Reasons To Work For A Less Prestigious Employer

Sure you could get hired by a higher-status company. But here’s why you might be better off targeting the next tier or two down.

Reasons To Work For A Less Prestigious Employer


Simple to see why working somewhere prestigious has cachet. Personal reputations soar. Future interviewers will fawn over these applicants, arm wrestling to hire them.

There are good reasons to target places that aren’t higher tier. While these companies may not be household names or be industry leaders in the minds of most people, they may, however, provide a better overall fit.

Convinced it’s worth the hassles of aiming for top status firms? Maybe set your sites a bit lower for some substantial rewards. 


Unknown Company, Excellent Brands

Lots of companies aren’t widely known, even though their products are stuck in our brains. You see that when brands gain lots of attention via advertising though the company only ever appears in small print. Or the owners change hands and the new one’s unfamiliar.


There are Fewer High-Prestige Employers

How many tier-one companies are there per industry? Nowhere near as many as those with less status. For the sheer number of job openings, you can’t beat going for silver or bronze instead of gold.


Lower Tier Firms May Pay More

High-status places can get snooty about compensation, figuring it’s a privilege even to work there. Fringe benefits? Door-opening connections for life. Unmatchably renowned mentors. Competitors not as esteemed may have to pay a premium for top talent. And lavish high performers with tempting golden handcuffs.


Prestige May Not Be Permanent

There used to be a global accounting firm everyone envied. People fought tooth and nail to get hired there. They’d been rolling in dough for decades. Till they got caught faking audits. Before you could say “fraudulent misrepresentation” they were toast. As were their disgraced employees.


Greater Chance Of Performing Up To Snuff

Superstars abound at the most revered companies. Trying to keep up with their output is folly. You’re likelier to burn out or be tossed for performance issues. Meanwhile, your contributions could be exceptional elsewhere. Mightn’t there be added longevity (and ego strokes) somewhere not top tier?


Earn More Respect And Visibility

It’s tougher to stand out surrounded by brilliance and ultra-achievers. Your ideas and efforts might gain more recognition where you’re more appreciated. Not that you should always aim to be too smart for your job. That comes with its own drawbacks, like boredom and having a target on your back.


Extra Receptiveness To New Approaches

Exalted companies can calcify in their ways. They may swallow the Kool-Aid that their approach is always best. Soon they insist on cookie-cutter people and solutions. Innovation and individuality get smothered.

Hardly a supportive culture for expressing yourself uniquely, whereas your fresh ideas and unconventionality might be encouraged (or at least tolerated) at a company less obsessed with image, more open to a diversity of views. Except beware working for just any old’ employer. Transferring from one with a dim reputation could prove to be a large hill to climb.