IBM

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Used to be great, I think I'm glad to be gone.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - IT Architect in Atlanta, GA
Former Employee - IT Architect in Atlanta, GA

I worked at IBM

Pros

Opportunities to take on a wide variety of assignments. Access to a tremendous amount of knowledge via internal forums, wiki, blogs etc. I was able to work in marketing, sales, development, research, and services in my time there.

Cons

Extreme focus on utilization causes pressure to make up for earned vacation etc. Was asked to defer vacation to make up for others on the bench.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Come clean about the strategy behind the layoffs. It may not change things but I think it would go a long way towards reducing the anxiety hostility and fear that are out there.

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

12337 Other Employee Reviews for IBM (View Most Recent)

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  1. 30 people found this helpful  

    If IBM buys your company, get out. You have about a year before life is unbearable.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Advisory Information Developer in Lexington, MA
    Former Employee - Advisory Information Developer in Lexington, MA

    I worked at IBM

    Pros

    The only reason to work for IBM are the money and benefits. And if you are just beginning a career, IBM might be OK for a couple of years just to make the transition from the life lived at college and the life of full-time employment with no summer off. IBM is not a long-term proposition for anyone except the most senior management.

    Cons

    IBM bought the company I worked for, so my last 5 years there allowed me to observe the many ways in which IBM demoralizes talented people and drives them away.

    IBM talks a great deal about being accountable, and it devises (and then revises) systems for setting goals for projects and for professional development and for reporting progress toward them. It is fair to say that you spend about 50% of your time collecting the data for and providing it to these systems. Thus, it is not possible to achieve the goals because you are spending most of your time measuring, but not making, progress.

    What matters most is to appear to make progress and appear to take responsibility. Over time, your colleagues become disembodied voices in faraway lands, and you spend a great deal of time in conference calls with them. What you quickly learn is that you can declare progress has been made, and no one is likely to know or care whether it was. I inherited, from IBMers who understood how the game is played, projects that recent college graduates would have done a better job of. I was appalled by the "work" of senior people. Thus, IBM is not a place to learn any skill other than that of self promotion.

    The cumulative impact is devastating. You don't see as much of the colleagues who are still around because you are always on the phone or trying (in vain) to get something done. The isolation gets to you. You become surprised that someone you worked with for years has a) left without saying anything or b) is still around because you haven't seen them in months. Most people work at home as much as possible.

    Before IBM came into your life, you knew what a good job was and you knew how to do it. If you stay too long, you begin to doubt that you know anything and are worth anything to another company and even to yourself. Toward the end of my tenure, more than one person expressed thoughts of suicide. The only folks who seemed to understand the true nature of what was happening were raised in eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

    I left IBM. I was not laid off. I did not have another job lined up. Things are very tough right now, but I have never regretted leaving. It was a radical act of self respect. My confidence has returned.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop lying. The false cheer in the messages from Sam or whoever is running the division is insulting to the intelligence of your employees, who you claim to value. Honesty about your true intentions, namely, to rid yourself of most of your US workforce (especially anyone over 50) would not make anyone happy but would at least earn their respect.

    IBM's true investment is not in innovative technology, superior customer service, or professional growth of employees. It is in the insidious mechanisms that disseminate and reinforce a culture in which the price of success is one's humanity.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Working at IBM can be exciting & rewarding, but watch your back, keep your resume up to date and never stop networking.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Client Manager in West Chester, PA
    Former Employee - Client Manager in West Chester, PA

    I worked at IBM

    Pros

    Stable company; industry leader in many areas; ongoing opportunity to get involved in new areas of the business; focus on customer satisfaction and customer value; innovative; leader in open systems; great supporter/promoter of women, minorities, etc;

    Cons

    - I worked there for over 20 years and saw one of their core principles, "respect for the individual", set aside and replaced with "what ever is best for IBM". On a scale of 1-4 (1 = best), I was rated a 2 or 2+ for every year for over 20 years. I made my quota in 2008, was told multiple times during 2008 what a great job I was doing by my manager, then I was laid off in Feb 2009.
    - Staffed very thin - be sure to take your laptop with you on vacation and set aside a few hours a day to work. Actively trying to move most of their US based resources off shore to lower cost countries ("stealth" layoffs of over 4600 people in Feb 2009 never announced to the press).
    - In sales, a generally high base salary (good) but limited leverage as they always adjust the quota, or ratchet back the pay plan to limit potential payouts.
    - Constant change and reorganizations, warranted in some cases, however it's just movement for the sake of movement at times. Management is sometimes disconnected from the relationships that the front line team builds with customers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Add "respect for the individual" back into the fundamental values of the company.

    No opinion of CEO
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