said by nosx:
See im the exact opposite, I wont ever work for small businesses again. The large multinational 2b-20b range is a great place. they have enough incentive to prioritize stability for existing revenue over the quest for new revenue and invest heavily in both the talent and infrastructure that make it a good place to lead. The smaller guys were always full of nepatism cronyism and the chronic underfunding of critical infrastructure. Id rather not work somewhere that decides to be single threaded and then call me at 3am because something broke.
From my experience, basically the key is to work for a company that sees you as regarded asset instead of costs regardless of the company size. Since we are in IT business (specifically network), the company then has to be technology-heavy-invested one that sees having bleeding edge or most advanced network as critical requirement to business prospective. You will have higher visibility to management (possibly higher level of regarded assets) as you work closer to serving the management directly (report directly to CTO or CEO certainly have such high visibility compared to report to some manager).
Realistically speaking, there are only handful of companies that offer network engineering work opportunities to report directly to CTO or CEO. The list is getting shorter when you add requirement such as big bonuses or compensations