The great escape: Survey reveals the secret struggles of corporate life

The great escape: Survey reveals the secret struggles of corporate life

Chuk Ikéh is Head of Content at Tyba, our partner for TNW Jobs.


Job satisfaction is key to deriving gratification from your work.

When Tyba and TNW Jobs commissioned a survey to explore differences in job satisfaction between people working in startups and those working at traditional corporate companies, we ended up with shocking results. Twice as many people working in corporations (versus startups) are dissatisfied and want to leave.

The numbers revealed by the survey are quite staggering and represent a significant shift in the way people think and feel about the value of their job or career. They also suggest a future struggle for big companies looking to hire and retain the best talent available, with startups appearing to have taken the lead in terms of desirability.

Career ‘pains’ and ‘perks’ revealed

So why is it that employees of corporate or established businesses are so fed up with their jobs, and startup employees less so? Well, of those we asked in the corporate camp, three of the top ten reasons given were: “Office politics” (53 percent), “lack of recognition” (45 percent) and “lack of career progression and purpose” (37 percent).

The grass appears a little greener and the sky a little sunnier on the other side. Those working in startups hailed “a creative and dynamic environment” (77 percent), “working for a company that gives you a sense of purpose” (53 percent) and “the chance to progress your career as the company grows” (52 percent) as three of the top perks of their job.

Serious food for thought

While these figures may not be so surprising to anyone who has experience working on both sides of the fence, there was one truly telling statistic that emerged from the survey. From the army of corporate employees we surveyed, almost two thirds (65 percent) revealed that working in a startup would actually be their “dream job.”

While there are a lot of takeaways from the survey, the bigger picture is clear: people don’t just want a job any more; they want a more tangible sense of purpose. Work that excites them and gives them a real sense of fulfilment.

Finding a sense of ‘freedom’

In a startup, the people are the most important thing – more so than in a sprawling corporate structure. Employees need to know and trust each other; there’s no time for politics because we can’t afford to waste time. This sentiment is echoed by Eric Huang Development Director at digital creative studio Made In Me, Huang made the switch from big media companies like Disney and Penguin after more than two decades.

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Eric Huang: Development Director, Made in Me (credit: Made In Me)

Huang told us:

“The thing I love most about working in a startup is the freedom and the people. I feel much more in control and have no distant board dictating to us from a removed head office.

“In a startup, the people are the most important thing, even more so than in a corporate. We all need to know and trust each other; there’s no time for politics because we can’t afford to waste time. I love the people I work with!”

There has been a revolution on the horizon for a while now – one in which more and more people are looking to break out, ditch their ranks and find a job that truly excites and continuously motivates them.

What’s your story?

Do you agree with the groans and praises revealed by our startup and corporate employee survey? Are you happy with your current job or are you looking to escape?

If the latter is true, why not check out some of the exciting startup jobs available across Europe on TNW Jobs. And if you’re part of a startup looking to capture the imagination and ideas of exciting tech talent prospects, take advantage and post your vacancies here.

➤ TNW Jobs

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