Most college students find the career search an intimidating task and they often feel unsure and confused of what to look for in a realistic job. All students want to achieve a “dream job” after graduation. The film The Internship portrays working at Google as a dream career and definitely has increased an interest to know what makes this company so special and unique.
Take an inside look at the experiences of real Google employees and how the company creates a positive and encouraging atmosphere.
1. Free meals and snacks
Any college student who sees the words “free food” on a flyer for an event will move mountains to attend. Free food adds excitement to every day at Google with unlimited food and drink all day. “In New York we have ten or eleven different cafeterias. You can have whatever you want for lunch. There’s a rumor that when Google first started, they didn’t want any employee more than 200 feet away from any food or drink,” Senior Account Manager at Google’s New York office Kevin Fabbri said. Working at Google definitely feels like a dream with the never–ending access to delicious food. “I forget what the real world is like where you have to pack your own lunch at home,” Google employee Ben Lavallee said. Any college student admits to a love of free food, and the Google dream delivers on this fantasy.
2. The ability and encouragement to relax
The question we all want to know the answer to: do the nap pods exist? Yes, they absolutely do. Google cares about the health of employees and encourages power naps. “As far as the office goes, all the food and drink stuff and the nap pods exist as well,” Fabbri said. The engineers use the nap pods more than those in sales or other departments but all employees can rejuvenate themselves with breaks. Social butterflies can also reenergize in the company of others during breaks also. “You can get coffee during the day at coffee bars, and they have lots of in the office happy hours and gatherings,” Google employee Kaitlin Ardiff said. The employees’ productivity skyrockets with the freedom to relax and socialize.
3. Flexible Work Schedule
The life of working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. makes college students cringe, and a job at Google banishes this nightmare. “It is up to me to adjust my schedule to be there for the things outside of work that I think are important,” Lavallee said. Google cares for its employees and gives them freedom to adjust their workday. “I can work from home whenever I want, I can come in at different hours. They very much respect who you are as a person, and that you work hard and you are going to get things done,” Ardiff said. After the hardworking years of college, as a Google employee you can finally leave your work at work and enjoy living life on your own terms.
4. A Sense of Doing Something Good for the World
Google gives purpose to employees. “I genuinely believe that the company does well financially, but I think generally speaking we do good things for the world,” Lavallee said. The company gives knowledge to those who may otherwise not have access to it and offers services to improve the lives of people all around the world such as Google Maps and Gmail. Happiness and motivation increase when you know your work has a positively impact on others. “You know what you are doing has an impact and matters and that is really cool,” Ardiff said. Google’s sense of purpose means happy and motivated employees.
5. Encouragement of Creativity and Innovation
Did you know two student at Stanford University created Google as a group project? Google appreciates this creative and innovative mindset from employees and has a 20-percent project, in which employees can dedicate 20 percent of their workday to whatever they enjoy as long as it benefits Google in the long–term. “People are very much excited about different things that we are doing because of the 20 percent project,” Ardiff said. Excitement fills the Google office when employees can channel their creative energy into their own passions.
6. Work-Life Balance
The free perks provided to employees and the flexibility in workday schedules combine to create an excellent work-life balance for Google employees. The company cares about the well-being of its employees to help promote productivity and increase motivation for work tasks. Employees can even see the happiness of their coworkers. “I can tell they are happy because if they ever needed to step away from the office or get away, Google does encourage you to have a good work life balance,” Fabbri said. “My boss is always encouraging me to take time off or learn something new.” Working for Google means not feeling dominated by working at Google, but getting the chance to surround yourself with high-quality employees who live their lives outside of work in a responsible way.
7. Energizing environment
If you have seen the movie The Internship, you must wonder if the field games happen in real life. Although the movie does exaggerate, the film does accurately portray the quirky attitude of Google employees. “The overall fact of a very fun, very inclusive, very collaborative atmosphere is very much true,” Ardiff said. The company often organizes fun adventures outside of the office. “There are a lot of team off sites where we do fun non-work-related activities,” Fabbri said. The chance to have fun releases stress and this positively affects the work ethic of employees to put effort into their own tasks and into their team projects.
8. An environment of trust and teamwork
Once hired to Google you will feel valued and trusted to complete all tasks with efficiency and success. “The autonomy is really great,” Ardiff said. “Things happen all the time in life. You can’t plan for anything. If something bad happens, someone is always there to step up and help out,” Fabbri said. A high-quality life comes from the ability to trust coworkers in mid–life crises. “Being trusted went a long way in my confidence and my overall work ethic,” Fabbri said. This also remains true for the leaders at Google. “Managers are concerned about your wellbeing,” Ardiff said. If your manager cares for you, a mutual trust exists in the relationship, positively impacting the workplace.
9. Spectacular office locations
If traveling around the world tops your bucket list, Google employees get the opportunity to travel to unique office locations all around the world. “Google has an office in a lot of major cities. Getting to travel and go to our other offices, you learn something new about the culture at each office each time you go,” Fabbri said. The Google facilities cultivate the opportunity to meet other people. The cafeterias, the coffee shops and the many other areas for social interaction let employees have candid and meaningful conversations with coworkers adding to the trusting environment of Google.
10. Opportunity for growth
Google employees clearly love going to work each day and enjoy what they do, but that does not mean they feel 100 percent comfortable in their roles. “I have been here for about eight years and I still don’t feel that I know what I am doing… in the course of your career it is good to be a little uncomfortable,” Lavallee said. At Google, employees take on challenges presented to them with determination. Lavallee describes the culture of Google with the words, “bias to action.” He said this means taking the initiative to work on a project no matter how difficult the it may seem. “As individuals we look at the world and we look at business and problems people have and rather than get overwhelmed by their difficulty we just start and take on challenges,” Lavallee said. Google truly does have a mission to better the world. The employees take this mission to heart and don’t let anything stop them from challenging themselves. The inspirational environment pushes employees to tackle difficulties.
Google surely does an excellent job of providing splendid benefits to its employees, and the employees do an exemplary job of spreading optimism. “Know your stuff, prepare yourself and be confident in yourself,” Lavallee said. This advice can pertain to any career goal. Many college students strive to find a career at a workplace culture like Google’s. But college students need to remember that believing in oneself will always make or break life opportunities. The dream of working at Google will become a reality only for some, but either way the perks and benefits of the company provide insight in seeking out positive attributes of any workplace culture.