Microsoft

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6 people found this helpful  

Think twice before accepting the Microsoft job offer

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Mid-level Individual Contributor in Redmond, WA
Current Employee - Mid-level Individual Contributor in Redmond, WA

I have been working at Microsoft

Pros

1) 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

Cons

Here'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 ManagementAdvice

1) 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.

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

8788 Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft (View Most Recent)

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer II in 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 a great deal of flexibility with regard to which 12 hours you wish to work each day.

    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 dumbest blockhead is convinced they must be brilliant or Microsoft wouldn't have hired them.
    There is a great deal of talk about "Work Life Balance", but it is just talk. There is constant pressure to work more, put in more hours, stay later, etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start asking yourself why so many of your best developers are leaving. Develop an imagination and try to do something new rather than constantly trying to develop something "just like" some other product that is turning out to be successful, but you didn't think of.

    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Enriching by observing what to do and what not to do

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in 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 ManagementAdvice

    Stop looking after their own careers and more about their people and projects

    Disapproves of CEO
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