Thorlabs Reviews

Updated March 17, 2015
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2.4
34 Reviews
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Alex Cable
18 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful

    Attitude, work ethic, and drive is everything....

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

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

    Pros

    Health benefits, no salary caps for positions yet, Gym membership, very laid back, casual first name basis environment.

    There are a great deal of opportunities for growth but your attitude and work ethic has a lot to do with where you will end up down the road.
    I love how people use the term "Brown Noising" when it employees being friendly with management. I'm friendly with EVERYONE with no exception to management and my work speaks for itself.
    Everyone has control over their career and where they end up there. Some positions are harder to get than others and sometimes you just have to sit back and wait for the right opportunity to open up.
    But in the mean time make sure those who have control of where you end up see your hard work and hear you positive ideas.
    Salty attitudes will get you no where and mediocre work will only keep you among the mediocre employees.

    Cons

    Management, negativity among the employees esp. Distribution, Hiring younger employees with no work ethic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take action on those who clearly don't care about Working. Being friendly with your employees isn't wrong but that line of friends and boss need to be clearly defined. Also it would help if the lower managers even cared enough to better their department instead of being just mediocre. Strong department means hiring strong willed HARDWORKING individuals. You are only as good as your leader....

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful

    Knock-off company

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

    I worked at Thorlabs (less than a year)

    Pros

    They have a lot of technology in one place.

    Cons

    This is really a strictly manufacturing company. There is very little if any engineering or R&D. Thorlabs is basically a knock-off manufacturer. If you want to do innovative engineering, design, or R&D this is not the place for you. Pay is very low but considering that the work is basically mindless copycat work it is probably appropriate.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay better and set your sights higher.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
  3. 1 person found this helpful

    Okay, for a short time

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

    I worked at Thorlabs

    Pros

    Okay for a short period to get manufacturing, R & D, and global experience on your resume.

    Cons

    Very intense culture
    Compensation is not competitive
    The overall morale is not positive

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. Overall, horrible.

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

    I worked at Thorlabs

    Pros

    Great coworkers. Benefits were good.

    Cons

    Overworked - underpaid. Poor management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train your management in interpersonal skills

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 6 people found this helpful

    decent pay while i looked for a new job

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

    I worked at Thorlabs full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    great benefits
    nice people
    if you are useless you will not be fired
    if you know how to brown nose you might be a manager some day! pucker up!

    Cons

    basically anything career related
    nepotism in all levels of management
    no initiative is worth taking. your efforts will be ignored

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    advice to alex:

    Look I know it's been a while since you've had any real friends, but you don't have to compensate for it by rewarding people who are nice and loyal to you. That kind of "leadership" attitude goes down the line to the lowest ranks and you end up with a company that does well in spite of itself. You will make a lot more money if you try to create a meritocracy. Sure, people might stop stroking your ego, but who cares. You can buy better friends outside of work for a tiny fraction of what your company stands to gain in profits. Win-win!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful

    Friendly working environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Sterling, VA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Sterling, VA

    I worked at Thorlabs full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly working environment; Very diverse;

    Cons

    Seems no career advancement;

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Some employees are very intelligent people and they are highly educated. They have been serving company for years, and they are absolutely the asset of the company. Hope the management can value them more, and be a little more generous perhaps, because they really deserve it.

    Doesn't Recommend
  8. 3 people found this helpful

    not a good place to work

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

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

    Pros

    it is better than being unemployed
    health insurance is good
    the tuition reimbursement was excellent but they have changed the rules - be careful it's a trap!

    Cons

    low pay
    awful managers
    unachievable expectations
    little promotion possibilities unless you are a 'brown noser'

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    stop promoting people to manager or supervisor who have no idea what they are doing and/or have zero people skills

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful

    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
  10. 2 people found this helpful

    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 (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
  11. 1 person found this helpful

    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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