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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 April 17, 2019

                      10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

                      10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

                      What’s the secret of professional success? Some of it lies in the mastery of your discipline and all the technical skills you have to carry out your job; but a much bigger part lies in the soft skills list you possess.

                      Soft skills are your people or relationship skills—how well you get along with others and your ability to communicate and collaborate—as well as the personal characteristics you bring to the job, such as optimism, a can-do attitude and the motivation to work hard. These skills are not always easy to point out, but their absence can cause serious problems and negatively affect the whole work atmosphere.

                      They say that hard skills will help you get the job, but soft skills will help you get along—and get ahead. With that in mind, here’s the top-10 essential soft skills list to help you advance your career.

                      1. Communication Skills

                      Communication skills are hands-down the most sought-after soft skill that bosses want, and this one ability covers a lot of ground.

                      To communicate well, you have to listen carefully, interpret the context of the conversation, express yourself clearly, persuade others of your point of view, check your body language and use an engaging presentation style that won’t intimidate or bore your audience. That’s a big ask!

                      Your personality traits can influence the way you communicate with others. For instance, some people get straight to the point and center their arguments around facts and logic; others are cooperative and sensitive to how others feel. Both these approaches are equally valuable but there can be misunderstandings if you don’t understand where the other person is coming from.

                      Taking a comprehensive personality test can help you understand why you communicate the way you do and where your blind spots are. It can also help you understand other communication styles is so you can tailor your communication to the person you’re dealing with.

                      After all, connecting with your conversation partner is the hallmark of good communication.

                      2. Flexibility

                      Change is an essential part of any business. Companies need employees who are flexible enough to work with new initiatives, open to new ideas, and generally are able to tough it out when things don’t go as planned.

                      Research has found a link between job performance and flexibility over the long term because there will be times when you have to step outside your routine and rise to fresh challenges that didn’t exist before.

                      Being flexible doesn’t mean you have to hop into a new task or job role like an expert. Rather, it’s about showing you’re willing to accept new responsibility and learn different things.

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                      Bosses look for people who are prepared to step outside their comfort zones and are open to alternative solutions when their first idea doesn’t work.

                      3. Being a Team Player

                      Working on a team can be challenging but learning to do it well can definitely help you get ahead in your career. Employers look for people who can negotiate, cooperate and manage conflicts with other people to achieve a common goal. That includes the ability to build lasting relationships with customers and clients.

                      What makes a good team player? Essentially, it’s someone who knows the goal and knows her role. Employers look for evidence that you know your strengths, your responsibilities and how you can best contribute to the team, then put those skills into action by sharing ideas and communicating in a respectful manner. That’s the definition of being a good team player.

                      This is another area where taking a personality test can help you get ahead. When teams work together, each member brings a unique set of skills and qualities to the group. Research has shown that different combinations of personalities affect how teams collaborate and how productive they are.

                      Knowing who you are, and how you work on a team, can drive new insights and open the door to better teamwork.

                      4. Positive Mental Attitude

                      There are plenty of things you can’t change at work, like the people you work with or the fact that the printer is broken again. The one thing you can change is how much you let these things bother you.

                      Bosses like people who are calm, rational and upbeat—those who diffuse tensions in the workplace, not get all grouchy and go around slamming doors.

                      Studies show that people who maintain a sunny disposition have better relationships at work, are happier in their jobs and make better decisions than those who whine and complain. Some suggest that a positive mental attitude can also make you live longer—which means it’s beneficial for every area of your life![1]

                      It’s not always easy to keep a “glass half full” mentality when work is stressful and the deadlines are piling up. But there are some things you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. Laughing at your unfortunate circumstances keeps the work environment positive, and taking “sanity” breaks can help you keep your cool in high-pressure situations.

                      Managers look for positive mental attitude in a team member that is ready for a promotion, so it really does pay to keep your cool in challenging situations.

                      5. A Strong Work Ethic

                      People with a strong work ethic are committed to the role, persevere when things get tough and are inspired by challenge. These people are ambassadors for the organization, and will always be seen as top talent and ideal candidates.

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                      If you can exhibit this skill, then expect to be seen as a great candidate, eligible for new opportunities and positions throughout your career.

                      Since a strong work ethic can mean different things to different people, it helps to show specific examples of your exceptional work ethic during a performance appraisal or interview. For instance, you might talk about:

                      • A time when you persisted in the face of challenges and did not shy away from hard work.
                      • How you volunteered to help with projects even though these tasks did not form part of your job description.
                      • The networking, workplace learning and skills betterment you’ve undertaken, which shows ambition and drive (people with a strong work ethic have those qualities in spades).
                      • How you own your mistakes and never, ever point the finger of blame at others.

