ROTORUA'S Sam Dodson-Gray is training for her dream job - to become a nurse.



The 43-year-old would like to eventually work in palliative care.



"I see it as a privilege to care for someone in their last months or years. It is a privilege to be allowed into what is a very private time."



But for many in New Zealand, their dream job would be to work for Google.

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For the second year in a row, the search engine giant has topped a list of dream employers Kiwis and Australians would most like to work for in the 2011 Insync Surveys and RedBalloon 2011 Dream Employers Survey of more than 7100 people.



Self-employment came in at second place, followed by Air New Zealand, Apple and Kiwibank.



Google is known for its modern offices and other perks including massages, sleep pods, recognition programmes and off-site events.



The top three motivators for choosing a dream employer were pay, benefits and conditions followed by work/life balance and company culture.



Top gripes were systems and processes at 41 per cent, communication, 39 per cent, and rewards and recognition, 38 per cent.



Mrs Dodson-Gray is in her second year of nursing training at Waiariki Institute of Technology after working for 20 years in the early childhood sector.



"As a mature student it's a challenge. It's hard work and I've learnt a lot about myself but it's exciting ... It's a second career and I don't ever think I'm ever going to regret it."



For her a dream job is something which she is passionate about.

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"It's a job where you are willing to learn more and give of yourself in return."



When it comes to dream jobs, Rotorua's Personnel Resources/Temp Resources consultant Rebecca Love said most important was work-life balance, the organisation's culture and pay.



Miss Love said they had clients who asked what work was available at bigger employers including the Lakes District Health Board, Rotorua District Council, Waiariki Institute of Technology and Scion.



Miss Love said clients were looking for organisations where they would be treated well.



Director of Rotorua recruitment agency Talent ID, Kellie Hamlett, said the dream job was not just about the money.



"It's things like career progression, flexibility in terms of hours, work-life balance. The team and company culture is becoming increasingly important," Ms Hamlett said. additional reporting by APNZ