I have been working at Garmin full-time
cool people to work with
Not a priority can be replaced
I have been working at Garmin full-time (More than 5 years)
Most shifts have weekends off.
Very affordable health plans.
Tuition assistance for a good variety of classes.
You will be assigned new devices and are encouraged to use them.
Some things I wish I had known before I started:
Very few people leave the call center for professional jobs at Garmin headquarters. Maybe a few out of the several hundred of us every year due to a severe lack of opportunities and unwillingness to offer any training that might help further your career.
Your time and performance at the call center will mean nothing when applying for internal jobs at headquarters. They are not even sure what we do and you will have to explain yourself as if you came in off the street when you interview with them.
If you have a good year expect about a 3% raise.
Your starting pay will be very low in comparison to other large companies for similar positions.
You will never be considered for management at the call center unless you leave and get management experience somewhere else, no matter how long you have worked there. Why do I say that? A prerequisite for the few management positions that come up is that you already have management experience from another call center. They really do not want to hire anyone in the company and set things up so that its virtually impossible.
There is a workout room to give the appearance that Garmin cares about your health. This is actually a very unhealthy environment where you are forced to sit for long periods and can only walk as far as your phone cord reaches. It's ironic considering our largest department is for health and fitness devices.
HR or hiring managers will not give you any type of feedback if you interview for a position and it's not offered to you.
Customers can be very rude and unreasonable at times.
If you do decide to work at the call center do yourself a huge favor and take advantage of tuition assistance. It should be part of your exit strategy for the call center.
Advice to Management
Annual cook outs do not replace good wages and real careers.
Great Benefits - 401K, Healthcare, Vacation, Employee Purchase Program, Stock, Stock Options
Cool Products - In all markets. A techie's dream company
Company Spirit - Almost religious driven by strong brand
Company Management: No debt. Fiscally responsible. Fairly stable
Global business - Offices and customers from all over the world
Culture: Servant mentality is embraced. "You are here to serve"
No career path. People are pigeon-holed and rarely have opportunities to progress
Mediocre pay packages & raises. Few bonuses or commissions (but stock options)
Class system: Engineering is highly valued at the expense of other functions
Extremely conservative and risk averse in aggressive consumer markets
Homongenous employment: 20-30-something White Male. Few minorities or women in leadership roles. Feels like an engineering college environment.
No sense of employee urgency. Traffic jam to leave the office at 5 PM
Uncharismatic leadership. Senior leaders hide on their 8th fllor oak paneled offices
Limited Management Engagement - Little positivity or encouragement/direction from senior leaders
Thrifty to the point of stingy. Nothing is done BIG at Garmin
Advice to Management
The company would benefit from a more charismatic leadership team that is willing to take calculated risks. The company would also benefit from celebrating diversity. People should have opportunities to earn career progress. If you want good people, you should pay good wages. Engineering isn't the only important function in the company. It takes a village.
I have been working at Garmin full-time (More than a year)
Flexible scheduling and amazing associate discounts
everything else, underpaid on the premise that the position is entry level and since the company decides to call the job by a different title they feel they can pay less, engineering based company that views cartographers as second rate employees and expendable, underappreciated in every aspect
Advice to Management
Appreciate what cartographers do for Garmin as a whole, the units created by Garmin are amazing but they would be worthless without the hard work of the cartographers who create the content that fills them.
I worked at Garmin full-time (More than a year)
You learn a lot about what division you're in. I was in the Marine Division and I learned a lot about buoys, depth contours, marine charts, etc. The benefits are great and the supervisors are nice and always help you out if you have questions.
There are absolutely no career advancement opportunities in the Cartography department. The pay is terrible compared to the average and you spent 90% of the time checking other people's work and QAing the charts instead of actually making maps and performing analysis.
I have been working at Garmin (More than 3 years)
Good working environment and big office.
Low salary , bad benifit for engineer
The benefits and coworkers were great. The hours are good as well. The medical, dental and vision insurance is some of the best in the area. The matching 401k and pension are great as well.
There is no work life balance at all. They have begun to micro manage you at all turns. They need to be more concerned with the leadership than with the rank and file employees. They spend way too much time hiding behind their walls with headphones on pretending to work when most of the time they are probably watching youtube videos.
I worked at Garmin part-time
Get to have hands on experience with products
Schedule is not fixed
Working weekends is mandatory
Management does not train
No HR in Chicago office
I have been working at Garmin full-time (More than 3 years)
Good work/life balance, decent benefits, Salem location has brand new building with basketball court and volleyball. Great co-workers that become good friends outside of work as well. $250 Christmas bonus.
Garmin doesn't care about the people working Product Support and even worse if you work outside of Kansas. There rarely any growth opportunities and when a promotion job does pop up they always go to people in KS, no mater the qualification of person in Salem. This has created a bad work culture in Salem that gets more ugly every day. The biggest topic among co-workers is how badly they want to leave.
On top of this, the yearly wage increase doesn't support the top performers that go the extra mile for Garmin.The max possible wage increase is 5% and rarely anyone gets that. What's bad is you can kill yourself working really hard all year being top 5 performer and get 4% raise or just slack off and do avg to below avg work and get 3% raise. Why would anyone try hard for extra 8 cents per hour vs their lazy co-worker? Maybe for a possible promotion right? but that not happening if you work in Salem.
Garmin loves taking advantage of top performers but won't compensate them and will pass on them for that promotion if they don't live in KS. If your not motivated/career minded then Product Support might be ok for you. If you live in KS then might be ok for career growth but sill not great.
Advice to Management
Show you care about your top performers that truly go extra mile. Focus on building more growth opportunities for people in Salem. Its hilarious that KS management wonders why turn over is higher in Salem.
I have been working at Garmin full-time (More than 10 years)
Occasionally there are some fun and interesting projects to work on. There are also some really incredible people to work with.
Culture supports avoidance of accountability - it's much easier to blame someone else for failure than accept responsibility for your contribution to it. People get promoted based on who they know, not necessarily because they've earned it. At one time, it wasn't like this.
Advice to Management
Be aware of the impact ego and aggression from your team leads and managers have on your staff. Remember that there are good people that believe in the company working for you and their decision to leave comes from a desire to leave poor management, not the projects they are working on or the people they are working with.
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