There are newer employer reviews for Tesla Motors

6 people found this helpful  

Exciting company, but work environment deteriorating

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Individual Contributor in Palo Alto, CA
Current Employee - Individual Contributor in Palo Alto, CA

I have been working at Tesla Motors full-time (more than 3 years)

Pros

Technology is interesting, product is unique, and there is a ton of job satisfaction.
Some of the most intelligent people I have worked with. There is so much engineering done "in-house" that it provides tremendous opportunities to learn and grow your career.

Cons

Absolutely no work life balance. Tesla is hiring rapidly and the quality of people coming in are not the same caliber of what they used to be. There is a great deal of politics and back stabbing even at the lower levels. Too many manager types and not enough people willing to do actual work

Advice to ManagementAdvice

There are too many inexperienced and power hungry managers. Politics are getting out of hand at all levels and making Tesla an unpleasant place to be and I am seeing too many incredible people (execs, managers, and individual contributors) leaving because of it.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

163 Other Employee Reviews for Tesla Motors (View Most Recent)

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Mixed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Manufacturing Engineer in Fremont, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Manufacturing Engineer in Fremont, CA

    I have been working at Tesla Motors full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great product with a lot of growth potential

    Cons

    Too much politics, and not always listening to those with experience and good ideas

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 42 people found this helpful  

    Company moves faster than the Model S

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Test Engineer in Fremont, CA
    Current Employee - Test Engineer in Fremont, CA

    I have been working at Tesla Motors full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I am a multi-disciplined test engineer. I have been with the company with quite some time and have worked across most engineering groups with the exception of the infotainment division.

    - ISOs and RSUs. I entered prior to the stock hike. Company-provided options and RSU grants for achievement has been a big financial reward and will continue to be until full vesting. This is important and one of the top three reasons Tesla has me staying put with the company (see Cons below)
    - Opportunities to learn. The company moves fast and because of that there has been a multitude of opportunities for me to interact across various technical groups. I have had the opportunity without any hindrances, due to my role, to gain a holistic understanding of the technology behind this vehicle. It's special to say the very least.
    - Bright minds. Tesla has acquired top-talent in its early days (I cannot say the same now see below). the backbone of the company has been the engineers with the confidence and courage to tackle challenges no one else has ever attempted. Many other automotive companies have come to recognize that Tesla is a competitor and looming threat.
    - Advancement. Up until recent months, Tesla did a fairly decent jobs at providing opportunities for advancement. This was in part due to its very loose structuring (leveling didn't officially happen until a few months ago...) and also in part because you truly were recognized for your experience, knowledge, and impact. If you were promoted from level 1 to level 2, you earned it, if you were promoted from level 1 to staff (level 4) you changed the approach for something crucial and you definitely earned it. You got what you earned, and even though recognition came slowly, I can't think of many companies that would have let someone jump from level 1 to level 4 regardless of the fact they were qualified just out of tradition.

    Bottom line. Though I am still young in my career, in comparison to many other senior engineers at other companies, whether they are friends, family, or acquaintances, I know that in my time with Tesla, the experience and knowledge I have gained has been 2x to 3x greater than what they received in the same amount of time. It came at the expense of very hard and tediou work and deadlines. But I made it work out.

    Cons

    People interested in applying to Tesla now must be aware of several things.

    My comments are particularly applicable to engineers. As Tesla continues to grow to support all of its upcoming activities (read the news) one of its biggest challenges is management. It is very apparent that the culture to a degree is shifting from a "start-up" mentality to a very particular vision of what proper management should look like. This includes leveling, improving documentation, enforcing best-practices, etc. There is one very big drawback that anyone looking to join a cutting edge company should be wary of: this is slowly KILLING the original culture of doing what is necessary, thinking outside the box, promoting cross-group interaction. Elon won’t ever let this culture shift touch the side of innovation and technological advance thankfully. This I am certain of as it would kill the heart of Tesla's edge.

    I have been fortunate enough in my career that I just made it onto the "old Tesla' side of the team. This is a group of people who recognize there are management challenges and there is need to improve on those now, but also understand there is a need to minimize internal politics to remain one team. It is also a team of individuals that have leveraged and maintained a particular amount of political pull to keep that system in-line to a degree. Let me draw on one generic example. A large group discovered a flaw that was in part due to decisions made along with another group, and instead of approaching the problem with a “let’s fix this” attitude, they “strategically waited” until the other group confronted and accepted responsibility before acting towards resolution. This, in my mind, is unacceptable.

    What I have been witnessing in the transformation of the company is a greater dependence on politics. Be prepared if you are an associate level engineer to be told exactly what you are allowed to do. And if you are senior level, know that you are entering potentially shark-infested waters depending on what division you are working for. Ask as you apply and interview to learn more about the dynamics.

    The last downside is compensation. Tesla targets average pay, nothing less, nothing more, unless you are a rare candidate with such specific expertise that no one else like you exists. If you are that individual, you will be treated well (senior manager, exec, VP level). As a new hire, you do not have as much of an edge with your options. Your strike price will also be significantly higher than “older” Tesla colleagues. You will get paid enough to live on, but without the added bonus of ISOs at your side helping to ease the pain as you work tirelessly each and every day, you will find it more difficult to make it at Tesla.

    The company and used top talent and let them go off to other companies after they were burnt and ground to ashes. I’ve seen some of the best engineers leave under these circumstances. And as many other reviewers have mentioned, if you decide to take a job with this promising company, know you WILL sacrifice work-life balance, your family with see less of you, and you will have to make sacrifices while you stay at Tesla. You will get down and dirty. In return you will hopefully receive bonuses and rewards for your hard work and you can say you were part of it all, changing the mindset of all people, and shifting the paradigm and direction of personal-vehicle technology.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Remove all personal ambition and pride as it tends to limit your team
    -Remove road blocks through the implementation of management initiatives instead of creating them
    -Encourage original thinking, cross-group collaboration, etc. to feed the minds of your top-talent Stanford/Berkeley/Waterloo/Michigan graduates to keep them engaged
    -Recognize the work of your team members directly because it greatly improves morale

    No one is asking to have an easy or fun time while grinding through the near-impossible deadlines at Tesla. But many people are asking for support. Give it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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