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25 Best Companies to Work For and Why

25 Best Companies to Work For and Why

While the clouds of the Great Recession may have finally dispersed six years after the financial crisis, there are some aspects of the economy that have yet to be repaired. The global economy is currently cultivating fewer employment opportunities than it did in 2007, for example, with the United Nations suggesting that the reduced levels of growth among developed nations is hindering the creation of viable and well-paid jobs.

While the global employment market may be struggling to recover fully from the recent recession, however, there are still numerous opportunities for proactive and skilled individuals who are motivated to work. This is also reflected in the disproportionate growth of some companies and market sectors, who continue to buck the trend and create brand new jobs for like-minded individuals.

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    The Top 25 Companies to Work for and why

    With this in mind, what are the top 25 companies to work for and why do they remain so enduringly popular? Let’s consider the following options: –

    1. SAS, Business Analytics and Software

    Business software developer SAS features regularly on the Fortune 500 list of top employers, and managed to reclaim second spot for 2014. It is renowned for its caring approach to employees, which currently means that its global team of nearly 14,000 staff members is able to benefit from onsite medical care and health centers. With a job growth rate of 3.6% and voluntary staff turnover of just 2%, it is clearly one of the most empowering and rewarding places to work in the current climate.

    2. Genentech, Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals

    Job satisfaction can come in numerous forms, as while some individuals are motivated by their bottom line salary others look for less obvious rewards. For those who are looking to take pride in their work and influence positive change, a job at the American-based pharmaceutical outlet Genentech offers considerable rewards. While it does not have a particularly strong presence outside of the U.S., the firm made international headlines last year after it shipped a recently approved breast cancer drug to a medical centre where 3 patients were desperately awaiting treatment.

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    3. Intuit, Information Technology and Software

    A beacon of knowledge and industry insight, Intuit has been recognized as a discerning employer of choice for years. Based in the appealing location of Silicon Valley, it is extremely kind to its employees and offers genuine fitness incentives of up-to $650 a year for considerations such as gym membership, swimming lessons and Pilates classes. Also renowned as a key trainer and developer of employee skills, many staff members have reported that they work only sporadically for their first month and are given the chance to acclimatize and ease into their role.

    4. Wegman’s Food Market, Food and Groceries

    Ranking 12th in the Fortune 500 Top Employers list for 2014, Wegman’s Food Market has a renowned and long-standing reputation for nurturing graduate talent and driving internal progression. 66% of all job roles are filled internally, as youthful starters and college leavers are encouraged to develop their skills and progress through the ranks towards management. This has proven to be a huge attraction for ambitious workers, while average management salaries of $56,948 are also relatively competitive in the industry.

    5. Salesforce.com, Information Technology

    Another leader in the thriving Information Technology sector, Salesforce.com has carved an extremely lucrative niche in Cloud computing. It has doubled its workforce from 5,000 to a staggering 10,000 in the last 2 years alone, and added a total of 1,264 full-time positions in 2013. High-performing employees are also rewarded with innovative recognition programs and rewards, while skilled and accredited software engineers can expect to earn an average annual salary of $152,374.

    6. Vax, Electrical Goods and Consumables

    A recent entry onto the Sunday Times Top 100 Place to Work for 2014, Vax is not only the UK’s most renowned floorcare brand but also a leading international employer. A subsidiary of the TTI Electronics Group, it is active throughout Europe and also delivers a substantial turnover in the U.S.. Having experienced rapid growth in the last eighteen months and with plans to take on 100 brand new engineers in the UK alone between now and 2015, Vax is a brand that knows how to take care of its staff and their interests.

    7. Quicken Loans, Financial Services and Insurance

    While the financial services and insurance sector is considered to be relatively dour, there is one lender that is intent on reversing this perception. Based in Michigan and with a workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Quicken Loans has experienced huge growth in the last twelve months and created jobs at an increased rate of 46.20% during this time. Mortgage bankers can also expect to recoup significant earnings of approximately $112,000 per annum in their role, and this goes a long way to explaining why more than 2,500 Detroit residents applied for just 500 positions at the beginning of the year.

    8. Burns & McDonnell, Professional Services and Engineering

    Established in 1898, Burns & McDonnell is a professional services and engineering firm that combines traditional values with contemporary thinking. In essence, it features one of the best stock-ownership plans in the whole of the Western economy, which enables eligible employees to receive additional cash for the procurement of shares. With nearly 4000 employees across the globe and a high end salary of more than $127,000 per annum, it is a progressive and empathetic company that safeguards its employee’s well-being.

