Employee Review

  1. 5.0
    Current Employee

    The best place I've worked and also the most demanding.

    Feb 8, 2015 -  in Mountain View, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    You can't find a more well-regarded company that actually deserves the hype it gets. You'll work on cutting edge projects / solve important issues that impact your community and the world You'll meet interesting people who are your colleagues, managers, and senior management. You'll open the paper and see your company in the news almost every day, and read about projects you're working on, which is a cool thing You'll see Larry and Sergey at TGIF and you'll admire how they lead the company. They are brilliant, goofy, low key but intense, and likeable. There are 22 cafes (more or less), the food is excellent, and it's free. Your pay will typically be competitive, though it needs to be tweaked up a bit since the economy has improved. Google cares about how it treats its employees. The campus is like an academic campus in many ways. There are tons of activities on campus, like authors speaking about their books, films after work, and gyms where you can work out - but you'll need to make sure to carve out time to do these things. You'll get plenty of external validation from people who suddenly think you're smart and rich because you work there, even if you're not rich and you're as smart when you didn't work at Google. If and when you leave, you'll never regret having that company on your resume. It opens doors. The company is flexible - if you're lucky, you won't have a micromanager boss and you can be somewhat flexible in how you work - but don't get me wrong - you'll work a LOT. But you don't have to do all of it chained to your desk.

    Cons

    I live in SF so the commute can take between 1.5 hours to 1.75 hours each way on the shuttle - sometimes 2 hours each way on a busy day or rainy day. That means being on the bus for 3-4 hours PER DAY. It's a wired bus though which means you can work on the way to Mountain View. But it can feel brutal. Your first year or two are really important in terms of your career at Google and they affect how you're viewed, and your ability to be promoted. You should always ask to work on high profile projects. If you don't get them, don't expect to get high ratings or get promoted. Always volunteer for cross functional group work for maximum exposure, and then work hard at those things. You'll likely work on something that no one will explain to you and it will take you at least a year to be comfortable doing what you're working on, even if you're super quick at learning. No one has time to train you or teach you what you're doing - which is kind of hard. After two or three years, people you started out with at Google start to get promoted. If you're not one of them, you'll wonder why and how it happened, and that process is somewhat political and not always clear. It's a big company now. And super political. So don't be naive. Expect some people to be catty, some people to be territorial, and be prepared to be mentally tough. Don't let people see your vulnerableness. It's a Darwinistic culture with a huge dose of 30-something idealism on top which can fool you into thinking that people are easygoing - they're not. They're driven. If you're not driven, you're not going to fit in. When you start at Google, it seems like peer reviews are super important - they are, but they are the sprinkles on the fro yo. The important thing is that your direct manager knows your work, likes your work and likes you, and then you can get promoted. If your boss doesn't like you, all the positive peer reviews in the world won't help you. Make sure you know what your boss wants, and give it to them. You will have weekly one on ones, and make sure you are addressing your performance at each one, asking if they have questions, how you can improve, can you work on cross functional projects, etc. It's really hard to find work life balance at Google. The workload is huge. I hardly have time to work out. The commute is brutal. My family sometimes needs more from me and I can't give it. I'm still trying to find the balance. I think I need more down time than most people so I have a hard time being structured every day to fit all the things I want into my day, so a lot of things slip, like working out.

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    595 people found this review helpful
  1. 5.0
    Current Employee

    Great place to work

    Sep 24, 2021 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    My teammates are all fantastic

    Cons

    Can’t think of anything to list here

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  2. 4.0
    Former Employee, more than 8 years

    Moving at the speed of light, burn out is inevitable

    Jun 21, 2013 - Program Manager in Mountain View, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    1) Food, food, food. 15+ cafes on main campus (MTV) alone. Mini-kitchens, snacks, drinks, free breakfast/lunch/dinner, all day, errr'day. 2) Benefits/perks. Free 24:7 gym access (on MTV campus). Free (self service) laundry (washer/dryer) available. Bowling alley. Volley ball pit. Custom-built and exclusive employee use only outdoor sport park (MTV). Free health/fitness assessments. Dog-friendly. Etc. etc. etc. 3) Compensation. In ~2010 or 2011, Google updated its compensation packages so that they were more competitive. 4) For the size of the organization (30K+), it has remained relatively innovative, nimble, and fast-paced and open with communication but, that is definitely changing (for the worse). 5) With so many departments, focus areas, and products, *in theory*, you should have plenty of opportunity to grow your career (horizontally or vertically). In practice, not true. 6) You get to work with some of the brightest, most innovative and hard-working/diligent minds in the industry. There's a "con" to that, too (see below).

    Cons

    1) Work/life balance. What balance? All those perks and benefits are an illusion. They keep you at work and they help you to be more productive. I've never met anybody at Google who actually time off on weekends or on vacations. You may not hear management say, "You have to work on weekends/vacations" but, they set the culture by doing so - and it inevitably trickles down. I don't know if Google inadvertently hires the work-a-holics or if they create work-a-holics in us. Regardless, I have seen way too many of the following: marriages fall apart, colleagues choosing work and projects over family, colleagues getting physically sick and ill because of stress, colleagues crying while at work because of the stress, colleagues shooting out emails at midnight, 1am, 2am, 3am. It is absolutely ridiculous and something needs to change. 2) Poor management. I think the issue is that, a majority of people love Google because they get to work on interesting technical problems - and these are the people that see little value in learning how to develop emotional intelligence. Perhaps they enjoy technical problems because people are too "difficult." People are promoted into management positions - not because they actually know how to lead/manage, but because they happen to be smart or because there is no other path to grow into. So there is a layer of intelligent individuals who are horrible managers and leaders. Yet, there is no value system to actually do anything about that because "emotional intelligence" or "adaptive leadership" are not taken seriously. 3) Jerks. Sure, there are a lot of brilliant people - but, sadly, there are also a lot of jerks (and, many times, they are one and the same). Years ago, that wasn't the case. I don't know if the pool of candidates is getting smaller, or maybe all the folks with great personalities cashed out and left, or maybe people are getting burned out and it's wearing on their personality and patience. I've heard stories of managers straight-up cussing out their employees and intimidating/scaring their employees into compliance. 4) It's a giant company now and, inevitably, it has become slower moving and is now layered with process and bureaucracy. So many political battles, empire building, territory grabbing. Google says, "Don't be evil." But, that practice doesn't seem to be put into place when it comes to internal practices. :(

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    3199 people found this review helpful

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