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Life Technologies Reviews

88 reviews

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Life Technologies President Mark Stevenson
Mark Stevenson
3 Ratings

88 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great people, Good benefits, Easy Commute (in 16 reviews)

  • Highly driven environment, cutting edge technology and science (in 15 reviews)

Cons
  • There was always constant change (in 10 reviews)

  • R&D portfolio reduced, not as ambitious as it used to be (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Bad Management Tarnishes Otherwise Good Company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Foster City, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Foster City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Nice people and company has great technolgy

    Cons

    Management is very poor and not up to snuff

    Advice to Management

    You are in Life Sciences---change your reputation!


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Seems great at first but promotions are rare/unfair and raises lag behind inflation."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Scientist III in Carlsbad, CA
    Current Employee - Scientist III in Carlsbad, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Life Technologies full-time

    Pros

    The low level managers are friendly and supportive. The atmosphere is nice and friendly. The ICP bonus system is great and provides a decent boost to your bottom line once a year. 3 weeks of vacation and 4 floating holidays. It's a megacorporation with 2,500 employees or more at the Carlsbad location alone. The weather here is amazing, the traffic is not too bad, the neighborhood is beautiful, and the ambience inside is nice too. There is a company-run cafe in one of the buildings but the food is low-Calorie health food that comes in small portions at slightly expensive prices.

    Cons

    Everything seems fine when you get hired but as the years go by everyone becomes bitter and angry over the measly raises that never beat inflation and the unfair issuance of rare promotions. I cannot speak for all departments but I am in one that is run by a notorious cheapskate who gives out less promotions and raises than everyone else. I am under the impression that promotions are given out far more often in other groups and at other sites, so perhaps you will get lucky and land a job in a group run by more generous executives.

    Employees who work hard and do as they're told and nothing else get the nod for promotions and large awards, whereas employees who innovate and raise questions are punished.

    Advice to Management

    Give raises that exceed inflation. Fire the employees that none of the underlings can work with. Abolish the post-Applied Biosystems R&D title system and implement one with more gradations.


  3. Helpful (4)

    "Challenging but very stressful"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Director in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Life Technologies full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Unique role as a tool provider for the life sciences industry, exciting technologies, smart scientists and co-workers

    Cons

    Very frequent re-organizations, mergers and employee turnovers, 24/7 on-call mentality, serious burn-out of very good dedicated people, too much focus on current-quarter returns

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your people and long-term R&D, commit to real work/life balance


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  5. Helpful (5)

    "No much life at Life Technologies"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Carlsbad, CA
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Carlsbad, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Life Technologies as a contractor

    Pros

    The quality of the people and products at LT are amazing. It is a good step in the way to a good company such as Illumina.

    Cons

    The company has no loyalty to its employees. When the 4th quarter arrives no job is safe. Therefore, many of the people working are contractors. Contracts are easy to cancel without notice.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to appreciate your employees and worry less about the landscaping!


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Horrible Place For a Temp/ Contract Worker But Seems Good For a Full-time Permanent Position"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Manufacturing Technician in Carlsbad, CA
    Current Contractor - Manufacturing Technician in Carlsbad, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Life Technologies as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The atmosphere at this company is actually pretty cool. They let you listen to your iPod, you can chat with your coworkers, your direct bosses and supervisors are usually extremely nice and relatable and there are a lot of potlucks and lunch events (as long as it was one that contracts were allowed to participate in).

    ALOT of overtime is offered, so if you're like me and take all of it, you can typically get 50+ hours per week, which is nice. Oh! And you are usually PAID WEEKLY, which is so nice and easy to budget. They are also really flexible with their schedules. You'll have a start time, but hours aren't closely monitored and if you ask, you can have any day off you want (without pay).

    One big plus is that you will gain some nice skills and keywords for building up your resume.

    Cons

    The cons really outweigh the pros I just mentioned. Take my advice and if you take a temp/contract position at this company, don't get comfortable there hoping to be converted to a permanent position (I saw too many recent grads with Biology/Engineering degrees "stuck" there because they got "comfortable" and gave up in this job market- sadly including myself until I snapped out of it). Just to give someone out there an idea- I worked here for a bit less than a year and I quit for a job doing the EXACT SAME THINGS I was doing at Life Tech/ Thermo Fisher- the main difference being that for the same duties, functions and SAME TITLE, I am making THREE TIMES MORE AN HOUR WITH FULL BENEFITS! Please take my advice and continue to apply to other jobs, and take any interviews you can. Degrees mean nothing there (for contract employees), and they will "promote" you and give more duties and responsibilities but they won't give you any more recognition or pay. One plus is that this job WILL give you a nice set of skills you can put on your resume. I won't lie- it actually did help me.

    Pay is typically very low, and for the contract/ temp employees, your pay will be in the bottom 10th percentile of similar salaries in your same field. Overtime is offered- ALOT of overtime- They usually have morning, evening and Saturday OT, so that's the only way to get a decent paycheck.

    There are NO raises and/or benefits (which you'll be notified of when you accept job), but in the interview process, they do a great job overselling the job and will all but guarantee that if you do a good job and prove yourself that you will be hired onto the company full time permanent with benefits. DON'T LISTEN!!! THEY DO NOT HIRE CONTRACT WORKERS PERMANENT AFTER THEIR CONTRACT ENDS.

    Perhaps the absolute worst part of these jobs is that the company seems to go to great lengths to let their contract workers know that they are replaceable, not as important as the permanent employees, and above all- unappreciated! I have held a lot of jobs but this job- by far- made me feel terrible about myself and I had no pride going to work into work in the morning.

    Advice to Management

    Appreciate all your employees, including the Contract/Temporary workers. Don't exclude them from Company events that you hold on site right in front of us and you don't need to make it so obvious and apparent that we are on the bottom of the totem pole in your eyes. Maybe if you appreciated and fairly compensated the contract employees, your employee turnover rate wouldn't be so large.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Company has been/will be in Flux due to ownership changes."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Pleasanton, CA
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Pleasanton, CA
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Many opportunities to shine. There are also many good managers.

    Cons

    Politics (local vs remote). You are hosed if you are not aligned/working with the right Manager. IT is either outsourced (desktop support), or remotely managed (from Carlsbad), new owner (Thermo Fisher) is headquartered in MA.


  8. "Very boring environment."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Life Technologies full-time

    Pros

    Don't get me wrong, the people were kind.

    Cons

    Maybe this was just my department (software) but I found it very boring and non-collaborative. The cubicle environment was depressing.

    Advice to Management

    Work towards a more exciting environment.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great people to work with. Boring place to work."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manufacturing Technician in Pleasanton, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Manufacturing Technician in Pleasanton, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Life Technologies full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I had a blast with the people I worked with in Pleasanton. The facilities we worked in we're new and very nice.

    Cons

    The pay was low and they pay hourly. I guess that's what you get for working in manufacturing. The environment wasn't very challenging and most of the time was boring. There isn't much incentive to stay with the company.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Scientists don't make good product managers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer in Ann Arbor, MI
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer in Ann Arbor, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    People are nice and generally great to work with. Compensation and benefits are fair.

    Cons

    Process and bureaucracy often gets in the way. Scientists are made product managers because of domain knowledge or experience but often do not have product management skills. Decisions seem to be made in a vacuum.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Life Technologies is great for full time employees, not so much for temps."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Inventory Control Specialist in Frederick, MD
    Current Contractor - Inventory Control Specialist in Frederick, MD
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Life Technologies as a contractor (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great working environment, friendly people.

    Cons

    Temps are routinely terminated without notice.

    Advice to Management

    Give temps notice of termination, and implement training programs for all new employees.


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