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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 

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    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

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              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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                      Elena Prokopets

                      Elena is a passionate blogger who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                      Last Updated on February 11, 2021

                      10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

                      10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

                      Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

                      You have to work hard to develop the right skills

                      If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

                      1. Make your presentation short and sweet

                      With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

                      JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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                      2. Open up with a good ice breaker

                      At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

                      • Joking
                      • Tugging on their heart strings
                      • Dropping a bombastic statement
                      • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
                      • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

                      You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

                      3. Keep things simple and to the point

                      Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

                      4. Use a healthy dose of humor

                      Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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                      It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

                      5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

                      Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

                      6. Practice your delivery

                      Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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                      7. Move around and use your hands

                      Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

                      8. Engage the audience by making them relate

                      Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

                      9. Use funny images in your slides

                      Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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                      10. End on a more serious note

                      When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

                      As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

                      Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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