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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 17 reviews)

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

Cons
  • Constant change led to burn-out of some employees (in 11 reviews)

  • High level of stress, on-calls were brutal, a lot of middle management calling the shots but not enough Indians (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Production Scientist"

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

    Pros

    a lot of opportunities and internal resources to develop your career.

    Cons

    for existing employees who are climbing up the ladder, financial compensation is always at the lowest of the range compared to external hires who get offered the same position. attrition rate is very high.

    Advice to Management

    be clear in communicating expectations and develop a professional relationship based on mutual trust and respect.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Bad Management Tarnishes Otherwise Good Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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!

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Tech Support"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Lots of nice people to work with

    Cons

    Hard to move out of technical support into other roles in the company; management made some promises about growth opportunities that weren't going to happen


  4. Helpful (1)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  5. "Right idea, wrong execution"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations
    Current Employee - Operations
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Innovative, project teams and functional colleagues excellent at relationship building, solid work-community activities, strong philosophy and decent execution in developing employees up to the manager level.

    Cons

    Try to move too fast and often miss the mark, customer-facing business functions responsible for building the market spaces don't appear to be the drivers behind operational strategy. Right idea about serving the markets they target, but not always willing to invest time and resources into getting it right. Upper management often tries to "shield" employees from their frustrations rather than communicating expectations and opportunities clearly so employees can drive to excellence.

    Advice to Management

    Measure the methods for meeting customer not only from product design requirements but through operational, quality, and regulatory requirements. Determine the ROI to meet and exceed market needs to grow in key areas. Promote that information throughout the organization. Communicate tangible information what's working, what's not, what you're doing to improve what's not working, and solicit feedback.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Interesting work, poor management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Diverse and. interesting work. Lots of opportunities to learn. Products are used in important diagnostics and innovative research. Work life balance is generally good. Compensation is good compared to other companies in the area.

    Cons

    Management doesn't seem to care much for employees and there isn't a much value given to the technical expertise of the workers. Management is not good at handling change and so the workplace is constantly bouncing from crisis to crisis. Very hard to advance and get promotions.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Lots of politics, hidden agendas, and understaffed on key initiatives"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Pay is better than average. If you can get a severance package take it. Some people are nice. Technology and products make a difference.

    Cons

    * Market dominance across many sectors means that if you're lazy or under perform; nothing happens.
    * Culture has a lot of back stabbing and side-room deals.
    * Company claims innovation, but its competency and main concerns are in managing legacy businesses.
    * Lack of overall best practices.
    * Little credence given to true business acumen; scientists think they are business people and can "pick it up", R&D likes to play product management and make commercial decisions
    * Lots of organization churn and endless debate over things that make no material sense for the business or customer.
    * Leadership claims they are looking for innovation, but punishes failure.

    Advice to Management

    Let product management do their job and own the product. Let R&D develop and deliver the product, not make product or commercial decisions.

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Challenging but very stressful"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


  9. Helpful (5)

    "No much life at Life Technologies"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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!


  10. Helpful (2)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


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