Amazon.com
3.4 of 5 2,819 reviews
www.amazon.com Seattle, WA 5000+ Employees

Amazon.com Reviews

Updated Apr 22, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.4 2,819 reviews

                             

87% Approve of the CEO

Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos

(2,055 ratings)

65% of employees recommend this company to a friend
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Make sure you know exactly what you're getting into

Marketing (Former Employee)
Seattle, WA

I worked at Amazon.com full-time for more than 3 years

ProsThe name will precede you. This company can legitimately be called a "Disruptor" and perhaps even a world-changer. Customers love it and it's amazing to watch it all unfold at times. It's a pleasure to be even a small part of that.

Even low-level employees are given some ownership, more than they might in some other places. Processes like the customer service andon cord demonstrate this.

Pay is mostly good, with some caveats (see the Cons section).

You will learn a ton. You'll be put through the ringer, but will emerge stronger for it. It's been said that a year at Amazon = two years elsewhere. That's definitely true. You'll learn business, supply chain, tech, retail, you name it. You're surrounded by smart people who challenge you to grow constantly. That was one of my favorite parts about working here.

You can bring your dog to the office, dress code is casual, and South Lake Union is a fun neighborhood to work in. Seattle is stunningly beautiful in the summer, too (if you have time to enjoy it, that is.)

Bezos is one of the few CEOs I've seen who earns the glowing reputation. He's a genius and a visionary. It's exciting to work in his company, though the thought of what will happen when he moves on is also a bit frightening.

Cons"Work-life balance" means different things to different people, so I'm not going to say it's bad here per se. That said, long hours are the norm at all levels across the company, and usually that's required and expected just to keep up. Expect 60 hours as your baseline year round and 70 or more during Q4. You should expect that your time and mental energy for kids, hobbies, etc. will be extremely limited. Plan accordingly. Whether this is a negative will depend largely on the individual; just ensure you know where you stand on this before you sign an offer letter.

That Amazon is a massive company with tons of smart people at all levels can actually be a huge negative. You might be a solid individual contributor, but so is absolutely everyone else - and you're all fighting for the same attention. It can be very hard to stand out, and you have to ensure your manager and your manager's manager know what value you bring at all times or you're toast. (You may still be toast regardless.) That means politics, backstabbing, and stack ranking do occur, despite some claims to the contrary. People definitely look out for themselves and themselves alone here; it's not a collaborative environment. It's also very easy to get the sense that you are a highly expendable cog even if your contributions bring significant value to the company. Plan to fight for yourself hard here, and be prepared to not get much acknowledgment or praise. Even if you do prove yourself well, know that advancement opportunities are limited. Most transfers in my observation were lateral, with big new hires being external. I've heard that the strategy of many people is to do a few intense years of lateral moves which can then be leveraged into a higher position at another company.

Compensation is a mixed bag. Salaries are just average, but you get a huge signing bonus and stock which vests in strange increments over four years. Since the average employee lasts less than two years, you will not see most of that stock and you may need to repay some of that signing bonus (usually awarded over two years) if you leave or are pushed out. Raises are very, very small each year - your salary will not substantially increase even with a good review. Most people work startup hours, so their effective pay rate is pretty low. Additionally, the company espouses frugality as a core value. While this can be a positive, it also means they're downright cheap on some things, including hardware. Employee perks are pretty much nonexistent, and that's compared to most big companies and not just the Googles of the world. Benefits like health insurance and 401k match are mediocre at best. No free Prime accounts. No paid parental leave; moms get disability and dads get zip. (As in zero. None.) I did mention earlier that this isn't the most kid-friendly company to work for.

Advice to Senior ManagementIt's great to work at a place that highly values customer experience, so please keep that up. Work on your compensation - it's not competitive when compared to other tech giants. If I'm going to work as hard or as much as I did, at least I'd get free haircuts and food and massages at Google. Hell, even some paid paternity leave would be a start.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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intelligent co-workers, mediocre middle management, bad place for systems engineers

Senior Systems Engineer (Former Employee)
Seattle, WA

I worked at Amazon.com full-time for more than 3 years

ProsSome very smart people work here. It is not hard to find challenging and interesting tasks. Great place to learn. If you work hard, smart, and long, you can really get ahead

ConsStack ranking makes for somewhat strained relationship between co-workers. very poor work life balance if you want to get promoted. Amazon values builders -- which means that sstems engineers are a second class citizen. Turnover for Systems engineers is really high in retail.