                      For help with building a strong work ethic, check out these tips: How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic

                      6. Public Speaking

                      Who’s terrified of public speaking? Pretty much everyone, since public speaking is America’s number one fear, ahead of death at number five and loneliness at number seven.

                      Yet, according to Warren Buffett, mastering this one skill you could increase your personal value by 50 percent.[2] That’s huge!

                      If you’re not natural at public speaking, you’re in good company. Buffett had to work hard to overcome his stage fright and once dropped out of a public-speaking course before it started—because he was afraid of public speaking! He eventually realized that he needed to build up his confidence by just doing it; over and over in front of small groups.

                      For a more structured approach, Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a variety of pathways. Membership of this non-profit looks good on your resume but the real payoff will come when you can put your newfound skills to use on the job or in the interview room.

                      Or, you can check out this advice: The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

                      7. Integrity

                      From a manager’s point of view, the two integrity skills that will set you apart are:

                      • Always doing what you say you will do
                      • Owning an error instead of minimizing or hiding it

                      …even when no one is around to check up on you.

                      There are lots of people who have climbed the ladder without scruples, but they are not the people who others trust, respect and support when promotion time comes around.

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                      Behaving with integrity is a safe and consistent way to enhance your reputation and achieve your professional goals.

                      8. Managing Your Time

                      Phone calls, texts, Slack pings, meetings, huddles, side projects, multitasking—we are busier today than any generation before us. There’s no denying the workplace is an incredibly distracting place to be.

                      A lot of us have traded effectiveness for busyness which we wear as a badge of honor, both as a proxy for productivity and to show our value to the company. But what bosses want, what they really, really want, is someone who actually gets stuff done on time.

                      Time management is not merely the art of being on time, but of managing your time so you focus on the projects that really matter and add value to the business. This means prioritizing well, sticking to schedules, delegating, and not getting distracted by tasks that are easier to perform or less important. It means planning ahead and learning when it’s appropriate to say no.

                      Time management can be a tough skill to maintain, but not a difficult one to pick up. Monitor your actions for a few days—how long do your tasks take to finish? What’s interrupting you? What causes you to lose focus? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can set a schedule for yourself to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and this valuable asset is never wasted.

                      These 20 Quick Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity are also great to try.

                      9. Assertiveness

                      In any workplace, you typically will find people with the following conflict styles:

                      • Passive: Those who go out of their way to avoid conflict.
                      • Passive-aggressive: Those who express their negative feelings through actions rather than words.
                      • Aggressive: Those who respond to conflict in a hostile and rude manner. These people get their opinion heard but they won’t make any friends in the process.
                      • Assertive: People who stick up for their rights while still respecting the rights of others.

                      Managers look for assertiveness above all other styles because it allows decisions to be made without conflict or alienating people.

                      How do you use this information for yourself?

                      It starts with understanding your personality so you can anticipate how you will react when conflict arises and address your own shortcomings. Then, you can start influencing the team for top results, and securing your own career advancement in the process.

                      Learn how to be assertive and gain respect:

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                      How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

                      10. Creative Thinking

                      LinkedIn recently analyzed over 50,000 skills that employers search for when looking for candidates to find out what skills are currently in demand.[3] Taking the number-one slot on the 2019 soft skills list was creativity: the ability to solve problems and think outside the box.

                      Creativity is about bringing fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, ideas to the table. This helps companies to innovate, and companies that do not innovate will not survive very long.

                      How do you showcase your creative thinking skills? The golden rule is to participate.

                      Be brave and share your ideas during group brainstorming sessions. Volunteer to run a society, networking event or recruitment drive. Ask “what if” questions: “What if we add this information to the client welcome pack?” “What if we eliminate step 3 from the process?”

                      These activities demonstrate that you’re prepared to go beyond “business as usual” towards creative problem solving—an ability that will serve you every day, all throughout your career.

                      You can learn to unleash your creativity power:

                      What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

                      Final Thoughts

                      The good news? Every item on this soft skills list can be learned. Although you may feel lacking in certain areas, taking an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to focus in on the areas that you’ll benefit from developing.

                      So take an inventory of your personality, skills, and talents. This will give you a baseline for your communication style, attitude to change, conscientiousness and more. You can then identify your weak areas and develop strategies for improving your team-building, assertiveness and conflict skills.

                      The better news? The effort is worth it. Developing your soft skills opens the door to a new job or a promotion, and helps you succeed once you get there.

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                      Featured photo credit: Rachael Gorjestani via unsplash.com

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