Where Are the Best Places to Work in ATL?
April 24, 2014 4:06 PM   Subscribe

Can you help me identify the companies with the best corporate culture?

I've had a slew of office jobs, in lots of different industries. I'm pretty disgusted with my current job and would like to make a move. Instead of just applying for all the jobs I'm remotely qualified for like I've done in the past, this time I'd like to find companies I'd actually enjoy working for.

Right now I work in freight forwarding. I manage a set of accounts and take care of the booking, customs clearance, and delivery of import freight. My previous job was in the same industry. Before that I worked remotely for the Eddie Bauer call center. I have worked for Philips Electronics as a Customer Service Rep I (as opposed to levels II or III I guess), I worked for an allergy company as a Product Manager, and I did customer service for a small gift manufacturer. I've had other jobs too, but I seem drawn to customer service. I do enjoy solving problems and talking to people, so it's a decent fit. I am great with most computer programs and have an easy rapport with customers.

I applied for a job at a fairly big local company, and I LOVED everything I learned about them. I had an interview, took a skills assessment, and then they asked me to submit for a background check and references. I did both of those, and followed up, and I haven't heard anything for two weeks. I'm guessing that means they're not hiring me, so I'm trying to find other companies in the area that are known for having a great corporate culture.

I'm sure what seems great to me may not seem great to other people, so to be clear the things I'm interested in are mostly flexibility and advancement. At my current job I have a laptop so that I can work from home after hours, but I am not allowed to work from home during the day. If I'm sick, my manager tells me to "stick it out" even though we do have paid sick time. We sit in one large room without cubicles, but we have the worst communication of any place I've ever worked. Various members of the team have been told to "just be patient!" because there would be room to advance, but years have passed and nothing has ever come from our patience. We never have office lunches or events. We have a pool table in the back that literally no one has used since I've worked there.

The job I was applying for was an entry-level tech support job. It sounded right up my alley, AND the interviewer said he started out in that position and has become a manager in a year and a half. Score! The shift would be from 11-8, which means I could sleep in and avoid traffic. Double score! The offices were really cool and there was always free food and good coffee. The company has a great reputation as being a cool place to work. Also they don't drug test!

I have googled "Cool Places to Work Atlanta" which was moderately helpful, but a little generic. Do you work for a great company in Atlanta? Or know someone here who loves their job? Or have you just heard of a company that sounded kind of cool, like it might be a decent place to work? Spill it, don't keep it a secret! Thank you!
posted by masquesoporfavor to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The Atlanta Business Chronicle has a list of the 100 best places to work. Here's the nomination form for this year, so you can see what they're rating on.
posted by jabes at 4:21 PM on April 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

Thanks! I googled "best places to work Atlanta" too, so I have seen that. I guess I was hoping for a little bit more firsthand knowledge as opposed to a list someone else compiled.
posted by masquesoporfavor at 5:16 PM on April 24, 2014

Glassdoor is supposed to be good for this sort of thing, but filter somewhat for the fact that more people tend to go there to gripe than to laud.
posted by randomkeystrike at 5:32 PM on April 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've never worked there, but MailChimp seems like an awesome place to work. I find their product really easy to use, and their branding is really fun and playful. I had a very good support chat experience with them.
posted by radioamy at 5:33 PM on April 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'm ambivalent about this because things change so quickly in a job, and the things that you like in a culture, aren't necessarily going to rate highly with other folks.

I worked at Bellsouth and I loved it, some of my individual bosses were ass-hats, but overall I always thought the company was awesome. Then it got acquired by AT&T and I didn't like it at all.

I worked at Fiserv in Norcross. Great people. I enjoyed it there, casual work environment, free soda, a cafeteria for lunch and breakfast at $15 per week! But it was named one of the COUNTRY'S worst places to work because the actual systems were a mess (it's true, they were.) So in that instance, I was perfectly happy, in a place that apparently was horrible.

I interviewed at UPS and although pretty corporate, the folks I met were really great. Ditto with Cox. I've interviewed a TON at Silverpop, and I really like it there, but apparently, I didn't even rate a 'thanks but no thanks' from them, even though I interviewed with FIVE people in one afternoon.

I've heard nothing good about Home Depot, I've heard nothing bad about Coca Cola.

My advice is to apply to all jobs that you're qualified for, to interview and to be sure it's a two-way process. Ask questions that point to the culture, if wearing shorts in the summer is a thing for you, ask about it.

Also, take into account your commute. Don't apply for jobs at the airport if you live in Alpharetta. I don't care how great the atmosphere is, sitting in traffic for a minimum of 3 hours a day will make any job seem terrible.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:54 AM on April 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

Another vote for MailChimp.

I work for Turner Broadcasting in Midtown Atlanta and love the culture here. I also love the many different type of positions and TV/.COM networks available. It's a difficult place to get your foot in the door, but once you're in you're in.

I would also warn you that hiring at larger corporations takes FOREVER. It can take up to a few months with multiple interviews and callbacks. Just keep trying and networking.
posted by Constant Reader at 7:19 AM on April 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Damn I was really hoping this thread would blow up overnight! Thanks for the input, all. My commute now is only 3 miles and I still want to kill myself every day so I'm going to have to take a hit in that one area to improve the others. UPS, Coke, etc are all pretty big companies that I know drug test and I just won't pee in a cup as a pre-requisite to getting hired. Yes, I know, that might hold me back but I that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. I don't want to wear shorts, I just want to not hate my life every day. Like I said above, I know everyone wants different things out of their job. I really just want to be treated well and appreciated, and have some growth opportunity. Thanks again for your help!
posted by masquesoporfavor at 7:42 AM on April 25, 2014

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