Thorlabs Reviews

Updated August 31, 2014
Updated August 31, 2014
27 Reviews
2.5
27 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
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Alex Cable
13 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Good place to start, but management needs to be improved.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Thorlabs

    Pros

    Usually pretty flexible with hours/schedules. Perks for employees like gym memberships and many local retailers offer discounts if you show your ID. The president and vice president of the company are terrific and really seem to care about both the employees and the customers. Alex and Carmine always take the time to keep the employees in the loop. I also love the fact that Alex really listens to customers feedback, both good and bad, and also creates new products based on customers' recommendations.

    Cons

    Many department managers have no idea what's going on. People often get hired and/or promoted based on who the managers like, not based on merit. I've also seen people get fired just because the managers don't 'like' them. The pay is far below what it should be for the positions, especially because of the added stress that falls on many employees when the managers don't know what they're doing. Many employees are left to pick up the slack from others and even make managerial decisions without the title or compensation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please hire managers that know what they're doing and have a background in management, or provide extensive training to teach them. Don't allow special treatment based on who likes who. Also provide more structured training for all positions rather than new hires having to figure things out for themselves. The company seems to be getting too big for its own good and the current management doesn't know how to keep up. I'd recommend bringing in experienced managers or consults to help restructure the way the company operates before it's too late.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Ideal for workaholics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Jessup, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Jessup, MD

    I worked at Thorlabs full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The work is very steady and the company is continuing to grow.

    Cons

    Very few opportunities for advancement.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Too big for their britches

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

    I have been working at Thorlabs full-time

    Pros

    Dynamic with lots of different projects going on. Casual atmosphere. Very healthy company.

    Cons

    Disconnect between upper management and the rest of the company. Corporate-level infrastructure is not in place. There isn't even an HR manager. There are no job titles.

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    A good place to start out a career as you are exposed to many different engineering discipline.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Thorlabs full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Employees are nice, friendly and ready to teach you if you ask. For any young graduate it is not a bad place to start off your career. As the below poster mentioned nothing there will be given to you and will have to fight and forge your own path if you would like to be recognized. Nevertheless, the exposure you get here will be more than any other company.

    Work life balance is pretty good. As long as you did your work and kept everyone happy at end of the day you are good. Compensation is below par, so if you are looking to make six figures any time soon (or late) look elsewhere since you will more than likely never make that here.

    Cons

    The company is growing year by year by cutting on wages and hiring talent at little price. Trying to forge your own path will be lead to many road blocks and many times just dead ends, which is what happens to a majority of the projects. There are really no key project meetings and much of the project structure is lacking and most are ignorant to changes which may benefit the company. There really is no room for growth either, most likely you will stay in a role for years or decades with no real chance to move up. Yes, you can move laterally but not up (management role). Advice to young graduates....learn as much as you can here and then move on.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Share more with assembly and other engineers. The only time management says something is when either goals are surpassed above and beyond what was expected or when things turn sour (which most of the times they do). There is really no communication from Department leaders themselves. CFO at least holds meetings with employees, which is yet to be seen by a Department Leader. Also please raise wages to at least meet the minimum industry standard. The wages are way to left of the bell-curve.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Customer-centric, but not employee-centric

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Customer Service  in  Newton, NJ
    Current Employee - Customer Service in Newton, NJ

    I have been working at Thorlabs full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I like the ease and freedom I am given when it comes to making my customers happy. I also like the benefits that Thorlabs provides.

    Cons

    The pay is poor and the managers don't have a clue what my department is even responsible for. I have had 4 different managers in my 3 years of being here and that includes a 6 month period of not having a manager at all. The company has not given my group any direction or goals and so I have not been given much of an opportunity to grow as an employee. I have asked two of my managers how I can advance myself and become a better asset to the company and both of them literally shrugged and told me they weren't sure. How can you create the foundation of a career with that kind of leadership?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a clue and stop looking outside the company for leadership when you have plenty of young minds within! There are plenty of good employees here to mold into future management who are already accustomed to the company's culture and atmosphere.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    I wouldn't work here if I were you

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Thorlabs full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Can't think of any pros to put down for this company. Well, except for maybe the gym membership benefit for employee and tuition reimbursement. However, you're only eligible for them after being 6 months in the wine press called Thorlabs

    Cons

    Pay is way below industry average. 0 to very little training is provided, you're recruited and left to figure out things as you go along. Poor middle management. The general manager for my location ran the facility like an autocracy and there was nothing we could do about it. Almost reported this company for gender discrimination but decided to let bygones be and move on with my life. Atmosphere in the office is depressing, no one really liked their job

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make more effort in employee relations, else you'll have a lawsuit in your hands one day.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    opportunity rich

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

    I have been working at Thorlabs full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    There are a lot of opportunities for capable and ambitious people to build careers at Thorlabs. I have been the beneficiary of several opportunities in the 5 plus years that have expanded my skill set and benefited my career.

    Cons

    If you need a highly structured environment with direct management of your job function you might find it difficult to work at Thorlabs. The environment is very much entrepreneurial... where career success is somewhat dependent on identifying opportunities and pursuing them versus waiting for them to be given to you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to expand on your recent efforts to communicate the companies goals and organizational changes.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Management has no clue

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing  in  Newton, NJ
    Current Employee - Marketing in Newton, NJ

    I have been working at Thorlabs full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Dress code, hours, working environment,

    Cons

    Management, politics, no leadership, no vision, no idea about how to run a proper business, HR has no idea about what they are doing, hiring close relatives.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Since there is no such a thing called Management in this company, you might as well hope to get to know some VIP such as wife of the marketing manager, or his mother in law etc.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    meh

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Planner  in  Newton, NJ
    Current Employee - Planner in Newton, NJ

    I have been working at Thorlabs full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    tuition reimbursement, good health insurance, dress code

    Cons

    will work you till you burn out or quit, no recognition at all, you can go above and beyond and in your reviews you'll never get better than 'meets expectations' (they do this to justify the meager raises. The pay is awful, middle management is awful, supervisors treat you badly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    give supervisors and middle management people skill seminars. stop letting managers hire friends and family for higher pay than the rest of the employees this creates a great deal misery in the ranks.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Good starter

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

    I have been working at Thorlabs full-time

    Pros

    benefits, experience, nice building and laid back dress code

    Cons

    pay, expectations, quick turn-overs and company culture (<< it gets in the way of actual work.)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    be willing to train!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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