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The Happiest Companies for Young Professionals

Do you envy those who go to work every day truly cheerful and eager? You can be that happy, too. Just land a job at Nordstrom, GlaxoSmithKline or FedEx.

Of course you’re not guaranteed to be satisfied at these places—but the odds are in your favor. These are three of the happiest companies for young professionals, according to career website CareerBliss.com.

CareerBliss compiled a list of the 10 companies where young employees are happiest, based on analysis from more than 223,500 employee-generated reviews between March 2011 and March 2012.

“As college graduates make the transition from academic to work-life, the transition can be scary and intimidating,” says Heidi Golledge, chief executive of CareerBliss. “Knowing which companies have ranked well with recent graduates can help others identify what companies might be best for their new career path.”

Young professionals, defined by CareerBliss as employees with less than 10 years’ experience in a full-time position, were asked to rate the company they work for, in terms of happiness, on a five-point scale.

[More from Forbes.com: In Pictures: The 10 Happiest Companies for Young Professionals

GE Energy, a division of General Electric, leads the pack as the happiest company for young professionals. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., the firm has over 100,000 employees in more than 100 countries. It earned an index score of 4.528.

“I believe strongly that people want to work at GE Energy because being here means working with highly motivated, highly talented colleagues--and that brings out the best work in each of us,” says Sharon Daley, vice president of Human Resources there. “From next generation wind turbines, solar panels, engines that run on biogas, smart grids and the latest subsea oil and gas technologies, GE Energy employees are working on things that matter to the world.”

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Why are young employees at that company so contented? “With GE Energy one of the largest parts of GE, our employees know they are working at a company that has the size and scale to change things,” Daley says. “At the same time, we run the business as if we were a small company or a start-up. That means that young professionals joining GE Energy have high levels of responsibility early. They are actively encouraged to think and act like entrepreneurs. And they are out there talking to customers and working to understand and anticipate their technology needs. That mix of freedom and accountability means our employees can see the effect their efforts are having immediately. Each person sees that they are making an impact – and that’s rewarding. So, yes, there is a lot to be happy about when we walk into work each day.”

No. 2 Nordstrom, the Seattle-based upscale department store, earned an overall index score of 4.441. “We are humbled to hear that our employees think we offer them a great workplace,” says Tara Darrow, a Nordstrom spokesperson. “We have a great group of hard-working, talented and diverse employees and we appreciate that they've recognized us in this way.”

[More from Forbes.com: The Happiest Cities For Young Professionals]

Darrow says Nordstrom believes in empowering its employees and creating a competitive environment. “We want our people to have the ability to solve problems and be heroes to their customers, and we want them to treat the business as if their name were on the front door,” she says. “We spend a lot of time listening, but we also strongly believe in taking action. Our success is dependent on bringing each person’s thoughts, ideas, suggestions and perceptions to the table, and we value that collaboration. And we believe in recognizing success. We encourage fun and camaraderie, and we have a longstanding tradition of recognizing hard work and strong performance. This culture of empowerment, respect and competition creates an environment that our employees thrive in. Everyone enjoys being part of a winning team, and the company's recent performance can certainly be attributed in large part to the contributions of our people.”

Fluor, United Space Alliance and AstraZeneca round out the top five.

“What we see for young professionals is a desire to find a company culture that fits with their personal work-style,” says CareerBliss’ chief technology officer, Matt Miller. “They want a company that values their ideas and provides the growth opportunities and leadership to help shape their career.”

Here are the happiest companies for young professionals:

No. 1: GE Energy
Average Score: 4.529

No. 2: Nordstrom
Average Score: 4.442

No. 3: Fluor
Average Score: 4.419

No. 4: United Space Alliance

Average Score: 4.393

No. 5: AstraZeneca
Average Score:4.391

No. 6: Centex
Average Score: 4.342

No. 7: GlaxoSmithKline
Average Score: 4.322

No. 8: Wipro
Average Score: 4.313

No. 9: FedEx Express
Average Score:4.304

No. 10: Kaiser Permanente
Average Score: 4.301

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The Happiest And Unhappiest Industries To Work In

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