Advice to Senior ManagementPeople are not fungible

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great pay, okay culture, mediocre values

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time

ProsPay and benefits are good and fair. They give decent bonuses too. There's decent job security due to the companies rapid growth and a wide variety of jobs to choose from. Office culture is laid-back and fairly relaxed for an office work environment.

ConsHuge disconnect between leadership and people on the ground. Tons of disorganization, last minute changes, and generally a lot of poorly thought out policies put into place hastily as band-aid solutions. Often time the lower employees on the hierarchy have to pay for the mistakes and odd policies of management in additional time spent at work and added obstacles to daily tasks. It's a bit gotten worse every year I've been here and I don't see that trend stopping. Very greedy company, but that's just the nature of corporations.

Advice to Senior ManagementSlow down and get things right instead of rushing procedure to make yourself look good.

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1 person found this helpful  

Overall it was very positive.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Amazon.com

ProsSome of the other workers that I met there were very likable. The work pace is fast and conducive to performance.

ConsThe management and operational culture there was diametrical. The importance of safety was stressed; however, there was an undercurrent that performance and production should take precedence.

There was also acquiescence by management towards some "loafing" employees. Some of the operational modes were highly inefficient and likely result in higher costs to customers.

The performance based "contests" for workers to earn Amazon gift cards and the like appeared to be highly discretionary with winners selected; by the "luck of the draw" of their specific assignment during the contest and/or the whim of their supervisors.

Advice to Senior ManagementListen to employees more closely. Seek their input. Consider tracking mechanisms to recognize performance equitably.

Amazon is a great company - it could be much better however.

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Not the best place for career growth...

Production Associate (Current Employee)
North Charleston, SC

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

ProsDecent benefits, pay, time-off. The schedule's great (four 10 hour shifts). The job is incredibly easy.

ConsIn the small facility that I work in, there is not much opportunity for advancement. We hire from the outside most often. And you can only move up the ladder one rung at time. As a result, you'll be stuck at the same level for years! If you're ambitious like me, it gets old fast. Management is horrible. They just don't know what they're doing and seem not to know how to communicate with their employees.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Job, yes. Career, no.

Outbound (Current Employee)
Murfreesboro, TN

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

Pros- Stability. In a year and one-half, I've never worked less than forty hours.
- Variety. Amazon offers the opportunity to work in almost aspect of the business, from receiving to shipping.
- Overtime. On average, our facility offers fifty hour weeks, for those that want it.
- Schedule. Four ten hour days, three days off.
- Shifts. The opportunity to change shifts as your schedule deems fit.
- Leadership. Through the Ambassador program, Amazon offers entry level 'leadership skills', welcoming new associates into the company/dept.
- Workload. The amount of work week to week 'weeds out' unproductive workers, most of the time.
- Technology and Efficiency. Amazon has streamlined the processes where almost anyone can succeed at their job. Its almost (almost) stupid proof, and usually easily correctable when a mistake is made.
- Benefits. Very cheap and start almost immediately after hire date.
- Opportunity. Amazon offers the opportunity to open new facilities around the country. They will pay your travel, lodging, meals and overtime pay for the duration of your assignment. This is also your best option for promotion. Amazon offers an attractive compensation package that pays for moving expenses to open new facilities.