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    9. NuStar Energy, Transportation and Storage

    Employees at the world’s largest logistics and pipeline operators can benefit from an extremely lucrative benefits package, including a no-layoff policy, 100% health care premium coverage and a 401(k) match of up to 6%. Incredibly, 2013 also saw the firm’s director’s decline their annual bonuses so that their employees could retain theirs, which gives you an insight into the sense of teamwork and community spirit that exists. High end salaries reach an estimated $94,989 for terminal managers, so there are plenty of reasons to pursue a career at NuStar Energy.

    10. The Container Store, Retail and Specialty

    Global storage retailer The Container Store made the top 30 of the Fortune 500 list for the second year running in 2014, after a successful IPO that saw a staggering 14% of total shares purchased by employees. This, alongside impressive sales figures job growth of 7.90% in 2013, saw share prices double on the first day of trading from $18 to $36. This company also offers extremely competitive levels of remuneration in relation to market competitors, with store managers able to command an annual salary of $75,098.

    11. Zappos.com, Retail and Specialty

    Our first foray into the retail sector introduces us to Zappos.com, which is a leading and innovative retailer that has experienced considerable success in the last twelve months. With less than 5% of voluntary turnover among existing staff members, it is clearly a popular place to work and one that likes to empower employees through salary and incentives. The firm’s breadth of salaries range from $59,000 and $118,000 per annum, while the owners have also been known to reward employees with day trips to the Bahamas.

    12. Qualcomm, Telecommunications

    This telecom giant is an extremely people-focused business, especially when it comes to dealing with rewarding employees. This is reflected in its annual financial dealings, as last year $1,500 bonuses were awarded directly to employers who had worked tirelessly on successfully filing a new patent application. Alongside significant international expansion, generous benefits packages and impressive 2013 job growth of 16.30%, Qualcomm clearly offers genuine opportunity to proactive workers.

    13. Slinky Productions, Media and Film Production

    You do not need to be a large corporation to offer viable employment opportunities to workers, as British based media and film production company Slinky Productions can testify. A thriving creative firm with an impressive range of clients, it has worked alongside a huge breadth of international clients including Nokia, Land Rover and successful musicians the Kaiser Chiefs. After considerable growth in 2013, it offers individuals an opportunity to work in a fun and creative industry while also interacting with leading directors from around the world.

    14. Baker Donelson, Legal Services

    In terms of clear leadership and diversity, few businesses can match the appeal of legal service provider Baker Donelson. Despite boasting traditional value and having 126 years of experience in the industry, more than half of all 1247 employees are women and the company has an extremely progressive and innovative approach to administering justice. CEO Ben Adam insists that each client has a pro bono attorney with no billing requirement, for example, which enables less affluent individuals to receive representation and offers an insight into the company’s people-focused outlook.

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    15. Google, Media and Information Technology

    While much publicized diversity issues and the decision to discourage working from home and undermined Google’s reputation as one of the Western worlds’ leading employers, it remains an extremely attractive proposition for job seekers. The firms stock climbed past the $1,000 in 2013, delivering considerable return to loyal and hardworking staff members. With job rate growth on more than 20% in the last twelve months and new philanthropy programs enabling open-minded employees to exciting destinations such as India and Ghana, Google clearly remains one of the most coveted and innovative firms in the world.

    16. Edward Jones, Financial Services and Insurance

    With nearly 40,000 employees around the world and consistent job growth of 7%, Edward Jones is one of the largest and most established firms on our list. Interestingly, it rivals Starbucks in its number of U.S. locations and added a staggering 3,000 employees in 2013, while voluntary turnover is at an industry low of just 8%. Security is just one of the benefits that employees can access while working at this firm, however, with flexible job sharing opportunities and high-end salaries of approximately $90,000 per annum.

    17. UKRD Group, Media and Commercial Radio

    Another prominent and expansive British based firm, the UKRD Group topped the Sunday Time Top 100 Employers List for the second year running in 2014. There are a number of reasons that continue to drive this success, including a diverse workforce, a relatively young average age of 34 and more than 14% of all employees earning over £35,000 per annum. Although staff turnover may seem disproportionately high at 19%, this is relatively low in comparison with the overall industry average.

