What is a situation that will get you fired in a large company but promoted in a startup?

Saying that “we aren’t doing enough” and pointing out shortcomings.

In a start-up, this can be OK — if you own the problem. i.e., if you are senior enough to go and fix it, it’s OK to point out failings. You aren’t being critical in this case. .. or at least, you are being constructively critical in a start-up if you fix the problem.

But in a huge company, it’s hard to really fix anything, especially in the short-term. So this constructive criticism devolves into just … criticism.

This is what I see folks get fired for repeatedly. In a large company, being critical of shortcomings can quickly turn you into a loose cannon. No one wants that person around.

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Published on July 23, 2018

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