Amazon.com Reviews

Updated July 4, 2015
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Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
705 Ratings

Pros
  • You will learn a lot that will help with the rest of your career (in 118 reviews)

  • The company is full of very smart people (in 352 reviews)

Cons
  • Not the best at work-life balance (in 636 reviews)

  • Absolutely no work life balance (in 145 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

1,339 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (533)

    Make sure you know exactly what you're getting into

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Marketing in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The 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 Management

    It'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.


  2. Work is worship

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Smart people, good location, decent salary, fast paced environment, learning opportunities. One of the good places to work while you are young and don't have to worry about any other responsibilities. If you work, you will succeed. It's easy to move within the company and explore new teams and roles.

    Cons

    Confusing pay structure - Management will always talk about total comp. That means if stock does well from the time when you received, your subsequent salary hikes will be low. Off late, culture is getting slower compared to few years back with lot of new ppl joining at the rapid pace. Poor work life balance. Promotions are though.


  3. Quick Hire, Exhausting Work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Weekly pay, plenty of on-the-job exercise, loved coming across books and products that I was interested in reading and purchasing...

    Cons

    Need more breaks! Your ankles, knees and soles of your feet are throbbing with pain--not to mention your lower back.

    Advice to Management

    More incentives for the people doing all of the essential 'grunt' work!


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  5. Satisfied

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Very competent people to work with, well known company and looks great on a resume, many different sections so able to move around easily

    Cons

    Have to log in your work time down to 5 minute which can be dehumanizing. Also, performance is everything and all that is really looked at.

    Advice to Management

    Spend less time focusing on metrics and more time focusing on the actual quality of what is being produced to create a better product.


  6. Pretty Good

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Aurora, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Aurora, CO

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Free snacks, always something interesting and challenging to work on

    Cons

    Can be stressful and chaotic at times.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Brand Specialist - Great role for the short term...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Brand Specialist in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Brand Specialist in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    -You learn almost every critical retail function, from site merchandising and marketing to instock management and forecasting. Given the fast pace at which Amazon moves, you learn a ton, very quickly. I've learned more less than 1 year at Amazon than 3.5 years at Target.
    -Smart, inquisitive coworkers
    -Competitive name on resume
    -Flexible work hours (similar to a start up, as long as you get the work done, you can come in late or leave early). Flexibility to work from home 2x a month.
    -Seattle is incredibly stunning in the summer, and does not rain nearly as much as people think in the winter (2-3x per week, on average).
    -Monthly massages, covered through most insurance plans
    -Travel: meet vendor(s) most often in NYC, or elsewhere around the country, accumulate frequent flyer and SPG points from hotels

    Cons

    -Lack of appreciation: this is only in regard to my experience within the brand specialist role, but the main reason I plan to leave the company
    -Pay level is actually pretty low when compared to hours worked. Also, a lot of Amazon's compensation is awarded over time, earned over 3-4 years. The average Amazon employee lasts 2 years, so typically you do not realize those benefits. Stocks are not vested in full until you have completed at least 4 years with the company. 401k match is not received until at least 3 years with the company. Signing bonus isn't earned until you complete 1 full year with the company (if you leave prior/are forced out, it must be repaid on a pro-rated basis). The company espouses frugality and use these seemingly attractive tactics to acquire talent - do not be naiive. All my friends do not want to work at Amazon due to the fact that employees are promised "fake money" (awarded over time).
    -High pressure / constant stress work environment - the bar at Amazon is constantly rising and you have to go above and beyond and constantly push yourself. This is a good thing from a learning/development standpoint, but negatively impacts work/life balance.
    -Negotiate everything before joining - stocks, base salary, signing bonus, relocation.
    -Very high turnover: In less than 1 year on the team, about 40% of my coworkers have left the company. You have very limited time for family, social life, etc. due to work commitments. The expectation is that you are available 24/7, though no one will tell you this directly. Workload does vary depending on the time of year (Q4 you are literally working non-stop), but does lessen up at times (Q1/Q2).
    -Some managers do not know or have no experience managing teams, making it difficult to grow, develop and feel challenged. Make sure you meet your manager or speak with them before joining and establish a rapport. A strong manager can really enhance your experience at Amazon.
    -Constantly dealing with ambiguous situations. The company has a very self reliant culture, so make sure you are comfortable handling ambiguous situations, can be independent, are a go-getter. You teach yourself everything, no one is going to hold your hand and walk you through things.
    -Stack ranking does occur, many times based on favoritism. Regardless, make sure your manager and leadership team know the value you bring to the table.
    -This again, is only in regard to the brand specialist role - push to come in as an L5 pay grade (brand manager) vs. L4 (brand specialist). It is very difficult to move up a pay grade after joining due to the company's flat organizational structure. Most brand specialists who come in as L4s do a number of lateral moves within the company, then leverage that experience for a higher paying job at a different company. This is the one thing I wish I had known prior to joining - you will make 15-20% more in salary coming in as an L5 vs. L4.

    Advice to Management

    Please make an effort to respect employees - appreciation can go a long way in improving employee retention.


  8. Area Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Amazon Area Manager in West Columbia, SC
    Former Employee - Amazon Area Manager in West Columbia, SC

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Always Busy, Always Challenged, great place to multi-task or improve multi-tasking skills

    Cons

    Long Hours, give up all holidays, learn by doing, fast paced with minimal training

    Advice to Management

    If re-inventing the wheel is the successful method for on-boarding new managers....nailed it! Give the managers the basics when they start so they can accomplish what they need and progress the department rather than spending the first 6 months catching up to what is already established.


  9. Innovative Work - No Value or Balance

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Recruiting Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Recruiting Manager in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Opportunity to work on a scale you will never have the opportunity to, on projects that you will have little opportunity to work on with any other companies.

    Cons

    Be prepared not to feel valued, work in a very non-collaborative environment, and have no work-life balance

    Advice to Management

    You recruit great people, but can't hold onto them. You focus on developing mediocre employees versus high performers. The work-life balance is something that will eventually make the company crumble.


  10. It

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Fulfillment Associate in Columbia, SC
    Former Employee - Fulfillment Associate in Columbia, SC

    I worked at Amazon.com

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    good pay, location, good for short term employment

    Cons

    Feet hurts, long hours, no respected as an individual, don't get injury because you have to make an appointment to go to AmCare

    Advice to Management

    shorter hours, respect others, keep workers on one side at a tyme


  11. hmmmm.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time

    Pros

    - the money
    - the calm work environment
    - the job benefits

    Cons

    - Hated always being monitored
    - Tge management sucked



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