    18. Baker & McKenzie, Legal Services

    Not only does the renowned legal firm Baker & McKenzie deliver legal services to the general public, but it also provides a just and rewarding workplace for all employees. This is reflected in an extremely generous salary structure, which enables more than 84% of all staff members to earn a cumulative annual salary of £35,000 or above. In fact, 25% of the firms’ representatives earn in excess of £100,000 each year, while the average turnover of 9% is extremely impressive given the competitive nature of the sector.

    19. Hilcorp, Manufacturing and Production

    No list of top employers would be complete without a manufacturing firm, especially when you consider the prominence of this industry. This oil and gas exploration firm Hilcorp has grown at a rate of more than 9% since 2013, while a qualified engineer can claim an industry high salary of $211,874 per annum. The firm also announced a new incentive program called Dream 2015 recently, which promises to give every person in the company a staggering $100,000 if all goals are successfully met.

    20 Boot Camp Media, SEO and Website Design

    Some companies are fortunate to operate in vibrant industries, while others adopt an innovative approach to carving their own unique sector in the sector that they operate. Boot Camp Media belongs to the latter camp, as this SEO and website design firm that has built its recent success on considerable training and development. New members of staff often spend up to three months doing nothing more than learning and gaining valuable industry insight, while the company also allocates each Friday to educating employees and furthering their personal development.

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    21. USAA, Financial Services and Insurance

    One of the biggest climbers on the Fortune 500 List this year, USAA has created more than 1800 jobs in the last twelve months and now employees a grand total of 25,143 staff members. The company is driven by the goal of serving loyal American veterans and their families, and this is reflected in the fact that more than 8,200 vets and spouses have been integrated into the firm since 2005. With competitive salaries of between $47,433 and $115,106 per annum, there are also considerable financial rewards available to employees.

    22. Ultimate Software, Information Technology

    Yet another high-powered software company, employees at Ultimate Software have been rewarded handsomely for driving 18.70% growth in the last twenty-four months. As mandatory shareholders, they have seen stock prices rise by almost 100% between 2012 and 2014, creating an extremely lucrative dividend to supplement an average income of between $61,361 and $108,371. It is looking to create at least 300 more jobs in the year ahead, and this goes a long way to explaining why staff turnover is at an all-time low of just 1.9%.

    23. NetApp, Information Technology and Data Storage

    NetApp is an interesting inclusion in the list, as despite creating 494 jobs in 2013 and boasting high-end salaries of more than $90,000 its other statistics are not immediately impressive. It is a company with a higher purpose, however, especially for individuals who have a philanthropic outlook and a desire to effect social change. This is because NetApp offers staff members five paid days holiday every single year, so that they can volunteer and make a difference in their local community. With 13,040 staff members located around the world, this is an extremely meaningful investment.

    24. Mishcon de Reya, Legal Services

    The bright lights of London are extremely alluring for ambitious job seekers, with high-end salaries and luxurious property the order of the day. Mischon de Reya is a legal firm based in the heart of the British capital, and one that has a reputation for representing renowned celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Gordon Ramsey and the late Princess Diana. As if this was not enough, the company also remunerates handsomely with more than 71% of all employees earning substantially more than £35,000 per annum. As a package of employment, this has created a wonderful place to work and an exceedingly low staff turnover of 13%.

    25. Nugget Market, Retail, Food and Groceries

    A veteran of 9 years on the coveted Fortune 500 List, Nugget Market is a food and retail outlet with more than 1100 employees in the U.S. alone. With just 8% staff turnover, it is an extremely popular place to work and store directors can expect to command an impressive salary of over $115,000 per annum. Even check-out assistants who are paid by the hour can earn up to $40,000 each year, meaning that the firm generates a culture of empowerment and strive to reward staff for their hard and ceaseless work.

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    Last Updated on January 14, 2019

    The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

    The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

    Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

    We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

    You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

    Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

    Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

    1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

    Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

    Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

    You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

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    Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

    Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

    2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

    Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

    Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

    3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

    Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

    How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

    Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

    Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

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    Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

    4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

    It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

    With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

    If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

    Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

    Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

    5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

    Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

    However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

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    Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

    If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

    With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

    Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

    6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

    The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

    You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

    A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

    By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

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    • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
    • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
    • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
    • Is this aligned with my passion?
    • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

    Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

    7. Be Prepared to Let Go

    It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

    Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

    If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

    When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

    Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

    We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

    The Bottom Line

    Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

    More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

    Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

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