Cons- Overtime. Especially around holidays, the company expects you to work mandatory 50-60 hour weeks. To quote something I read on Facebook: 'Amazon, where you OD on OT.'
- Schedule. During 'peak', those ten hour shifts get longer and longer.
- Pay. I'd call it 'adequate', but not enough for the amount of work the company asks of you.
- 'Bonus'. The 'monthly bonus' is calculated on the FC as a whole. So, the person making 80% gets the same paycheck as the person making 180%. Aside from 'positive feedback', the company does not recognize individual achievement when calculating this monthly 'bonus'.
- Management. I have been working since I was 16 years old, and have never seen this much management turnover in my life. My department alone has gone through four managers and 'leads' in the last 18 months. I can't keep up with all the senior management turnover.
- Turnover. Not a huge problem in my dept, but as a whole, Amazon has a large turnover rate, more so than most my previous jobs combined. Its hard work, long hours, not friendly to families or the elderly.
- Constant Change. While this is a condition we signed up for, management is very unclear and nontransparent when it comes to such change. They observe you working with a stop watch and pedometer for a week, turn your dept upside down, raise rates, then expect you to 'adapt' and learn the new process.
- Promotion, or lack thereof. The competition for these jobs are fierce, and graded on some kind of point system. Most of the time, the most qualified fail this system and the least qualified candidate gets the position. Despite the companies claim to transparency, the veil of secrecy surrounding these jobs remains shrouded.

Advice to Senior Management- Listen to your associates more often. We know the job, do it everyday, some inclusion in radical redesign of layout and procedures would be nice.
- There needs to be more transparency when it comes to promotion opportunities.
- The monthly 'bonus' should include individual achievements. It is grossly unfair that an under performer should get the same paycheck as someone who exceeds rate and makes the effort to show up on time everyday.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Work hard, exceed, and burn out.

Manager (Current Employee)
Indianapolis, IN

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than 5 years

ProsBenefits, Peers, Exposure, Training, Experience

ConsUnderpaid, Underappreciated, Overpromised, Compensation, No Loyalty

Advice to Senior ManagementNone

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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The walmart of the internet world

Lead Collator (Current Employee)
San Bernardino, CA

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than 3 years

ProsGrowing company, and a great place for experience in various fields

ConsWork to life balance is a big challenge

Advice to Senior ManagementTo many chefs and not enough Indians

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Chaotic

Software Development Manager (Current Employee)

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time

ProsAmazon is widely seen as one of few companies that are actively innovating. An Amazon.com stint on your resume can open some doors that might otherwise remain closed to you.

Amazon stock has done amazingly well over the past few years and Amazon is a big believer in paying with stock, with one of the lowest base salary caps in the industry.

As a development manager, I had more authority over my team's processes, the hiring process, the review process, etc., than I had at most of the other companies I've worked for. This can be good or bad, depending on the quality of the individual manager.

ConsConspicuously absent from the company's core values are such things as "honesty," "work-life balance," and "treat employees fairly."

The company is frugal to the point of stupidity at times, with some calling this out as being "frupid." Getting access to such things as proper hardware and training took an enormous amount of work since there is a severely limited budget for both.

The middle layer of management, from SDM to Director, has a lot of power to do whatever they wish. How you are treated at Amazon depends almost entirely on your manager. With a good manager, you'll do well. With a rotten manager, and there are a lot of them, you'll do poorly. This includes such things as work-life balance, compensation, and advancement.

The company has grown faster than its processes support. All too often, enormous technical debt accrues and fighting to pay back that debt is far more difficult than it should be, as the VPs only want features.

Excessive upper management meddling in various projects causes a lot of problems, from features that change on a daily basis to features added without any schedule change or any other features removed, and so on. The upper management team, all the way to Bezos, has to sign off on all user experience changes for the major features, tablets, and eInk readers, and that causes a terrible backlog in getting those features defined, as they go through multiple iterations at multiple upper management levels.

Basic project management guidelines, best practices, and tenets are routinely violated. The lessons of "The Mythical Man-Month" have never been learned at Amazon.

The stock is likely overvalued, which means that the generous compensation can turn overnight to a much less generous compensation.

Advice to Senior ManagementStop meddling so much. Hire good people and then trust them.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Modern slavery

Picker (Former Employee)
Columbia, SC

I worked at Amazon.com full-time for less than a year

ProsYou will never fall short of 40 hours a week
Benefits
Cool coworkers
You will definitely get toned and maybe lose some weight
You have 40 hours of unpaid and paid time off upon hire to use as you please

Cons15 minute breaks that last 5
no matter how hard you work, they want more
walking 15 to 20 miles a day for a pathetic 11 bucks an hour
They do not accept doctors excuses
They tell you in orientation that you will be in pain every day....what kind of business is okay with this

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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