—and it’s key to find an employer who’s willing to help facilitate that continued education, in the form of supporting you on conferences, classes, training, and other development opportunities. If a company is content to keep you stagnant, you’re in a job, that will ultimately be a dead end, and you may find yourself looking for a new job ASAP. So when or if you do, look for companies that value education.
Author: Jillian Kramer