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There are newer employer reviews for Microsoft

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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. An at times frustrating but ultimately satisfying and engaging place to work.

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

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Work with very smart and talented people.
    Flexible hours and work arrangement.
    Best benefits in the industry.
    Impact 100s of millions of people.

    Cons

    We struggle to balance protecting our existing businesses versus creating new ones.
    The stagnant stock price.
    Limited personal ability to materially impact the mission and vision.

    Advice to Management

    Get focused ... Continue cutting side show projects that have not proven effective to free resources to double down on successful ones.


  2. Positive

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer - Contractor in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer - Contractor in Redmond, WA

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Positive and professional work environment

    Cons

    As a conractor don't get to work on the interesting parts of the project

    Advice to Management

    Work with some outside advertising agencies to develope advertising that is cool


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

See Most Recent

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