Amazon.com

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4 people found this helpful  

Big impact work, great team, no work life balance

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

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than 8 years)

Pros

Smart, highly motivated team, initiatives that have direct customer impact, high visibility in the organization. Own your product end-to-end from conception to implementation to delivery to maintenance.

Cons

Very aggressive goals, no work life balance. Boss works harder than me because boss has more agressive goals. Company expects to work hard, work smart and work long hours. All teams own online services and you are never off work if you are the manager. Need to invest in a support org for live issues that pop up in the middle of the night.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

4377 Other Employee Reviews for Amazon.com (View Most Recent)

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    never boring, often stressful

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com

    Pros

    The company culture is based on objectivity, responsibility, and precision. This means there is little to no "politics" or egos to stroke. Great for people who like to work fast and hard and not waste time. No classism or age-ism like you sometimes see in young hot tech companies.

    Cons

    Frugal company culture means perks are minimal, tools can be subpar, managers can be spread extremely thin and work environment can be unnecessarily challenging.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Considering the hurdles to getting hired here, there should be more of a focus on retention and promotion of internal talent.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 13 people found this helpful  

    A nightmare called Amazon Web Services

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

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

    Pros

    Let us start with Amazon first and then with AWS. Amazon has this unique method of hiring. When there is a fire at Amazon and a dire need to hire, you will be immediately called for interviews and the whole interview process is expedited within weeks and you will also get an offer the next day you are interviewed. After applying for 4 years consistently I got my first call and then got called onsite right away and then an offer within 24 hours. I understood they needed a person on board very badly. Because it is Amazon, you will take the offer right away without thinking and plus the offer is so lucrative that you will just take it. Don’t be fooled with the stock options they offer as a part of the hiring package. Ask for more base salary or joining bonus. Average tenure at amazon for an employee is 1.5 years and stock options mature in 3rd and 4th year and hence you don’t see a single penny of it. Amazon pays you high but takes away your personal and family life. It is a place where everyone tries to prove they are right, even at the cost of other colleagues. So it is a rat race, where everyone tries to outsmart other at any cost. In the end people are very exhausted and look for other options. The office politics gets to you if you believe that hard work is the only means to progress in your career. Not many people know that amazon has this unique culture of laying off 10% of the work force every year irrespective of what you put in. So your relationship with your manager and other managers also will matter when it comes to review. Also, at amazon, anyone can write a review about you at any time, which will count towards your final performance review. So you have to watch your back constantly and have to be people smart and also work smart. This is not easy because even if you put in 120% you may not be in the best books with others because you did company’s good and in doing so, you stepped over someone in some way, who will write a review about you and to which you have no visibility to. So what you will see in your review will always be a surprise. If a decision is made to let you go per the 10% lay off rule, then they will give you 100 excuses and reasons of not performing. Except if you join in the last 3 months of the year, you are in for a review. I joined in September and in 15th week of my service, I was told that I am a part of the performance improvement program, which is a sophisticated name for the 10% people, who are walked off on any day the manager wants. The guard comes with a box and takes your tag and computer and you walk with an embarrassment. The culture is so rough that you hardly make any good friends at work because everyone is constantly thinking you are being nice but not sure if you will write a decent review.

    Cons

    Coming to AWS supply chain group. This group is nothing but laid off/struggling workforce of Dell, who have pulled each other into AWS. The whole group is a big mess as people come and leave in few months. Here the work culture is even worst that the amazon retail groups. The team is small, the work is loads, the ups and downs in business are huge because of which planning almost always goes wrong and you never know how that bad planning affects your work and you are made a scape goat of the events that were beyond your control. Someone somewhere is constantly counting the strikes against you and you will see that in your review or some other way when you finally walk off from AWS. The whole company runs on excel sheets with no ERP system that is strong enough to give visibility to people. So there is constant guessing and errors in what you communicate. Even if this is happening, you should be able to prove that you are smart and good at all times. There is a culture of writing a white paper. Any time something goes wrong you write a 1 pager and publish to the group. The management believes in churning papers, which no one really reads in future but you need to write them for proving your point or to cover of the mess that happened for no fault of yours but may be held against you. These papers take your office time and then you have meetings that never end and the work will start after 5.00pm. They actually have hired someone to help you write these papers. Amazon does not believe in ppt but believes in word documents. They are so frugal that they do not have a color printer on every floor. You may have to go 10 floors up or down to get that 1 colored copy. The seating space is so cramped up and they call it high density seating. You can actually touch 3-4 people if you stretch ur hand on both sides. There is a wait list for 2 years for parking in the building. So you eventually take a bus every day. All I would say is it is a big mess in AWS supply chain group. Which company hires and fires people in a period of 1 year, just because someone wrote something against you. The trust and healthy work culture does not exist. You will lose your health and hair in return of wealth that you cannot enjoy. It is not easy to survive in this place if you are not work smart, diplomatic, very fast paced and consistently vigilant to watch your back. Everyone leaves with a bitter taste. It is very common that on a Monday morning, your very next seat colleague is not at his seat because he worked his last on Friday and nobody knew it till he did not show up. Eventually you will learn he was recycled. Above all, there is no severance package and amazon takes every penny of your joining bonus and relocation back even if they lay you off and you did not resign out of your own will. So do not spend that money you get on something you like, because you never know how long you will be at AWS before you are long forgotten because the show must go on and there are lot of qualified people in the world that this company can afford to recycle. I never had experienced and never believed that a company has a culture that can ruin you, but there exists such a company- Amazon

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My management changed every month. Had 4 managers in my 10 month service period. Overall advice to the very senior management- though employees are resources, they are humans and not cattle.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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