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- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I have been working at MetLife full-time (more than a year)Pros
Compensation is fair, but maybe a little low for the market. Benefits package is good with solid 401k match and pension plan, both with reasonable vesting periods. Work/life balance is possible if you get a management team that either knows what they're doing or is completely checked out.
Huge new campus with lots of amenities being built in Cary.
Good people are being hired to work here, but...Cons
...the Raleigh location is an afterthought in the grand scheme of things. Executives in New York are primarily concerned with cost savings through layoffs in the northeast and meeting hiring targets here in order to get tax breaks from North Carolina.
There's a lot of talk about coming to Raleigh in order to change the culture and it's just that: talk. Or rather, PR, since it was conjured up by an external New York-based firm. The higher-ups seem to think that that building a new campus will somehow automatically make the culture great. Too bad those new buildings are going to be run by people who wouldn't know good culture if it bit them. No one's going to use the quiet zones or work outside when their manager is clocking how long they've been away from their desk and interrogates them about it once they return.
Nearly all of the new senior executive team came from long careers in banking, which has a solid reputation for horrible culture. For the others, MetLife is the only company they've ever known. Most of the IT executives (VP and above) are staying in New York because no one has the backbone to make them relocate. How they think any of this translates into building the awesome techie environment they're selling here in Raleigh is beyond me.
Speaking of technology, most of it is stuck in the '70s and '80s. If you love mainframe, Blackberry, and IE8, you'll be really happy here. Anything shiny and new is built by an external vendor, not by MetLife IT, which is pretty demoralizing for developers looking to be challenged.
Innovation is centrally managed through a group in New York. I'll give you a second to let the irony fully sink in.
There's an over-reliance on consultants and vendor management is a total train wreck. MetLife is completely beholden to big IT players, so you'll be told it's too risky when you suggest working with anyone remotely small(-ish) or less well-known.
Processes are labyrinthine. If you can figure out how to do something without angering at least half a dozen people, you deserve a medal.
Moving around is difficult; moving up is nearly impossible. Internals have to go through the same hiring process as externals, including behavioral interviewing. It can take well over six months to fill a position, even when a qualified internal candidate is in the pool. Ridiculous.
Cronyism is rampant. Once you start to weave together everyone's past relationships, it will be glaringly apparent why certain people were hired. The backgrounds they care most about are consulting and graduating from Ivy League schools. If you just sold a multi-million dollar business or were a rockstar in another industry, it won't matter. You'll still be treated like you're stupid (and if you're lucky, someone from New York will be kind enough to tell you that to your face).
Intimidation tactics abound. If someone higher up gets a whiff that you might be smarter than them, you'll be branded as insubordinate and threats of being fired will start. No one, especially the ivory tower in New York, wants you to question anything because that might alter the carefully crafted story being sold to the C-suite and Board of Directors.
Politics, oh, the politics. There are competing cliques of old- and new-school executives. The few trying to force the culture change are way outnumbered. They also need to have a steel spine and borderline masochistic desire for punishment from on high. If you're lower on the totem pole, just keep your head down and try to avoid getting caught in the crossfire. It's essentially a war of attrition and the good ones will eventually get tired and move on to better jobs.
If you've made it this far, you probably know what I'm going to say: don't come here unless you love the corporate life at its worst.Advice to ManagementAdvice
Get ready to lose some of your best people this year. I know the prevailing attitude is that we're all replaceable, but it's going to keep getting harder to replace us.Doesn't RecommendNeutral OutlookDisapproves of CEO