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376 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.

8371 Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft (View Most Recent)

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    Lots of opportunity, interesting projects, smart, motivated people

    • 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 full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    One of the best things about Microsoft is that you are working with smart, motivated people all the time. You will find great challenges and be inspired by your peers on a daily basis. I'm always growing and learning. This can be untrue in certain teams, but in general I've found this to be true for most of the teams I've worked with.

    Loads of opportunity to try new things. I've worked on many different products and gained experience in multiple roles. You can truly change your career while staying in the comfort of the same company.

    Cons

    Politics becomes a part of your everyday pretty quickly as you move up in the company. There is a lot of overhead to get sign off on changes and move forward with something new. They want to be agile, but this is the biggest obstacle in actually being good at it.

    There is a lot of pressure for moving up. This is a good thing in a lot of respects, but can be stressful if you find yourself on a competitive team where moving up is difficult, or if you want to coast for a while career wise and focus on other aspects of life. It's not the place you can just do good work and not worry about promotions. If you're not moving up, you are eventually moving out.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The best managers I've had were also great mentors. If every employee must drive their own career, I think every manager should be able to provide the tools and advice to know how to do that effectively based on personal goals. I find this far more valuable than just project status.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    Hard to get noticed and good if you do but not great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Sales in New York, NY

    I worked at Microsoft (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very Good Health Insurance
    Very well recognized
    Good base salary

    Cons

    VERY hard to make a lot of money
    Strange culture
    Not a true meritocracy - much to do with perception - not always reality.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Come together to push back on silly policies that come from ill-informed top execs.
    Calibration, score card metrics, hurting people for customer service surveys that are not replied to.
    Giving ALL the sales people the Surface but not allowing them to give one to a CIO or CEO of a customer. Many sales people did not even use the Surface they were given - Let that sink in. Give them to ALL your sales folks but not to C levels at your customer or prospects.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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