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10 Best Companies To Work For

10 Best Companies To Work For

Whether you are a seasoned professional or a recent graduate ready to enter the job market, I bet you would love to know the best companies to work for in 2015! Ranked according to former and current employee reviews, median salary rates and corporate benefits, here are top ten dream companies you should consider sending your resume to this year.

1. Google 

reception

    Once again Google got all the tops and received the “best company to work for” accolade according to the latest survey by Glassdoor.  Among the well known company perks are free gym, slides between floors, showers, free laundry services and an unlimited food supply, making some of the employees complain about getting too much extra weight. Excellent health insurance plans, extended maternity and paternity leaves, along with free legal advice in the US and paid study gigs are among the few reasons why Googlers love their jobs!

    On top of that all, an average Software Engineer salary starts from $127,916 annually and goes up to $237.000 per year if you are a coding rock star. Quoting one of the employees “If you’re a software engineer, you’re among the kings of the hill at Google.” So, tell me, does working for Google look like a really lucrative perspective to you?

    2. Bain&Company

    catch-up-with-colleagues-in-comfortable-settings-around-the-office

      This prestigious global management consulting firm headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, was ranked second by a few thousand employees from 51 offices in 33 countries around the globe. Can you imagine what it’s like to meet with the world’s famous leaders and have the ability to work side by side with the best problem-solvers in the world? “They put an incredible amount of focus on developing employees professionally and ensuring that your time with the company is enriching, enjoyable, and stimulating. The culture is incredibly social and collegial,” says a current employee.

      Main perks include: thrilling projects and ability to work with the best industry leaders; excellent corporate training; healthy life-work balance; full health insurance; limited hierarchy and the chance to take a year sabbatical. Consultants annual wage start from $121,000 and go up to whooping $175,000 per year.

      3. Nestlé Purina PetCare

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      main-lobby

        For the last 140 years, Nestle been absolutely devoted to it’s never changing motto,”Good Food, Good Life.” With over 330.000 happy employees in 86 states worldwide and 2.000+ nutrition brands produced, Purina is one of the company’s branches focusing on providing all sort of goodies for pets. The company culture stands on “Five Talls”:integrity, passion, expertise, performance and innovation, earning the company a top 3 position in this years best employers chase.

        Being family-oriented and pet-friendly, Purina allows (and encourages!) employees to bring their pets with them to work, along with providing flexible schedule for working moms with small kids. Other benefits include a decent pension plan, competitive salaries with $104,000 a year for an Assistant Brand Manager position, cozy working spaces and numerous employees discounts.

        4. F5 Networks

        headquarters

          The company specializing in Application Delivery Networking (ADN) develops highly-secured applications and a managerial system used in nearly every country around the globe.

          Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, F5 Networks also has offices in the UK, Tokyo, Singapore, Israel and Russia (just in case you ever consider relocating). As one of the long-term employee says, “I would say that the top of the list is the company culture is one of integrity, and one that values the employee as a human, not as a cog in the machine. I have full family health insurance that is 100% paid by F5. I do not have money taken out of my check for the premium. Stock grants, ESPP, 401(k) matching, donation matching, and vacation time are at or above what I consider standard for the Tech industry. Did I mention Beer Friday?”

          Senior Software Engineers here can expect an average wage of $146,000 per year with the highest salaries going up to $193,000. And did I mention you would be working for a security company that 48 of the Fortune 50 companies in the US are dependent upon?

          5. Boston Consulting Group

          boston-consulting-office

            BCG was founded back in 1963 by Bruce D. Henderson with billings going as low as $500 in the first month. Today the company has grown into one of the Big Three management consultancies with 87 offices in 45 countries and $3.95 billion in revenue. As the employees say, working here is rather challenging. According to one employee there is “NO work-life balance at all. A romantic meeting with a nice girl? At 2 a.m. maybe”, yet at the same time, “you have stunning chances to grow professionally” and learn to work with the toughest industry-experts from all over the world.

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            A former BCG spilled out on Quora that BCG is great at providing every support you might need to get your job done. Data, information, training, presentations — everything is taken care of so that you can take care of the main task of working out the big picture.” The company is known to spend “100-plus hours and thousands of dollars to recruit each consultant,” so you can imagine how cool the perks are – from premium healthcare insurance for the employees’ families to lucrative pension plans and a 401(k). Sold?

            Now, the best thing is that as a Junior Consultant you can earn around $145,000 a year and expect a raise to $222,000 a year once you advance to Principal position.

            6. Chevron

            kazakhstan-pressure-separation-tengiz

              Working for multinational energy giant can be pretty tempting in terms of high salaries and numerous positions available in 180 countries worldwide. Named as the best oil company to work for in 2013, Chevron puts great care into the well being of their employees with free health and fitness centers in all major locations, along with a lucrative adoption reimbursement program, offering up to $5,000 for adoption-related expenses. There are special nursing rooms set on-sight for new mothers, as well as college counselling programs for both employees and their families to guide them through the application process.

