Planning to relocate or settle down? When you think about where you'd be happiest, Riverside, Calif., Philadelphia, and Phoenix probably aren't the first places that come to mind. But as it turns out, these three cities are where some of nation's most satisfied young professionals live and work.
That's according to CareerBliss.com, an online career site that just released its list of the 10 happiest cities for young professionals, based on analysis from more than 45,000 employee generated reviews between April 2012 and March 2013. Yahoo! Homes is publishing the top five here; to see the rest of the top 10, visit Forbes.com:
Young professionals, defined by CareerBliss as employees with less than 10 years' experience in a full-time position, were asked to evaluate ten factors that affect workplace happiness. Those include one's relationship with the boss and co-workers, work environment, job resources, compensation, growth opportunities, company culture, company reputation, daily tasks, and control over the work one does on a daily basis.
They then valued each factor on a five-point scale, and also indicated how important it was to their overall happiness at work. The numbers were combined to find an average rating of overall employee happiness for each respondent, and then sorted by location to find which cities had the happiest young employees.
"The new generation of young professionals not only finds happiness at work important–they demand it," says CareerBliss chief executive Heidi Golledge. "If a company wants to find and retain the best talent, they need to work on building a culture of happiness within their organization."
She says young employees tend to keep their resumes active on job boards just in case something more fulfilling comes along, and they are typically two to three times more likely than their parents to jump jobs for more career happiness. "In short, they take the right to pursuit happiness to heart and will typically not stay at a job with poor conditions for very long," Golledge says. "They will even relocate to get out of an unhappy work environment."
If you're one of those young professionals looking to move to a happier place, you might consider San Jose.
Heading the list of the cities with the happiest young professionals, San Jose, Calif., earned an overall score of 3.94 out of 5. Workers there expressed the most optimism in 'The People You Work With' and 'The Company You Work For' categories, which scored 4.30 and 4.25, respectively.
Matthew Mahood, president and chief executive of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, says a lot of high tech companies in the area recruit and hire young talent. "They want the best and the brightest," he says. "Many of these companies pay well for college graduates with degrees in math, science, engineering, software design, marketing, and analytics. Many start-ups, and even more established companies, have created a new work culture that is very relaxed -- no set work hours, flexible work spaces, collaborative approaches, employee cafeterias, work out centers, etc. -- so employees can spend a lot of time at the office and not feel like it's all work, all the time."
The California metropolis is home to several major corporations and universities, including Apple, Cisco, Intel, Samsung, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Oracle, HP, Yahoo!, IBM, Stanford University, the University of California at Santa Cruz, Santa Clara University, and San Jose State University, among many others.
"Life here in the Silicon Valley is exceptional," Mahood adds. "There are lots of great companies to work for, and they are hiring. They pay well and the perks and benefits are good. We also have exceptional weather; beautiful parks; the ocean and mountains are nearby; theater; great restaurants and nightlife; a diverse culture; and a lot of beautiful little neighborhoods."
Earlier this year, the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. metro area ranked No. 1 on ManpowerGroup's ranking of the best cities for jobs this spring.
1. San Jose Calif.
Bliss score: 3.94
2. San Francisco, Calif.
Bliss score: 3.93
3. Washington, D.C.
Bliss score: 3.85
4. Chicago, Ill.
Bliss score: 3.85
5. San Diego, Calif.
Bliss score: 3.85
To see the rest of the top 10, visit Forbes.com: