There are newer employer reviews for Alcatel-Lucent
There are newer employer reviews for Alcatel-Lucent

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Good place Good culture

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Senior Deployment Manager in Austin, TX
Current Employee - Senior Deployment Manager in Austin, TX

I have been working at Alcatel-Lucent full-time (More than a year)

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO
Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

Pros

International, Telecom IT, leading Edge

Cons

Still evolving from lucent acquisition

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Installation and field technicians - from an entry level position point of view

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Communications Services Installer (CSI) in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Communications Services Installer (CSI) in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Alcatel-Lucent full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Union - If you stick around long enough, there is decent job security and benefits especially when those industry-wide layoffs come around. The union can protect you if management asks (or tells you) to do things beyond what is allowed or is reasonable.

    Lots of opportunities for travel and overtime.

    Great way to make contacts in the telecom world, as companies like Verizon, Sprint, Qwest, and AT&T become YOUR customer. Also with contractors. Alcatel-Lucent MAKES the equipment that all of these companies use or install, and often contractors look up to you as a resource. Good to have ALU (Alcatel-Lucent) training or experience under your belt.

    Guaranteed 40 hour weeks even when work slows down.

    Entry-level is a good starting point to get familiar with and consider other positions in the company.

    Incredible training opportunities for motivated learners. While your required training is pretty standard or specific, a majority of the ENTIRE curriculum is open to your whims. And that is just the Alcatel-Lucent training. On top of this, you have access to the online courses from AT&T and the union. This is only if you take advantage of it, as it is not readily promoted. Also, between the company and the union, you can have a lot of college tuition paid for. Company requires "company related" courses, union allows schooling for nearly anything related to any occupation that the union rubs elbows with. That means a lot.

    See the inside of those mysterious, barb-wired, no windowed buildings filled with miles of cable and humming, freezer sized cabinets of computing power. Go to nearly every restricted area of your city, (or other cities) to access cell equipment in scary basements, rooftops, remote islands, and forests. Start to understand how your cell or land line telephone service works and why your provider's customer service never has answers. You can be the guy/girl that fixes it though!

    Working inside a telephone switch is a for the most part climate controlled environment all year-round, with break room, restroom, and all facilities in a building that formerly housed a large workforce.

    Working outside, and independently can be fun. You will get to know your area better than you ever imagined. Seattle area alone contains thousands of sites. Imagine LA, NYC, Houston, etc.

    Great for independent workers or quiet types. You get to rub elbows with contractors, but you can also be left alone, as many sites are remote or in secure areas, and many telephone switches are manned by a skeleton crew, especially at night (if anyone is even there.)

    Some companies pay more, but for what you DO get paid, the work is not all that bad. There are times when there is heavy cable pulling, and contorting on top of ladders and racks or under floors, but there are also times when you have a very relaxing or shorter work day for many days at a time. Many companies pay a lot less for the simple, physical work that you may do. Depending on management and what part of the country, you may be able to manage your own hours if you can get things done, and do it right. Customer satisfaction keeps things rolling smooth.

    Tedious work can sometimes be balanced by decent pay if you hang around long enough. It is not unheard of for many senior installers to be pulling in over 100K/year when things are hopping.

    When you fly and stay in hotels on the company dime, you can add the points to your frequent flyer or other loyalty programs. Where else can you fly at LEAST once a month and stay in a hotel for months, and rack up the points for your own use.

    Cons

    The lowest entry level position in installation is not comparable to the regular techs. There are fewer benefits and opportunities. If you can stick it out and be promoted, things get better quickly, but that promotion is not up to you, your supervisor, or your supervisor's supervisor. It comes from way up the ladder and has less to do with how awesome you are than it does with the fact that they need more bodies to do work you are not allowed to do yet.

    Union - If you excel among your peers, get prepared to be disappointed as others hired before you get promoted based on service time, regardless of the fact that they can't even turn on their computer or that they do "just enough" to keep their job. Typical politics, whining, and games between union and management. Note: All things considered, here it is not nearly as bad as other companies. Many 1st and 2nd level managers were once union installers too, and they know how to play the game to take care of their people, or on the other hand, keep them in check.

