I made a lot of future contacts within the industry that have bettered my career. Also, a lot of people in the last 20+ years have worked for this company or have heard of them. Knowing you survived them, and even better, did well by the company, holds a lot of clout. Also, the level of knowledge that you can pick up will be invaluable. Every single department has something to teach you about Tour and Travel, and that education, although one brought by fire, will teach you how to excel within the industry. For this reason, I give working here an extra star.
The people who are recognized, lauded, and promoted are the people who have been there for 10+ years. Although these people definitely deserve what they have, they also wield incredible power. If they decide they don't like you, you get all the crap work, triple the work load of others, and overlooked for appreciation. These same people have a long history with each other, filled with drama and politics that any new-ish person is not aware of. Many times, these old timers will try and use newbies against other old timers, many times to the detriment of all. Because these people are in charge, there is no or little opportunity for growth. They put you where they like you, and that is where you stay. Outside of the constant drama, you also have the two owners, who are mostly absent unless there is a photo op or other event. One is always trying to evangelize her Christian faith, often involving scripture reading and prayer during holidays (even non-religious ones) and other all company events. The other seems nice enough, just pretty aloof. Another weird thing is the obsessive patriotic fervor that permeates the owners/executive management. You definitely get that super right-wing Christian vibe from the one owner. When they have reporters or important people in the office, all employees are encouraged to dress in red, white and blue. Its just a little much. The company also does its best to break people with an overwhelming amount of work. It is very much a sink or swim atmosphere, and this is exacerbated by little to no training before you are cast adrift. If you are looking to actually meet deadlines and do a good job, expect to work 12-15 hours a day after your first 30 days. This is also management's expectation, and you will definitely get a look from your direct supervisor and executive management if you're not there after 10 hours of work for exempt employees. Finally, half of the company is staffed with "interns" who work for barely minimum wage and are given duties more in line with regular employees. In some cases, they are appointed to what should be considered exempt positions. Its pretty shady.
Advice to Management
Your newer employees are complaining about the work load compared to the pay. No one gets a raise unless they make a huge stink about it, and are then read the riot act about asking for one. Make more opportunities to grow in the company. Finally, hire some HR staff that is not afraid to say to the owners or executive management when stuff is not legal/PC.
I worked at AmericanTours full-time (More than a year)
Interesting tourism sector. The products which the company offers is also very interesting. A high variety of international customers which can lead to an interesting working experience. The lcation of the office is close to the airport, all in all a good place in L.A.
Almost no chance to make the next step in the career ladder. Really high turnover rate, which leads directly to the low salary. The company makes many millions of profit but the employees are being replaced very easily. Very conservative company.
Advice to Management
Try to cope with todays changing economy and value the employees which work so hard day by day. Try to cope with the high turnover rate and increase salary/benefits especially for motivational reasons + invest in the youth with possible management programs, workshops, etc.
They have great cutting end technologies and some very good architects and lead developers. They also have some travel benefits.
Lack of reviews.
No Job stability or feedback.
No Career path or training.
Pay and Benefit cuts with lack of appreciation
no Positive reinforcement, only negative i.e.working unpaid overtime then receiving a pay cut regardless.
Lack of a Business process for releases.
Unreasonable Deadlines seem they are not based on any sort of metrics but rather clients requests / demands.
Poor benefits and lack of incentives.
Advice to Management
Listen to the team working for you. Don't hold meetings promising one thing then do the opposite. Offer training or some form of advancement within the company. Don't bother trying to motivate people with false hopes and unachievable promises. When people ask questions and specifics of these promises and there is no direct answer, they can see right through it. Require annual reviews instead of making people request them. Don't treat people as if they are disposable, people are what make up the company. Provide feedback to employees let the employees know where they need improvement. Create Reasonable deadlines that include some time for unplanned events or training new employees, you will reach them much more often. Don't horde information. If you want things to get done quickly, it helps when people know background information involving what they are working on. What is the reasoning behind making changes that will impact everyone?
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The employees are generally upbeat, helpful and friendly. Fun-oriented team building activities occur regularly. If you want to learn the travel industry, or computer technology, or are a workaholic, you will get ample opportunity for fulfillment here. There are also some travel industry related benefits.
Performance reviews and professional development take a back seat to output. There is a stated shared-cost supervisor approved education reimbursement program, but your boss may balk at even reimbursing for needed books . The workload is also distinctly seasonal, so you will be much more comfortable if your personal schedule can be adapted to that. Employees come and go much more frequently than anywhere I have worked before.
Advice to Management
You need to expand beyond your knowledge of the travel industry and employ modern organizational management to create career opportunities and a more committed team.
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