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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness...

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Vice President in Dulles, VA
Current Employee - Vice President in Dulles, VA

I have been working at AOL full-time

Pros

Work/life balance. You're expected to work your tail off while here and accomplish more than should be humanly possible. And man does that feel good when you do. If you do, you're generally allowed flexible working time/location. The vacation/sick/family sick days are generous, even if you don't get to use them all. Time your vacations for good solid stretches/breaks between major deliverables and you can likely make use of it.

There are big challenges ahead for AOL to grow two new business while the cash cow slowly dies, so there always a chance to learn and find success somewhere in the company.

Embracing new technologies is encouraged where they provide the right technical solution to a problem. Learning how to deal with mountains of technical debt while adding to the pile of debt is also a learning challenge, but since upper-upper management doesn't care about really investing in paying that debt down, you might as well see how big of a funereal pyre you can make by adding some more things on top. At least you get to learn the technology as you heave it on top.

While the constant change is mostly a negative, frankly if you can handle the change (or learn to) it will make you an extremely nimble person that is invaluable for your ability react quickly and appropriately and not spend time wondering who and where your cheese moved to. If you don't like change and a fast paced environment or can't understand why this is a valuable skill to obtain, then this clearly this is not a pro.

Cons

While change and the ability to react quickly is vital for a companies success, unreasoned change based on the cool new thing upper-upper management just read or heard about can be a recipe for doom. Not enough time is given to find success. Instead new mantras are chased on a regular basis without reasoning or fact. Then the next mantra comes along and a lot of work is abandoned. It is discouraging to everyone working on things, and while it teaches people how to react quickly, there is no other perceived benefit to the constant change.

For a company where change is so very important to, there is an old guard (especially in technology) that refuses to change. They are a definite minority at this point, but there are enough of them that it hinders forward movement when we actually are given enough of a timeline to find success. That sabotaging is very unfortunate, as there is enough of pressure from the constant change management style from above, that we shouldn't fail when given the time needed to do the right thing due to "well that never worked for AIM".

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Understand you cannot cut your way to success. You MUST invest and try to win, continuing cutting cost gives no capacity to ever have a chance of winning beyond luck. Stay focused for a good 3-6 months on something. Stop changing direction weekly based on the latest thing that was read/heard or talked about in the elevator. Rah-rah works for sales people (and probably designers), it does nothing but demotivate logical people whether in editorial, product, legal, finance, or tech.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

650 Other Employee Reviews for AOL (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Great place to call home!

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

    I worked at AOL full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good people, bright and enthusiastic, good management, great financial/benefit packages, nice corporate culture for employees, opportunity to move up within the company

    Cons

    Not a good home for people who cannot adjust to corporate requirements as an advantage

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Customer Service at AOL

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant in Jacksonville, FL
    Former Employee - Consultant in Jacksonville, FL

    I worked at AOL full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great Trainings and Compensation levels

    Cons

    Continuous negative comments from customers

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give additional 15 minute breaks, the umbilical cord (phone cord) is damning most of the time. Listen to your consultants, they know when they need breaks.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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