    Work can be here today and gone tomorrow based on the industry as a whole, or as simple as one large customer deciding to go with a competitor.

    Far removed from other parts of the company. You may never go into a corp. office, talk to an executive, or experience the perks one might that even a receptionist would in a corporate environment. Team-building exercises? Morale boosting inter-office competitions? Work-out room? Being treated as an educated peer? Unlikely. If there is an admin, HR, payroll, or legal division you wouldn't know it, unless someone screws up your paycheck and you get to call them. You are the front line of the company between the customer and the stockholders and extremely important, but be prepared to be thought of as the trench digging blue collar dirt-farmers when you are talking to some snooty engineer in France that has never actually tried to install one of their designs in a building that didn't exist outside of a CAD drawing in their home office.

    Big projects can require long hours. Travel is often obligatory and weeks, if not months at a time. Accommodations can vary. Full kitchen and breakfast in a hotel by the beach, hooray! Microwave and mini-fridge in a snow-covered wasteland, not so hot after 1 month. Can be tough on family and social life, home duties, appointments, pets.

    Can be laid off anytime based on seniority.

    Company still trying to get out of a slump ... things could get a lot worse as far as layoffs or cutbacks.

    Union Contract ended in 2012, extended till 2013. It might get better, but there are a lot of highly paid techs that the company would rather have someone cheaper doing the work. They could even bust the union altogether.

    Huge company/corporate environment. Beyond 2 levels of upper management, it is unlikely anyone will remember your name or accomplishments (unless you knock a cell site offline or bring down a piece of equipment in a switch, at which point you will most likely be mentioned in a Quality Flash sent to everyone in the company (and the FCC) after you get involuntary unpaid vacation.)

    If you take advantage of additional training opportunities as mentioned above in the PROS section, it will not make any difference in your pay (remember, UNION.) If there is something required, it will be assigned and you will take it like everyone else.

    Working inside of a telecom switch can get tedious. Working outside as a cell tech can be miserable in adverse weather. They both can get lonely and boring.

    ALU services can be expensive. Get used to seeing YOUR work subbed out to competing contractors either by the customer or your own company. Then get used to having to do quality work on top of their inexperienced crap. When a cable that supports 10s of thousands of conversations is laid down bad, you can't move it, so you have to go on top of it no matter how much you want to fix it or hate the last guy/company who was there. You can, however, vaguely talk trash about them in a review, such as this one. *Cough* <OMITTED BY EDITOR> *Cough*

    Hearing "old-timers" scoff at your green-horn, naive cheerful dreams of success, and talk about how the company screwed them at one time or another is discouraging. Just make your own way through, and have a back-up plan. But don't be quick to judge them, they have seen a lot and are telling the truth. In a large company you can become a number and when the math says so, numbers get subtracted.

    The 100k figure was mentioned in the PROS section above, but getting there could take forever if the company does not promote, or if you do not get the opportunity to get your required "points" working on specific equipment. A lot of these requirements are nearly impossible to meet for newer hires, as they are related to outdated/obsolete equipment you may never see, especially with many 30+ year veterans still hanging on with this company and some of the competitors.

    Advice to Management

    Allow opportunities for self-motivated employees at the installation level to excel, especially if it is clear that some of their more senior peers are comfortable with not doing anything extra.

    Rework the index system to include current technology and do away with hours that may never be acquired. 5E? 4E switches? Really?

    Compensate for or otherwise provide incentives for self-directed learning.

    Installation often sees the end result of poor decision making or careless practices that start far up the ladder, especially with logistics and supply chain. In a time when cutting cost is so important, these issues should be addressed more.


  2. Seat of Technical Excellence

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in Westford, MA
    Current Employee - Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in Westford, MA

    I have been working at Alcatel-Lucent full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Innovation is constantly encouraged within the company
    Great technical learning exposure and experience to imbibe from
    Challenging work keep employees well engaged
    Executing on a well thought out strategic vision

    Cons

    It is a big company - one needs to find the right product group


There are newer employer reviews for Alcatel-Lucent
There are newer employer reviews for Alcatel-Lucent

See Most Recent

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