              Other perks current employees named are decent pension plans, excellent life insurance, paid iPhones, flexible work schedule, great room for personal development and a tuition reimbursement program.

              The average median pay after five years in Chevron is $102,000 a year according to PayScale. Yet as a Petroleum Engineer you can count on $117,000 per year and Research Scientist salaries go up to $124,000 per year.

              7.  H-E-B

              h-e-b-office

                Started as a small corner store on the ground floor of a family home back in 1905, today H-E-B ranks 15 on Forbes’ 2014 list of America’s Largest Private Companies with over 350 stores all around Texas and annual revenue of twenty billion dollars. What differs H-E-B from other supermarket chains is that the company actually cares about making the staff content and keeping them fulfilled and motivated.

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                Employees are constantly challenged with new tasks and extra responsibilities. No matter how new and inexperienced you are, there are zero chances you will be stacking shelves all day long or doing any other task over and over again.

                Among the favorite perks current and former employees name are special (huge!) partner discounts, weekly freebies, flexible working hours, perfect for students and recent grads, career growth with ability to move up just as fast as you want, great department rotation scheme and free flu shots during cold season. With an average salary of  $51,000 and a bunch of positive reviews at Glassdoor and Indeed, it seems like H-E-B does follow it’s motto precisely “(H)ere (E)verything Is (B)etter Because People Matter”.

                8. In-N-Out Burger

                in-n-out-burgers-office

                  California based restaurant chain seriously outranked it’s top competitor McDonald’s this year in terms of better working environment and employee satisfaction rates. The company even ranked higher than Facebook!

                  In-N-Out Burger offers above the median hourly rate to all employees (including part-timers) and 44% above the federal minimum wage, along with numerous benefits like advanced insurance packages, covering dental, vision and accidents; a decent retirement program with a 401(k) and a defined contribution profit-sharing plan. All employees have at least 15% discount at the company store and at all sorts of company-sponsored events.

                  With a policy of promoting from within, you can grow from a trainee to the store manager in just a few years. With an average hourly salary of 14$, you can expect to earn 20$ per hour as an Assistant Manager and 11$ per hour as a cashier.

                  9. McKinsey & Company

                  office-sign

                    At McKinsey, the company culture is often described as the one that values intellect over experience; influence over compulsion; logic over emotion; facts over gut feel. There’s no such thing as a typical day at McKinsey as some Fridays are spent in “home offices.” Whereas on Monday you may find yourself boarding an early flight to meet the client on sight and spend your whole week brainstorming until late with your team.

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                    The work-life balance here is tough, yet employees are motivated with numerous perks to avoid stress-outs like a “Take Time” policy, which allows consultants to take additional unpaid leave (5 to 10 weeks) between projects and longer unpaid leaves with extra benefits for up to six months. If you have polished your resumemastered the interview and finally landed a job at the firm, you can expect to earn $162,000 a year as Management Consultant Associate and up to $259,000 a year as an Engagement Manager.

                    10. Mayo Clinic

                    mayo-clinic-office

                      Finishing last, but not least, the largest nonprofit medical group practice in the world is a dream workplace for any MD. The company generously spends over $500 million a year on new technologies and innovative treatments, along with new equipment and better working conditions.

                      “I had to relocate recently and this is the only reason I left Mayo! Hardest decision of my life! This is the best hospital in the world to work at or be a patient. Extremely professional, kind, and competent employees. The best environment for nurses to work in. Everyone respects each other and you can depend on your co workers. ‘Mayo nice’ is a thing. If you don’t have it…you won’t last here! I’d trust these people with my life,” comments one of the former employee.

                      Other known perks include strong encouragement of a proper work/life balance; superb secretarial support, making it easier to focus on things that truly matter instead of paper work; team-oriented work; top-notch management along with incredible support for employee advancement. And yes, the salaries are more than competitive with a median of $53,000 for a Senior Research Fellow position and up to $440,000 offered to Physicians.

                      Featured photo credit: Σπύρος Βάθης via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on June 18, 2019

                      5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

                      5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

                      It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

                      The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

                      With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common leadership styles and how you can determine which works best for you.

                      5 Types of Leadership Styles

                      I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

                      The Democratic Style

                      The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

                      The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

                        The Autocratic Style

                        The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

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                        The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

                        While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

                          The Transformational Style

                          Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

                          Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

                          Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

                            The Transactional Style

                            Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

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                            The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

                            The Laissez-Faire Style

                            The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

                            In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

                            Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

                            You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

                            Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

                            The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

                            Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

                            I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

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                            In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

                            What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

                            Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

                            1. Context Matters

                            Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

                            2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

                            When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

                            As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

                            “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

                            The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

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                            As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

                            When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

                            The Way Forward

                            To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

                            As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

                            “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

                            The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

                            If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

                            Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

                            Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

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                            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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