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Amazon Washington State Reviews

Updated January 22, 2019
4,842 reviews

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3.9
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Amazon Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
3,452 Ratings

4,842 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Flexibility & Work/Life Balance" (in 595 reviews)

  • "You will learn a lot from each of your team members as they are equally bright & capable" (in 544 reviews)

Cons
  • "Can be hard to build work life balance" (in 2564 reviews)

  • "I have no work life balance issues" (in 531 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Life/Work at Amazon"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Technical Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Principal Technical Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Best reasons? it's a challenging environment with many diverse routes to take in your career assuming you perform well at each stage. People are held accountable for the most part (exceptions everywhere in life). The bar is high which makes for teams that do strive to operate at a level that other companies give up on.

    Cons

    Careers are made or broken based on the team you join. do your research. And once your in, listen to your instincts. if you feel that you are performing at a mediocre level (and we all know when we are) - chances are it's not un-noticed. If you are struggling to fit in, chances are it's not a fit. If you had anxiety, depression, insecurity before joining Amazon (or any company), no one can fix that but you. If you find yourself too stretched, get a mentor, regroup, take a step back. self-awareness is a blessing and a curse, but essential here.

    Advice to Management

    be honest and stop pretending that Amazon leadership has a clue about what your team does. chances are good that they don't. sort out your value prop, elevator pitch and ensure that every employee does the same. if you are struggling for headcount, it's because no one knows what you do or the value you bring.


  2. Helpful (1774)

    "You Get What You Put In"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time

    Pros

    Really smart people, a lot of opportunity for growth, always encouraged to be innovative, think big, and create something new. Competitive salary and benefits with other major tech companies. 100% self motivating work environment. No dress code and 4 legged friends are welcome.

    Cons

    You have to be self motivated. NO ONE will hold your hand and tell you that you're doing a great job. If you need constant affirmations from management, this company isn't for you.

    Advice to Management

    More on-boarding training before new employees are thrown in the fire. The first couple of weeks can be very confusing on where to find the information you need that pertains to your job.

  3. Helpful (1467)

    "Exciting Work, Abusive Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineering Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Engineering Manager in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Jeff Bezos and his "S-Team" are brilliant and continue to make great decisions for long-term growth.

    You work with smart people, you work on exciting projects, you are pushed to your limits...which can be rewarding when you accomplish great things. The diversity of the potential work and innovation can be very alluring. I've often called Amazon my "Sexy Mistress...she's emotionally abusive, but she's so sexy that I go back for more punishment."

    Cons

    The management process is abusive, and I'm currently a manager. I've seen too much "behind the wall" and hate how our individual performers can be treated. You are forced to ride people and stack rank employees...I've been forced to give good employees bad overall ratings because of politics and stack ranking.

    Advice to Management

    Don't pretend that the recent NY Times article was all about "isolated incidents". The culture IS abusive and it WILL backfire once stock value starts to drop. I'm an 8 year veteran and I no longer recommend former peers to interview with Amazon.


  4. Helpful (1295)

    "Can be amazing for some people, horrible for others"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Amazon is doing lot's of cool stuff...but lots of boring stuff too. There are really well run teams...and very badly run teams. The experience for software managers and engineers is all over the board, from really run low operational load teams to teams where people burn out after a year.

     - Amazon is built, quite deliberately, to be Darwinian. You can generally expect that anyone who's been here for more than 2 years is competent and motivated or they wouldn't have survived. You can count on them as long as your priorities are aligned. There aren't many slackers here, and they don't survive long.
      - We work on so much stuff that there's always an opportunity to find amazing cool stuff to work on (note that it's an 'opportunity', one that you have to pursue)
      - A chance to make a huge difference
      - A place where you can learn a lot about all kinds of things, both technical and about yourself
      - Amazon encourages high mobility - even your manager can't prevent you from moving to another team within 6 weeks (normally, more than a few months under unusual conditions).
      - Your friends and family have actually heard of the place you work and have at least a vague notion of what Amazon does without you having to explain

    Cons

    - You're responsible for your own career progression and finding the places and teams that are doing the stuff you want to do. No one is going to take you by the hand and help you with that.
    - Amazon is built, quite deliberately, to be Darwinian. The strong survive and the weak perish (metaphorically speaking) and the 'bar' is constantly increasing. The level of performance that would have been acceptable five years ago will get you canned today. It's a kind of crucible that'll help you develop a harder edge, if you can survive, that can serve you well in your career and in life, but it's often not a pleasant experience.

    I wouldn't recommend it as a place to work for just anyone.

    Advice to Management

    Stack ranking is a horrible practice since it's rife with favoritism. It's also not Amazonian in that it's not data based (arbitrarily designating a certain percentage of employees that must be put on performance management isn't a data driven criterion) and it's not frugal (effectively forcing an individual out of the company in one division who would make the grade in another is either retaining someone who doesn't meet the bar or a waste of talent). The goal is to force managers to actually make the hard decisions about how their team members compare with each other (not everyone can be exceptional), but it has more defects than virtues. Replace it with a common comparison of each person against the bar for their position, based on data. The percentages that are assigned to each performance category will turn out how they turn out, but there will be an evaluation mechanism that's fair and frugal.


  5. Helpful (427)

    "We are now in a world where we are condescended to by our inferiors"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Amazon full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    This company gets A list performance from C list employees. The culture is quick and hard charging. You are always working in relevant and meaningful projects.

