Fortune's Best Companies #4: Google

job interview When you talk about great companies to work at, Google is a consistent mention going back many years. Some Googlers shared their stories about why it's consistently such a great place, and about what they didn't like, too.

I spoke to a sales financial analyst (name withheld) who shared her thoughts about why she "absolutely loved" working for Google. "It has a great laid-back atmosphere that I think contributes to a productive work environment. The perks such as free food, subsidized massages, free laundry, free shuttle services from the city and year-end bonus surprises made working for Google that much more fun."

In addition to the massages, she also mentioned that she worked with some great people. "Not only are you privileged to be working with some of the brightest minds in the industry, but at the same time you're inspired to go above and beyond your best. People generally have a team-spirited attitude, where everyone works together to find the best solution to a problem. However, at the same time you feel that your individual contribution has helped bring about a positive change to the company."

Nothing is all roses, so she exposed the dark side of Google. "During certain times of the year, I was required to put in long hours that can be a bit taxing at times, but I was glad to do as it was infrequent and the end result was quite rewarding."

She described a typical day of work at the Googleplex. It "would consist of putting together booking reports, compiling financial data, attending a meeting or two, answering inner client requests. Since I worked for Sales Finance, my days started and ended earlier than Engineering. During busier times, I put in longer hours and often logged back into work after reaching home in the late-evening hours. But at the end of the day, it was an exciting feeling, that you were working for one of the best companies in the country and that every minute you put into work was appreciated and rewarded accordingly."

Now that we've heard from the sales side, it makes sense to hear what Google's engineers have to say. A senior software engineer had some different thoughts. "Great, engineer-driven company. Groups are autonomous, so individual engineers have a lot of control over direction of the group and responsibility for the team success. The company expects you to think big and aim for large goals."

Our engineer friend at Google added this about his experiences with other Googlers. "I've found the other engineers sharper and more accomplished than anywhere else; everyone has shipped great things before, and they're eager to do it again. It's not surprising to be working with a 24 year old who sold a company, two senior engineers who were VPs at startups, and a well-known researcher in a particular area."

He also added some of the daily challenges of the Googleplex. "It's a cross between grad school and a hundred little startups. I haven't always gotten guidance from management about what's important or how the teams need to work together."

Despite concern about guidance, one of the most telling comments was about Google's teamwork. "Everyone's driven to succeed. There may not be a lot of external pressure from management to pull long hours, but folks tend to do it anyway because they want to accomplish something great. It's an easy place to feel you're below average, even when you've been tops everywhere else."

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Linda Elrod

Putting together booking reports, compiling financial data, attending a meeting or two, answering inner client requests sounds like my cup of tea....can I have a job there? What do you say, will you hire me?.

February 12 2012 at 6:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Autumn's Flame

You need customer service to use Google?

November 13 2011 at 10:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sounds like someone has sold their soul and everything else is an after thought. With all the hours put in, even at home, you're making less than minimum wage when the salary is averaged. Sounds more like a marketing campaign. Oh, what about the funding from the CIA?

August 14 2011 at 10:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
J RoMe 3654

Sue: And when you search "Google Being Sued," what are you going to do, Google it?

July 31 2011 at 12:24 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to J RoMe 3654's comment

no. im gunna bing it.

December 11 2011 at 9:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

please guide me about Successful Social Media Business and allotting a single slot and mail

July 25 2011 at 4:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They don't have to be, it just turns out they are

June 20 2011 at 4:33 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Sue: Why do the Russians have to be spys and the Mexicans criminals?

March 31 2011 at 10:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Google is so big and rich but WHY no customer services? Google management is closed to outsiders/clients. Is Google maybe selling inside info to Russian spys and Mexico criminals?
Google is the worst company to ever do business with. Search "Google Being Sued" to get the updates of their criminal activity.

February 28 2011 at 1:32 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

Google the worst company ever with poor non-existences customers services,google management is closed to outsiders/clients .

Fail attempted excuses in not providing a better customer service but this what people can aspect from US businesses this days.Being nice to clients is preferred but this lacking in most businesses in the US unfortunately .

November 07 2010 at 7:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sam's comment

Why do you need customer service for you e-mail and search engine? if you need that I am surprised you know what customer service is..

October 02 2011 at 2:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Being team driven, getting results, everyone pulling without pressure from management....perks on that of that great feeling....gosh, I would love to work for a company like that. A company I worked for practically got rid of most employee perks that made it worth all the hard work. Now everyone is just...."you get a paycheck" attitude. Takes the fun out of it. I like to work very hard and feel that sense of accomplishment and to know I have pulled a team together who succeeded.

August 01 2010 at 6:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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