Amazon.com
3.4 of 5 2,789 reviews
www.amazon.com Seattle, WA 5000+ Employees

Amazon.com Reviews

Updated Apr 12, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.4 2,789 reviews

                             

87% Approve of the CEO

Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos

(2,040 ratings)

65% of employees recommend this company to a friend
671 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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128 people found this helpful  

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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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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Great company, not family friendly

Senior Product Manager (Former Employee)
Seattle, WA

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

Pros- loved the challenges and ownership
- believe in the leadership principles
- recognition for good work
- opportunity to rotate to different groups

Cons- very stressful
- no work life balance. Company makes no effort to try and improve employee experience. use and dispose treatment.
- ' you have to leave early to take care of a sick baby ' - too bad, this document needs to be finished tonight

Advice to Senior Managementconstantly burning out employees takes away the strategic focus and builds them into workhorses instead of innovators

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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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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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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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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Amazon isn't that bad.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Amazon.com

ProsEasy job, decent pay, nice management

ConsNo schedule negotiation, must work 10 hour days

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Don't Let The Enthusiasm Misguide You

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time

ProsThere is flexibility and very affordable benefits available for employees. It can be exciting getting caught up in the changes and product releases.

ConsNot all changes are for the benefit of the employees by any means. The pay and promotions available for customer service representatives are very limited and quite small. There are semi-annual reviews offered however there are many things that will exclude you from being eligible for this very small increase so you can stay at a very meager wage for a long time. (The US inflation rate is currently 1.1% however the pay increases in the reviews are so small that they don't even keep up with half of the inflation rate per year)

Advice to Senior ManagementAmazon prides itself on being "customer centric" however it is at a price that is paid by the employees in customer service and fulfillment centers. If performance and feedback is so important to you I challenge you to see how your employees are truly treated. Send a trusted individual in as a "secret shopper" and have them go through the recruiting, orientation, and training process for one of your customer service call centers. If you really want to see areas of improvement take this challenge in your VCC. By experiencing how this process is first hand you may be able to make changes that would truly enhance the overall customer service experience for all.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Software Development Intern

Software Development Engineer I (Former Employee)
Seattle, WA

I worked at Amazon.com as an intern for less than a year

ProsPing Pong tables, smart coworkers, Seattle is beautiful in the summer.

ConsI heard Seattle is not as great during the other seasons. Depending on what team you're on, the work can be a little boring, as well as the people.

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the good work.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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