At my age corporate is about the only route left to me now. Start-ups see gray hair and wrinkles and send me away. In the past, though, I have worked at a start-ups that are no longer around for one reason or another.
Financial stability is a big factor at either.
The start-ups I've worked at failed primarily due to financial mismanagement. Things like paychecks bouncing and various government agencies and law firms wanting to get your testimony can make you question working for a less than solid company.
While a big corporation might be "too big to fail" that doesn't mean your job will be protected. "Reductions in Force" are a way of life at many companies when stock prices drop and institutional investors demand action. Mid-sized private corporations being run by investment firms are perhaps the worst since they tend to nickel and dime every request.
There are some good jobs at larger corporations where you can get a lot of the benefits of a small company with good financial backing and benefits. These are the great if you can find them. However, these things can change suddenly due to upper management shifts. For example, I've know people who worked in such a situation for 10 or more years who were laid off when upper management decided to go "big corporate" and replace everyone with consultants and contractors.
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