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July 7, 2011, last updated June 21, 2103

By Michael Chang, Contributing Columnist

California has had its share of bad news lately -- high unemployment,
a failing power grid, immigration problems and on and on. But
despite the wave of recent bad news, those
other California waves
continue to beckon job-seekers to the Golden State.  For those of
you who are determined to follow your California dream,  we're here
to help with one of the practical aspects of your new California life--
getting a job.

California is home to many of the top rated companies in terms of
company perks and benefits, as well as overall pay. Which companies
pay the highest average salaries in California? Which companies in
California have the best pension benefits or family benefits? If you
are a same-sex couple, which California company gives you the best
same sex benefits?

So, if you are looking for a top-notch employer that cares about the
welfare of their employee  --and who isn't -- we've collected together
the list of the Top 10 companies to work for in California, based on
research studies and national reports:   


Headquartered in Mountain View, California (among many locations
throughout the world), Google is the search engine tycoon that has
taken the world by storm in just the past few years. Google is also
one of the most employee-friendly workplaces in California. Not only
does Google offer competitive salaries for all their employees, the
random bonuses sweeten the deal even more. Called "peer spot
bonuses"of $175, Googlers can also recommend and award one
another these bonuses for achievements and accomplishment in their
workplace. And last year, more than two-thirds did so.

And Google likes to share its wealth with its employees. Revenues
were up more than 20 percent last year and Google offered every
employee a
10 percent pay hike.   

Small wonder that, according Fortune Magazine, Google ranks as the
4th best company to work for in America.

The perks for being a Googler are plenty, including free meals in any
of its gourmet cafeterias, a climbing wall and other gym facilities, the
ability to bring pets to work, on-site doctors, and even free laundry!

Working at this place, you might not even want to go home!


As of 2013, the list of benefits Google offers to its employees just
keeps on growing.  The company provides physicians and nurses ---
on site ---, travel insurance and reimbursement for relevant
education costs.

Nugget Market.

Nugget Market, t
he local family-owned and operated Northern
California supermarket chain, headquartered in Woodland, California,
has been lauded for its devotion to its people and community, sitting
at #5 according to a 2010 Fortune Magazine survey.

Management nurtures a company culture that is both fun and
dynamic, so that associates commit to working with a positive
attitude and quality work. Moreover, it is a family-oriented work
place, encouraging a work and life balance and understanding the
needs of people’s family.   

Nugget Market also offers educational opportunities, growth-in-
leadership training, achievement recognition, and job excellence
incentives. It definite seeks to provide incentives for putting your
best foot forward, rather than using punishment to drive workers to
work. On top of a great work environment, the company offers
outstanding benefits and wages.

Rather than simply told to follow the rules and “to your job,”
employees are encouraged to share ideas and concerns.  While its
perks might be less than the gourmet cafeterias or free laundry at
Google, it definitely promotes a positive work environment so that its
employees are content with waking up to head into work daily. Plus,
you get a 10% discount on purchases!   

Dreamworks Animation SKG  

Working at the place that created the magical fairytale land of Shrek
might actually be as fun as the Land of Far, Far Away. That place is…
Glendale, California? Dreamworks Animation sits near the top of
almost all surveys listing the best places to work. It ranks #6 in
California, according to Fortune Magazine, for its many employee

Employees that make the magic of these films come alive are lavished
with complimentary breakfast and lunch, free movie screenings, yoga
classes, art classes, and even monthly parties.

In addition, billionaire CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg still makes the time to
individually call potential job candidates to encourage them to join
the team. Moreover, employees are welcome to pitch movie ideas to
the executives, although they are encouraged to take the “Life’s a
Pitch” workshop to learn how to most effectively do so. Who knows?
You start off as a personal assistant at the company and maybe, one
day, your idea becomes the next movie franchise at Dreamworks. For
now, you can enjoy the free food and movies.   

4. Cisco

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