Amazon.com

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Amazon Fulfillment - fast pace environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Human Resources Business Partner in Coffeyville, KS
    Former Employee - Human Resources Business Partner in Coffeyville, KS

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good training, challenging work, able to make decisions and act upon them. Good benefit package. Overall my 9 year experience with Amazon is positive, working in both Operations and Human Resources.

    Cons

    Work/Life Balance for exempt associates is not great. It is understandable that during "peak" (Holiday season) a lot of hours will be worked, but as an exempt associate, and working in an operation that is open 20/hours a day, you can expect to work odd and long hours all year long.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promoting within is difficult, and when it does happen, compensation is not equal to hiring outside the company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    Case study of how difficult it is to extend culture to large companies

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

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time

    Pros

    - Autonomy over your projects: you get to decide how to go about doing your job without micromanagement
    - Coworkers are smart and driven, and for the most part willing/able to help.
    - Central downtown location very convenient to commute to/from.
    - Compensation is above industry standard.

    Cons

    - Terrible job evaluating/placing management: managers are rotated in and out so they can "try out different roles" and direct reports have to train them on their own job. This leads to a lack of strategic direction for the team and lots of wasted effort as projects get cancelled/reprioritized at the manager's whim.
    - The team I worked on definitely put the customer as a second priority to its own goals. Oftentimes leadership principles are used as a justification for actions rather than a guiding light.
    - Necessary resources are far-flung, often denied, and requires hunting down. 80% of my job was getting around the company's disorganization/bureaucratic rules, and the other 20% was spent waiting for my 2GB Excel spreadsheet to unfreeze on my 5-year-old computer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Make sure managers are qualified: have managed others well or have the respect of employees below them.
    - If customer focus loses out over the top/bottom line, Amazon will become just another business.
    - The balance between frugality and "cheap" too often veers towards the latter. Vital designer, server, and everyday computing capacity gets skimped on, unnecessarily slowing down projects.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Work Hard, Work Harder, Work Some More

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

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

    Pros

    -Amazon has its hands into everything and this goes for all its business units. Whatever your profession or career level, you will become experienced with all facets of your job.

    -Great compensation package but also known as "Golden Handcuffs".

    -You are given a lot of responsibility and control over your department. You have a big impact wherever you are.

    Cons

    -There is no work/life balance (60-70 h/w) and due to the aforementioned "Golden Handcuffs", you are not given much choice in adjusting any imbalance.

    -The Amazon culture is Darwinian. This has led to significant levels favoritism.

    -I was forced to stack rank my direct reports and place the lower half on performance plans regardless of their actual performance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stack ranking employees is a poor practice because of its subjective approach. Employee evaluations should be more based on quantitative measurement which is very Amazonian.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    You will live the company motto, "Work Hard. Have Fun. Make History."

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

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

    Pros

    For the industry there is great pay, strong benefits package, great co-workers, & visionary leadership.

    I'm given the opportunity the opportunity to take on new responsibility and grow consistently over the years. I've had the chance to travel, domestically and abroad, a dozen times.

    The company gets involved in the community, not as much as I would like to see, but they are good corporate citizens to our area.

    Amazon is the truest meritocracy of which I've been a part. Strong performance is rewarded, while poor performance is managed out or to a a better fitting role. There is always some favoritism in every organization, but I've seen the least amount here.

    My favorite thing about Amazon is how it really follows it's mission of being the 'Earth's Most Customer-Centric Company." Like the Bible or Constitution, being 'customer-centric' can be interpreted differently by different people, but in my experience, a positive impact of customers, and then employees, is at the forefront of every decision.

    Cons

    (Con for some) High paced, constantly changing environment. Extremely competitive.

    This is not a company where you can be good for a long time and stay where you are. You have to be GREAT, you have to innovate, and you have to challenge yourself, or you will be managed out.

    Customers truly come first, but that means employees may come second. Amazon is content with adding more challenges and expectations on employees, if it improves the customer experience. This is fine for a while, but I've seen it wear down many great leaders until they fizzle out.

