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506 people found this helpful

Thoughts after 10 years....

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

I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than 10 years)

Pros

1. If you love tech, this is a great place. No doubt you'll talk tech (mostly the MSFT stack) from enterprise to consumer - from PCs to phones to Xboxes - from datacenter to desktop.

2. What were GREAT benefits are now VERY GOOD (took a small step down) but still probably better than you'll find at 99% of large corporations. If you've got family - the value of the benefits is even higher. 401k match is nice.

3. Even with it's struggles MSFT is still a cash printing machine. This means if you can keep your nose clean and do reasonable work, you can have a stable job, pay your bills, feed your family, and not worry (too much) about layoffs. The stock you own likely won't tank, but probably won't go up much either. You'll get a bonus each year and some stock. It's a decent life if you aren't looking to light the world on fire.

Cons

Brand on Your Resume: After many years of losing market share and struggling to be at the front end of innovation and the fact that there's 90,000 employees, don't think MSFT is necessarily going to be attractive on your resume to more agile and smaller companies.

Managing Your Career: Make you say this out loud so it registers - 90,000 employees work there. Double that for vendors. It is VERY hard to "stand out" and move up in the company. Don't expect your manager to be much of an advocate or enabler to help you meet your career goals - they are basically trying to survive the stack rank every year too. Not familiar with the stack rank? Check out the 2012 Vanity Fair article called "Microsoft's Lost Decade".

Advice to ManagementAdvice

I'll type it here - but I don't they are listening...
1. Help proven talent move laterally in the company for new opportunities.
2. Kill/evolve the stack rank. Here's basically how it's viewed:. 30% of the company gets 1s and 2s - and they are happy. 50% get 3s and that basically feels like getting a "C" in school. This sucks for talented people when a multitude of UNCONTROLLABLE conditions keep you from getting into 1 or 2 range. The 20% getting anything below a 3 are walking dead. In summary, 70% of the company walk away from the review cycle feeling like crap. This is no good.

After 10 years, I'm leaving - it's just a matter of time until I find the right opportunity. I need to find a company spends 90% of it's time building technology experiences, as opposed to 90% of its time building PowerPoints. And I expect to refuse the exit interview - because if you really cared what I thought, you wouldn't ask me after I decided to leave.

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  1. 2 people found this helpful

    Large and diverse - it's as good as you make it

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

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    Many smart people and good technology. Some groups are very creative and driven. Generally good work/life balance. If you're capable you can move up quickly and move between groups without too much trouble. Helps your career if you can take ownership of a product feature and elevate its status. Much of your career is what you make of it.

    Cons

    Like any company, some groups are subpar. Steer clear of MSIT for example. Other groups can be hyper competitive. Principal and higher level jobs require you to spend a lot of time greasing the wheels of a wide group of people because your job and promotion will be decided by that group, not just your manager.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Overhaul MSIT, break down barriers between blue badges and v dashes, work more on developing talent and collaborative working environments than perpetuating antiquated career development processes, and try to foster a more entrepreneurial environment where people have more authority (works well at Amazon, for instance)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. Review

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Microsoft

    Pros

    Perks were good, good environment, good money. Overall a good place to work and i enjoyed my time there and the experience was invaluable.

    Cons

    Difficult interview process is probably the biggest problem I can think of. There isn't too much else to complain about.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No advice for management really, just keep doing what you're doing, and don't change I guess is all I can say.

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