Google staat bekend als een van de beste werkgevers ter wereld. Je krijgt er gratis gezonde maaltijden, je was wordt gedaan en je kan er lekker fitnessen. Maar hoe is het nu echt om er te werken?
Google is quite possibly the best place to work in the world.
The tech giant headquartered in Mountain View, California, frequently ranks top tier on Business Insider’s Best Companies To Work For In America list, landing in the No. 2 spot this year.
Google was also judged to be the World’s Most Attractive Employer this year by global research and advisory firm Universum, and employee ratings on Glassdoor earned the company the No. 1 spot on Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice Awards, Best Places to Work 2015.
Google’s more than 57,000 employees love everything the “Googleplex” has to offer, including free Wi-Fi-enabled shuttles to and from work, free healthy meals, laundry and fitness facilities, 18 weeks of fully paid maternity leave and on-site childcare, and competitive pay — they report 84% high job satisfaction and earn a median salary of $133,000 after five years, according to survey data from PayScale.
Laszlo Bock, Google’s HR boss, explains in his book, “Work Rules!” that the key to a successful workplace is constantly innovating, experimenting, and keeping things fun.
“What’s beautiful about this approach is that a great environment is a self-reinforcing one: All of these efforts support one another, and together create an organization that is creative, fun, hardworking, and highly productive,” he writes.
Google has over 70 offices in more than 40 countries around the world. Mayra Felix, a strategic program manager for the Americas with Google’s Global Account Management team, works in the company’s California headquarters.
She started her career at Google in 2013 as a regional account manager, and prior to that moved to the US from Ecuador to attend Georgetown University.
We spoke to Felix to find out what it’s really like to work for one of the world’s top employers.
Here’s what she said:
1. Current role
As a program manager, I manage and oversee projects across many areas of the business. A typical day for me consists of working cross-functionally with marketing, data, and sales teams, keeping track of performance, identifying challenges, and planning the next initiative that will move the needle in our business.
As a Googler, I start my day by taking the shuttle from San Francisco to Mountain View (which has Wi-Fi so I can work if I’m awake enough!). Once at the office, I get freshly made breakfast and coffee to kick off the day. I then go to my desk, reply to urgent emails, and attend meetings.
I get lunch at one of the three cafés on my side of the campus and will venture to new ones across campus if I have time. I try to take breaks by walking my coworker’s dog, getting a snack in the microkitchen, or working out at the gym if I’m feeling energetic.
2. Hiring process
Google’s hiring process is holistic and focuses on looking for a person who’s a great fit for the job, for Google, and for other things outside their core role. Each interview focuses on discovering a different aspect of a candidate’s strengths.
In my case, I went through five interviews focused on leadership, role-related knowledge, problem solving, and “Googleyness.” I was asked a series of analytical and sales-related “fire drills” based on real business cases. It was challenging, but they were really the type of questions I deal with on a daily basis, so I think it was great preparation for my current role.
3. Advice for applying to Google
Do your homework. Make sure you understand our vision, know our products, and are aware of how your unique story contributes to making Google such a special place.
Also, make sure you understand the role you’re applying for, the impact it brings to Google, and how your skills make you a great candidate for it.
Before applying to Google I spent days watching videos on Google’s culture and early days, read articles on tech trends and Google’s big bets, dove deep into product research, and reached out to my network for advice and feedback.
My second piece of advice: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Asking the right questions is the key to gaining more insights, putting your curiosity to the test, and showing that you are eager to learn — that is at the core of being a Googler.
4. Skills that are most useful to have to work at Google
Determination, out-of-the-box thinking, adaptability, and teamwork.
One of the cool things about working on my team is that we operate as a startup — we are small, scrappy, and move fast.
Success relies on approaching new challenges in a creative way, collaborating on ideas, adapting to new scenarios, and, most importantly, getting things done.
5. Best part about working for Google
The people — they are “shooting for the moon,” changing the world, and giving back. You feel constantly inspired and excited by being around them.
For example, while riding the shuttle one random day, I met one of the engineers for the self-driving car project. He took me for a ride the next day — it was amazing!
More recently, I got to experience an equally amazing side of Googlers after Nepal’s earthquake. Googlers around the world mobilized incredibly quickly … to offer relief and fundraise — it was a remarkable thing to be a part of.
We have great perks most people have heard about like free food, gym, onsite doctors, discounts, and free massages! Those come in handy.
But my favorite perks are the ones for professional and personal development. For example, there is a peer-to-peer learning program where Googlers teach other Googlers on topics that can range from yoga to coding — and it’s all completely free!
In the upcoming months I’m planning to take marketing, analytics, and business courses at Stanford, sponsored by Google as part of the education-reimbursement program. I’m very excited about this opportunity.
7. The office environment
I work at Google headquarters in Mountain View. The office space is unique: beautiful buildings and outdoor areas, arcade games, pool tables, a bowling alley — it’s definitely not a typical workplace.
Googlers are very active, so you often see people riding bikes, walking their dogs, or exercising around campus. They’re also just as active with their working style. Since I work with sales people, the environment is fun and fast-paced — they are always hitting the ground running.
Plus, we have three official team dogs — Wally, Sabre, and Peaches. They are fun to be around, especially when we need to take a break from work.
8. One thing you didn’t know about Google before working there
Before working at Google, I didn’t know the true extent of its culture’s openness. One of my favorite things at the company is TGIFs, weekly meetings held by Larry and Sergey with the entire company globally via Hangouts. All employees are encouraged and have the opportunity to ask Larry and Sergey questions about the company directly — sometimes the questions are tough, but there is always humor and transparency involved.
9. Favorite pop culture reference about Google
“The Internship.” Everyone should watch it! I think they did an amazing job at depicting life at Google with great humor and some of my coworkers were featured as extras in the movie — it is very close to home.
10. What it’s REALLY like to work at Google, in three sentences or less
Working at Google is a transformational experience. Professionally, you are constantly growing and evolving by tackling the most complex challenges imaginable and learning from your peers. Personally, you are surrounded with the type of knowledge, talent, and passion that inspires you to do things that matter — to you and to society as a whole.