10 Companies That Will Make Work Inspiring, Not Soul-Crushing
The average American spends 11.61 straight years working—way more time than he or she will spend relaxing, eating and drinking, doing chores around the house, and even sleeping.
That means it’s incredibly important to find your job inspiring. Do you want 11.61 years of an environment that excites you? A purpose that motivates you? A goal that challenges you? Or do you want 11.61 years of a cubicle that bores you and a job that depresses you?
We already know your answer, so we’ve taken the liberty of rounding up 10 companies that make sure you’ll inspire and be inspired 365 days a year, 11.61 years a life.
SelectNY is an advertising, branding, digital, and content agency.
The company calls itself the “Little Worldwide Agency” because it has seven offices around the world—and it doesn’t matter where employees are, if they’ve got the expertise for a project, SelectNY brings them on board.
“We gather the experts we need from whichever offices they sit in,” says president Jonathan Braaten. “We’re result-oriented, and collaboration is at the core of our culture.”
Although SelectNY has global reach, it prides itself on having the cultural feel of a boutique shop. Team members care about creativity, not numbers; judging by their client relationships (many of which have lasted more than 10 years), this approach is working pretty well.
2. EF Education First
EF Education First is not a company that thinks small. The company’s mission is to open the world to education: through language learning, educational travel, and cultural exchange.
“If you are fearless, if you think bigger than everyone around you, if you love to get your hands dirty, and if you are high energy, there is no company that can beat EF for its potential to be an in-company entrepreneur,” one employee says.
EF employees enjoy the resources and opportunity of a big business. Think inspiring offices with great views, free language classes, an on-site bar and café, an awesome vacation policy, and travel perks. At the same time, EF feels like a small company: infused with spirit, energy, and passion.
If you don’t feel inspired working here, we might have to check to see if you’ve still got a pulse.
HighTower, a financial services company, values independent, self-motivated people who aren’t content if they’re not moving forward.
“We work hard and we play hard,” says Adriana Martinez, market strategy manager. “We have very ambitious goals and we move fast.”
When Martinez decided she’d rather work in strategic growth than marketing, she got full support to make the transition, all the way down from the president.
Not only will you—like Martinez—have the freedom to pursue your passions, you’ll also have the freedom to set your own schedule. At HighTower, it’s about reaching your goals, not logging hours.
Working for Akilah is incredibly gratifying. A college with locations in Rwanda and Burundi, Akilah is training its graduates in East Africa’s fastest growing sectors: entrepreneurship, hospitality management, and information systems. On average, Akilah graduates earn five times more than the national average. The job placement rate is an impressive 95%.
“Working at Akilah makes me feel part of one big family,” says Enoch Ssemuwemba, an English instructor at the Burundi campus. “Everyone is supportive of one another, and we all exhibit the same passion of educating and changing the lives of young women.”
County director Carrie Ellett adds, “Akilah values my skills and knowledge while providing learning opportunities through new and challenging projects. I get to experience professional growth in a team environment where people truly care about their co-workers.”
Gravity is a full-service advertising company with colleagues that’ll definitely keep you inspired. Angel Merz, an account manager, calls his co-workers the “brightest, friendliest, and hardest-working” in the world. And they’re from all over the world—the team includes those of Asian, African, Hispanic, European, and Middle Eastern descent.
“The camaraderie that exists within this company is not only incredibly rare but also immensely valuable for both professional and personal growth,” Merz says.
Gravity shows its employees how much it appreciates them with yearly retreats to exotic locales like Jamaica, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.
With all that fun in the sun and amazing people to share it with, you’re guaranteed to be enthusiastic about your work life.
Boring days? They just don’t exist at Bozzuto. The team members are super excited about their jobs and how they’re constantly moving the company forward.
“The thing I like most about Bozzuto is that you’re not just a number—you really feel like you’re a part of something,” explains Nick Fratino, construction field engineer.
Sunny Shi, an assistant property manager, echoes this feeling. She says, "I like that Bozzuto’s culture is very nurturing. Your team always has your back.”
Not only will you feel great about what you’re doing and who you’re working with, you’ll love where you’re working. Each Bozzuto location is more than just an office—it’s a community. That makes sense, considering Bozzuto is in the private real estate industry.
The latest Bozzuto office, for example, is designed for collaboration, boasting a gorgeous office café, a community kitchen, lots of conference rooms (for meetings of every size and purpose), and funky furniture.
It’s hard to imagine losing your passion for a job that sends you to Bermuda, San Francisco, or Florida for a month. At Nephila, an investment management company specializing in reinsurance risk, employees get to travel around the world to visit other offices.
This policy guarantees Nephila’s team feels unified—even while spread out across the world. Plus, it’s just plain fun.
“Nephila is a fast-paced, ever-changing, and constantly improving company that still manages to retain its ‘up close and personal’ feel and a fun team atmosphere,” says Karen Rego, an operations and legal administrator. “I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.”
ZocDoc is completely shaking up the healthcare industry. Millions of people are already using it to find and book appointments with the right doctors, in the right areas, with the right specialties, who take the right insurance. Sounds like something you could put your heart into, right? Right.
“It wasn’t until I worked at ZocDoc that I found a place where I could really believe in a mission and grow with that mission,” explains Ben Sussman, director of infrastructure engineering.
Clory Jackson, an operations manager, says she loves coming into work for that same reason.
“Helping people is amazing,” she says. “You get this sense of accomplishment at the end of every day.”
9. The Nerdery
The Nerdery is one of the best places in the world for nerds to work. And since anyone who’s passionate could be called a nerd, it’s one of best places in the world to work.
First, there’s the company’s awesome Fun Friday tradition. Food, beer, and laughter facilitate group bonding, while teams show off their newly launched products and hilarious videos introduce new hires.
The company also loves to spend time giving back. Every year, employee volunteers spend 24 consecutive hours creating beautiful, functional websites for free; over the last five years, 115 non-profits have participated and benefitted from the event.
“I’m challenged daily by unique situations,” says developer Daniel Fuentes. “I’m supported completely by brilliant, kind-hearted people. I’m trusted with responsibilities, and my opinions are respected. I love it here.”
One of the easiest ways to stay inspired is to get great feedback. And at CrowdTwist, the great feedback from happy clients is never-ending.
Imagine showing up at work on Monday and receiving a hand-autographed football from the Miami Dolphins. That’s old hat for the CrowdTwist team.
Sharon Guarascio, technical account manager, calls her co-workers “really passionate and dedicated.”
“It’s great to be in an environment where everyone feels good about what they’re doing,” she says.
So if you’re having an off day, you’ll quickly get a boost from your colleagues—or, you know, the Miami Dolphins.
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