    To be successful and drive change, it is impossible to work 40 hour work weeks. The management group especially has to be incredibly flexible with their schedules, and often work 50 or 60+ hour work weeks. Sr. Leadership speaks against this and says we have to have more work-life balance, but then they delegate more and more work down. I'm doing work that wasn't even performed by my manager's level 2 years ago. In addition to this extra workload, we shy away from hiring junior leaders, so there are fewer capable leaders to carry the operational workload. - This said, I'm a workaholic that appreciates the grind, but it burns others out.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We pride ourselves on growth and launching new things before they are fully prepared so we can learn and continue to iterate new, better installments; however, in my years of experience, the next, new shiny thing comes along for us to launch half-corked and take our resources and time before we fix the base of our previous launch. This creates a campus of poorly constructed projects that take more time to repair than design correctly the first time.

    Last, we cherish frugality, and working with a lack of resources does breed innovation, but we never have the developer or business analyst support necessary to drive performance and change. I've scoped projects that will save us ~a million dollars annually, but they are sidelined because 'we don't have dev support available.' Hire the additional $120K a year dev to repair the $1M problem and reap the benefits.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Human Resources

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    good pay, friendly people, flexible schedules

    Cons

    I can't think of any at this moment.

  7.  

    Great people,

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Software Development Engineer I Intern in Seattle, WA
    Former Intern - Software Development Engineer I Intern in Seattle, WA

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

    Pros

    The South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle is excellent. Amazon set me up in corporate housing, and I had less than a mile's walk to work every day. Almost everyone I met at Amazon was very intelligent and friendly, and I made many instant friends. The work environment is very laid back, and I could listen to music, my coworkers could bring their dogs, and we could go to lunch or internal events freely. As long as the work got done, management was fine with anything. Amazon fully adopts the "startup feel" most modern tech companies live by.

    Cons

    Amazon is a very flat, wide company, and teams are often professionally isolated from one another. I never met my boss' boss, let alone saw or heard from any upper management. Work itself varies significantly from team to team. My coworkers were excellent, but my intern project was poorly defined, uninteresting, and poorly managed. Because my team was small and always had one person on-call, my coworkers often seemed overworked.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The leadership principles are more or less the only things I saw from Upper Management. Company-wide tech talks, discussion forums, or events otherwise sponsored by Upper Management might have gotten me more excited about working for the company. I wish I could say that I saw Mr. Bezos at least once during my summer of working for him.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great opportunity if you make the bar.

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

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

    Pros

    There is a lot that needs to be done and they're poised to accomplish it. As an individual contributor, you can exercise some ambition. You can move internally after a year in your current position if you're in good standing, regardless of your manager's preference... but there could be long-term fallout if you move without that blessing. The high hiring bar means you usually work with very capable people.

    Cons

    Get your compensation target identified up front because that is just about all you're going to get for four years. Raises are sparse if you stay in your position/level - about 1% or so. Some of your compensation is in the form of RSUs. They will adjust your shares if the stock tanks and you will gain if the stock soars, so your best means to get a raise rests on the whims of the stock market. If you level up you can get a bump in pay. That process is subjective and not all reviewers are humanoid.

    As with all big companies, the experience varies in each individual group. Some groups have a horrible work/life balance where sticking up for yourself ultimately yields negative consequences.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Quality Assurance Engineer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Quality Assurance Engineer I in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Quality Assurance Engineer I in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Amazon.com

    Pros

    Its a good company to work for. Very fast building environment and lots to learn. All the teams have start-up type environment. You need very strong leadership principles and everyone is willing to help.

    Cons

    Work life balance is a little screwed up. I have been coming to work over the weekends sometimes. You are thrown into a pool of ambiguity and you have to figure out things for yourself, no training is given.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Easy job, low pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Package Handeler in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Package Handeler in Dallas, TX

    I worked at Amazon.com

    Pros

    Easy job, basically you stack packages on a shipping pallet. When the load is about 61/2 feet high you wrap it in shrink wrap and move on to the next one.

    Cons

    You start as a temp employee and stay there. Even though the volume of work justifies converting temp to regular employee this is a rare occurrence. Temp. employees do not get benefits and are paid 50 cents per hour less. Temps start at $10.79/hour and stay there. Average 20 hours per week.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want employees to "move with a purpose" give them a reason: benefits and higher pay as a regular employee. Also no chance to advance to management. They hire 20 somethings right out of college so if you are over 30 forget it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Moving Targets

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Leverage when dealing with publishers

    Cons

    Compensation is mostly based on how well the stock is doing because base is low while RSUs are rewarded

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