Occidental Petroleum

  www.oxy.com
  www.oxy.com

Occidental Petroleum Reviews in Houston, TX

Updated September 18, 2014
Updated September 18, 2014
155 Reviews
3.1
155 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Occidental Petroleum President & CEO Stephen I. Chazen
Stephen I. Chazen
80 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • 9/80 work schedule is great and they are good at rewarding their employees with time off and company get togethers (in 14 reviews)

  • 9/80 work schedule, no excessive corporate paternalism like some of the other majors (in 23 reviews)


Cons
  • Hostile work environment, employee favorites and double standards with supervisors and HR (in 11 reviews)

  • Upper management underminds employees and treats lower level emplyees like red headed step children (in 9 reviews)

More Highlights

52 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    GREAT!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Occidental Petroleum as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    The people here are great. The managers are honest, intelligent, genuinely nice, and caring people. The building isn't as nice as some others I've been in, the pay isn't quite as high, but this is by far the best place I've worked. The people are great, the managers are great, they treat you like a person, not a worker drone.

    Cons

    None really. Personally I dislike the 9/80 work schedule because I'm a single parent, but other than that I have no complaints. My only complaint was that I wasn't able to become a permanent employee with them when my contract ran out. I really would have liked to stay.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Oxy is a really great company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Document Control Specialist in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Document Control Specialist in Houston, TX

    I worked at Occidental Petroleum as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    The company takes really good care of their employess. They offer terrific benefits. An overall great company to work for. They are also known for volunteering.

    Cons

    Not too sure of the cons for this company. I was hired through a recruiting agency.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3.  

    Great company to work for!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Consultant in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - IT Consultant in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Occidental Petroleum full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    - Great benefits, including generous 401k matching, pension, health, short and long term disability, and vacation.
    - Flat organization with few levels of management allows staff to assume huge responsibility and call a lot of shots.
    - Lots of opportunity for resilient entrepreneurial individuals that don't need a lot of structure.

    Cons

    - lean staff means crazy workload.
    - Quality of mid managers varies greatly; can affect performance rating.
    - Rating system isn't always consistently applied. The same growth area may be overlooked completely by one manager, while another focuses too heavily on the same item.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More training for younger managers. Overall, most try to do the right thing, but some are clearly torn between politics / pleasing upper management versus growing their staff. Consider implementing 360 appraisals for managers. Otherwise, OXY is really a great company to work for. Benefits far outweigh the negatives.

    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Could be better

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Occidental Petroleum full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great work schedule (9/80), benefits and overall package.
    Open door policy helps foster a good support group.
    Good location to avoid downtown traffic.

    Cons

    Big disconnect between upper management and new hires.
    Depending on position could have periods of downtime.
    Seems like hard work isn't always rewarded and recognized.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Talk to your people, be more transparent, most of all - listen and don't jump to conclusions.

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Long term commitment to get anywhere with this company.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - IT Consultant in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - IT Consultant in Houston, TX

    I worked at Occidental Petroleum full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    6% matching 401k. Separate retirement account that amounts to about $2500 a year. Higher than average bonus (10-15%; higher if you are one of the "chosen" ones).

    Cons

    Don't let them fool you with their slightly better than average benefits package. They are WAY low on base salary. I know this because I left and got over a 20% raise. It would have taken me between 4 and 5 years more at Oxy to get that type of raise. I'm not the only one. I know of many people who feel the same way. Average raises, year by year, are around 3%. When you start at 50 or 60k, it will take you a very long time to catch up to where you should be.

    The politicking here is crazy. Employees WILL stab you in the back - it happened to me by more than one person. Not only that, but to get anywhere you MUST "do what you're told". If you don't brown nose it's very hard to get anywhere. Managers have their favorites. Oh, and don't get on the "blacklist." If you do you're virtually out of the running to be manager or basically anything other than "IT drone." I can't tell you how many people got their MBA's paid for by Oxy then had to leave because they would not promote them.