    Cons

    Maybe because the company recruits C listers who have neither merit (intelligence, strategic vision) nor pedigree (academic or professional accomplishments), most of those who become successful do so in treacherous, low cunning ways.

    Imagine the Lannisters in Game of Thrones attacking the Starks in Game of Thrones; or Rawls and Burrell attacking McNulty and Daniels in The Wire; or Barrow and O'Brien attacking Mr Bates in Downton Abbey. This is every day leadership behavior at Amazon. The culture at Amazon is so infested with these middling talent weasels who have juked the stats and schemed their way to positions of power that new employees coming in actually start thinking that this behavior is normal and expected if you want to "manage people."

    The work itself was stimulating and fulfilling, but the sneering condescension of the d bags that cheated and skated their way through high school and party colleges, then just converted their winky nod nod good 'ol boy shenanigans into a "ask no questions, have no introspection" company culture have made manifest some of the worst criticisms of capitalism. Any left leaning political aspirant would look at this business organism and immediately have content to lash out against the corruption that can come in free enterprise where hard work is not rewarded, and the connected, incestuous, privileged class lounge their way to wealth while treating their employees and customers like some kind of filth their shoe picked up on the street.

    Advice to Management

    Bezos you bought the Washington Post and hired Jay Carney to be your PR head. There is nothing I can write here that you would deign listen to, because you are a hack. You must be mad that Expedia beat you to the punch and hired Chelsea Clinton to serve on their board of directors.

    For those grasping Weasels that have squirmed and back stabbed your way to success, you know who you are. You won't care what is written here because "You got yours, Eff them."

    For those truly diligent and hard working employees that don't want to believe the story from NY times that called Amazon a "Snake Pit" because you don't want to think you actually are involved in such a dystopian landscape of anti-business ethics: "Always yell with the crowd. It is the only means to be safe."


  6. Helpful (252)

    "Great place to learn, churn n burn culture in finance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Finance Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Finance Manager in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - super smart people, the best of the best from schools
    - if you get hired here, you will be hirable anywhere, recruiting process is tough
    - the pay is above average, probably 1.5 times elsewhere (but the expected results are 150% of elsewhere too)
    - lots of opportunities to work on new, innovative projects
    - cool SLU campus, lots of options for food and drinks after work

    Cons

    - frugality is taken to the extreme, only 2 weeks vacation, parking takes a year or more to get, zero perks (not even free Prime), no fitness allowance, poor 401k
    - your peers will stab you in the back, your manager will blame you for their errors, you can't trust anyone
    - people who throw others under the bus and take credit for other people's work get promoted
    - expectations 60 -70 hours a week, some teams expect Sunday to be an "in the office day", headcount never gets filled, teams are always short a few people but the work keeps piling on.

    Advice to Management

    The culture and reputation of amazon will never change unless you want it to and set the tone from the top. Try using some customer obsession with employees- as management, employees are YOUR customers. Making great products or margins is fine, but if you have a reputation/brand for treating people awful, then are you really a success? Also, there is visible lack of women or minorities in any leadership role compared to pretty much every other large company in Seattle. Seems like you have to try really hard in a city as diverse as this to be so undiverse.


  7. "Amazon Fulfilment Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Seattle, WA
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Seattle, WA
    Recommends

    I worked at Amazon as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Lovely people, great atmosphere to work in, well looked after, the supervisors and AM's and LM's are great.

    Cons

    Processing targets unrealistic most of the time and managers don't take into account technological and ergonomical issues.

  8. "Customer Service"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Associate in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Customer Service Associate in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good managers. Available to assist with questions and to help learn

    Cons

    When sick has to take a seven day sick leave in order to not have count against you if don't have any hours to use toward sick leave

    Advice to Management

    Need to look at approving sick time when submitted by physician without requiring to take a leave or using up personal time to cover


  9. Helpful (4)

    "AWS Program Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - AWS Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - AWS Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You know what your goals are everyday which is what is best for your customer. From here you work your plan backwards and create your deliverables to execute on. I love this, because I get to be innovative and create with my programs so that I can meet customer expectations. Every day I'm at work, I'm working on what is the best solution, not fastest - and this is encouraged. I have great work-life balance, flexibility to work from home, and create meaningful programs that influence our customers and my internal stakeholders.

    Cons

    This isn't a con, just a challenge you will always have. Amazon can be an ambiguous work environment. If you want hand holding or need micro managing, this company will force you to learn to be self sufficient and independent. Create solutions on your own and find your ideas on your own. If ambiguity scares you, this may not be the place for you.

    Advice to Management

    Training managers on career development management vs task oriented check-in management.


  10. "What's Important to You?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Cloud Support Associate in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Cloud Support Associate in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Great pay
    - Room for growth
    - Annual pay increases
    - Great sign-on bonus(es) for a college hire job
    - Plenty of RSUs
    - Work with really smart people
    - Work with cutting edge technology
    - Directly support the majority of Fortune 500 companies

    Cons

    - Work-life balance is not great
    - Only SIX paid holidays per year
    - PTO takes time to accrue so don't expect to take time off until month 2 or 3 of employment
    - Amazon is such a large company that there are sometimes communication breakdowns
    - Amazon really takes "Frugality" to heart

    Advice to Management

    Managers should really embody the 14 leadership principles, all of them.


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