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Helpful (1)

A great school for new employees but a hard place for entrepreneurs

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Business Manager in Redmond, WA
Former Employee - Business Manager in Redmond, WA

I worked at Microsoft

Recommends
Approves of CEO
Recommends
Approves of CEO

Pros

There are many things that I admire in Microsoft, in particular: - Benefits package (one of the best in the industry) - Opportunities to grow by changing jobs internally - Learn to think big - Social responsibility (Microsoft is super generous to a variety of causes, which is admirable) - Very smart people easily approachable - Access to fantastic resources (software, library, research, etc.) - Very informal working environment - Flexible work schedule After having spent several years in different positions, both technical and marketing, I think this has been my best "professional school".

Cons

Microsoft has changed over the past several years and unfortunately not all of it is positive. My observations: - If you get a first job there, you'll probably come in at a very low level and you'll be stuck there for a while. Promotions are getting less frequent every year. If you've guts, you are better off quitting the company, become a vendor or do something else, and be re-hired as an external candidate. You'll accelerate your career as you reset your history - Microsoft is an aggregation of different silos that don't talk to each other. Exec egos and turf battles come at the expense of the 'greater good' - The company is plagued with processes that makes it slow to react to more agile internet players. If you're an entrepreneur at heart, you'll suffer (a lot) at Microsoft, unless you're there for the 'enterprise experience' and you leave after a few years. Beware though. Because the company is so big, there are always pockets of excellence where things can happen fast. Those are usually the products version 1, where excitement and speed mean survival before the next executive review - A large chunk of middle management is not hungry anymore. If they have been there for many years, they don't want to compromise their comfort. They care more about their 'green scorecard' than taking risks for the sake of moving Microsoft forward. - Many employees feel so passionate about their products that they live in denial that there is a world out there. By closing their eyes to the reality, they don't learn about what the competition does and what customers need. It's easier to drink the company koolaid than make an effort to be self critical Again, don't judge Microsoft just by looking at one group. The silos are very different from each other and you may find happiness in another group.

Advice to Management

Accelerate the time from R&D to market. It's amazing how many ideas get conceived internally that never see the light our there. Don't overlook the 'coolness factor'. These days Microsoft is uncool, and I bet recruiters are struggling to hire students that are looking at Apple, Facebook and Google as alternatives. A few visible wins like Kinect can help change perception more than anything else.

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  1. I love working for Microsoft.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Account Manager in Charlotte, NC
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Account Manager in Charlotte, NC

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Microsoft is an amazing place and provides the opportunity to work with amazing people. The company's strategy for the future is strong and has the cash behind it to fail in some areas and still recover. I really enjoy working here.

    Cons

    Hard to think of specific cons because I'm in a position I love and have amazing work life balance. One possible con would be that the diversity of the technology areas that Microsoft touches makes it difficult to stay up to date on things so I can keep my customer informed of all that is going on.

    Advice to Management

    My advice for now is to give as much notice as possible for leadership change. Robbie Bach and Ray Ozzie's departure in the past few months were a shock and it would be good to know as soon as possible about upcoming SLT changes.


  2. Microsoft is perfect for a resume builder...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Manager II in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Program Manager II in Redmond, WA

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Salaries are ok Benefits were at one time great, but they are getting cut each year 2 of the best managers that I have had in my career have been at Microsoft The products Microsoft creates are incredible

    Cons

    The bad managers I have had are really bad Senior management changes direction frequently and not all senior management is on the same page Reorgs are constant so growing your career can be very difficult Work/Life balance is little more than a frequent conversation but not realistic to the workload

    Advice to Management

    Unhappy teams and people spotlight a leadership problem. When this unhappiness turns into attrition, take a serious look.


There are newer employer reviews for Microsoft
There are newer employer reviews for Microsoft

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