    One last thing I want to mention. There is little explanation on why some people get certain benefits and others don't. This includes "project bonuses" as well as extra Stock incentive. They never fully explain, if they even mention these things to you which they probably won't, how you get them. If you don't know about these things then the don't have to give them to you, right?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I hope the ITIL initiative works out. You're employees moral is very low.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Head hits ceiling quick

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Landman in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Landman in Houston, TX

    I worked at Occidental Petroleum full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good name recognition for future employers, allows for further education

    Cons

    Does not allow you to grow beyond scope of responsibilities. Very negative work environment. Every department I met people were unsatisfied. Low pay

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't tell employees that want to grow within the company, that they don't have enough experience when the company is hiring interns above individuals with 3-5 years experience with college degrees. Management from Land Administration would not approve promotions and therefore put a limit on earning potential.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Reservoir Engineer in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Reservoir Engineer in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Occidental Petroleum full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    they move quickly, you can learn a lot

    Cons

    none really, good company to work for

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    none

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Unorganized, lack of leadership and growth opportunities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lease Records Landman in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Lease Records Landman in Houston, TX

    I worked at Occidental Petroleum full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    9/80 work schedule, no excessive corporate paternalism like some of the other majors.

    Cons

    Annual bonus is based on corporate performance and not individual effectiveness. Uneven distribution of workload and no clear path for promotion leads to unhappy employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit playing favorites; pay competitive salaries and promote based on merit. The best and brightest have left or are leaving because of these issues.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    I have received great opportunities, however OXY does not develop young talent well and compensation is behind.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Facilities Engineer in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Facilities Engineer in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Occidental Petroleum full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Benefits are good and 9/80 work schedule helps with the heavy workload. You will get great opportunities to put on your resume.

    Cons

    Poor development of young engineers. Managers play favorites and the ratings system is arbitrary and only depends on how much your manager favors you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    OXY will continue to loose their top talent and top young talent unless:
    1. Begin compensation programs that keep pace with the industry
    2. Develop more comprehensive strategies to develop young talent
    3. Continue to provide challenges for best talent
    4. Listen to young talent

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Oxy IT - Good and Bad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Specialist in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - IT Specialist in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Occidental Petroleum full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The corporate culture is pretty good. The benefits package is amazing. They actually have a retirement plan in addition to the matching 401k plan. The employees have a tendency to stay here for a long time. They really do try to value their human capital - at least for everyone except IT. If you work on the O&G side of things (Geologist, etc), I hear the pay is pretty awesome. Vacation time is generous - you also get sick time that doesn't count against your vacation days.
    They are moving to a service-oriented (think ITIL/ITSM) IT model. This is a good thing.

    Cons

    They treat IT infrastructure people as pure cost. System admins burn out due to the constant "do more with less" mentality and absolutely zero appreciation. High turnover rate there.
    Expect to be on call, and to be told that you need to be attached to your phone even when you're NOT on call. Pay is below industry average.
    If you are early (or early-ish) career, the 'bonus' is almost an insult.
    IT raises are also a joke. If you want an appreciable bump in pay, be prepared to move to another company, or pray that you can move to a different group within Oxy and get a promotion in the process.
    No 365 reviews of management. Some of the managers are absolutely terrible - but they know how to take credit for other people's work and throw their people under the bus, so upper management thinks they're great. If you can market yourself well, you'll probably do fine. Favoritism is pretty rampant in some areas.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a good, hard look at how you treat the people that keep you running. Storage, Server Admins, Network, infrastructure tools like AD and Citrix, these people are the backbone that make it possible. Maybe you should consider treating them that way - or they're going to continue fleeing to places that do.
    I would recommend Oxy as a career choice (as in, stay there for 20) if you work somewhere other than any kind of IT role that isn't application (ie Maximo) specific - but after more than two years at Oxy, I honestly couldn't in good conscience recommend Oxy to any kind of IT infrastructure professional. The pay is lower than industry average, and so is the level of appreciation. I really hope you can fix this shortcoming.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Occidental Petroleum Photos

Street view of the Occidental Petroleum headquarter office located in Westwood, Los Angeles, CA (Photo by Coolcaesar - available under CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 & GFDL, v1.118)
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