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6 people found this helpful  

Think twice before accepting the Microsoft job offer

Mid-level Individual Contributor (Current Employee) Redmond, WA

Pros1) Corporate commitment to workplace diversity (race, sex, religion, culture, etc.)
2) A "name" company
3) Not likely to go out of business soon
4) Plenty of learning opportunities
5) If you find the right job and the right manager, it's a great experience
6) Usually good flexibility for working parents
7) Smart and diversified co-workers

ConsHere's what I've learned after several years:

1) There's no appreciation of your previous career experience--if you haven't done it at MS, it doesn't count. This "Not Invented Here" attitude impedes creative thinking.
2) The performance rating system is seriously flawed--a substantial (25%) amount of your time is spent doing low-value tasks indirectly related to your job. These tasks are injected into your performance plan so your manager has a way to measure you and compare you to others.
3) **YOUR YEARLY PERFORMANCE RATING IS DETERMINED FIRST AND THEN YOU'RE INFORMED--there's no way to change a bad/erroneous review**.
4) The employee calibration system forces your manager to put 10% of her team in the "below standard" level, meaning you're not going to be promoted for at least a year OR you're going to be "managed out" (fired) even if you've achieved the goals you and your manager set down in writing at the beginning of the year. This "stack-ranking" system into 20%-70%-10% brackets determines your the "contribution margin" and is based on managers' discussions, hearsay, and perceived age (discrimination). It affects how much stock--a form of deferred compensation--you get that year. Again, you have no way of changing your standing--it's all decided behind tightly-closed doors.
5) It's fairly hard to change jobs--you can't interview without your manager's permission unless you've been in role 18 months. Many postings are dummy postings because a candidate's already been selected and the hiring manager has to go through the process. And most of the jobs are so specific that it's hard to jump across organizations unless you can get an insider to recommend you.
6) Cost-cutting has had a negative impact on every aspect of the Company, and it's nearly impossible to get business travel approval unless you're in sales or consulting.
7) For a technology company, there's far too much management overhead and this leads to slow decision-making. Very few people here are willing to stand up and to make a decision or to go out on a limb to support their position.
8) Microsoft is an extremely matrixed organization and that reality often impedes your ability to get things done rapidly.
9) There are few "people managers" at Microsoft. At levels below General Manager, "managers" have a **regular workload** in addition to their people management responsibilities, and this is when people management is most important and valued. At the GM level and above, it's about headcount, not individuals.
10) In the U.S., the HR department offers very little career development support and no individual assistance. You're supposed to work through your manager, who may or may not know anything.
11) Promotions are handed out based on excellence in your current role, budget, and business need. So, even if you've been the top performer on your team and have done everything just right, you may be stuck. Thnis is why many people leave Microsoft.
12) It's very unusual to get a promotion when you get a new job--that's why they're called "internal transfers".

Advice to Senior Management1) Redesign the employee evaluation system to reflect today's Microsoft.
2) Encourage management boldness.
3) I recognize the need to address health care costs but let's stop the nickle-and-diming.
4) I love Steve Ballmer and believe he's committed to the Company but the stock has been flat for a decade--it's time to bring Bill G back into the fold.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Don't be fooled. Microsoft was once a great place to work, but not any more.

    Software Development Engineer II (Former Employee) Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft

    Pros: Brand Recognition. The Microsoft Campus (regardless of which one you wind up at) will be nice. There is… Cons: Currently, Microsoft is so focused on cost cutting, you will have to deal with constantly eroding benefits. The culture there has become very elitist. Even the… Advice to Senior Management: Start asking yourself why so many of your best developers are leaving. Develop an imagination and try to do something new rather… More
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO


    Enriching by observing what to do and what not to do

    Senior Manager (Current Employee) Mountain View, CA

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros: Work with bright pPeople Technology availability Benefits Cons: Too political Some higher managers not properly qualified Advice to Senior Management: Stop looking after their own careers and more about their… More
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