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Microsoft US Reviews

Updated September 21, 2017
8,753 reviews

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4.0
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  1. Helpful (1215)

    "Thoughts after 10 years...."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    1. If you love tech, this is a great place. No doubt you'll talk tech (mostly the MSFT stack) from enterprise to consumer - from PCs to phones to Xboxes - from datacenter to desktop.

    2. What were GREAT benefits are now VERY GOOD (took a small step down) but still probably better than you'll find at 99% of large corporations. If you've got family - the value of the benefits is even higher. 401k match is nice.

    3. Even with it's struggles MSFT is still a cash printing machine. This means if you can keep your nose clean and do reasonable work, you can have a stable job, pay your bills, feed your family, and not worry (too much) about layoffs. The stock you own likely won't tank, but probably won't go up much either. You'll get a bonus each year and some stock. It's a decent life if you aren't looking to light the world on fire.

    Cons

    Brand on Your Resume: After many years of losing market share and struggling to be at the front end of innovation and the fact that there's 90,000 employees, don't think MSFT is necessarily going to be attractive on your resume to more agile and smaller companies.

    Managing Your Career: Make you say this out loud so it registers - 90,000 employees work there. Double that for vendors. It is VERY hard to "stand out" and move up in the company. Don't expect your manager to be much of an advocate or enabler to help you meet your career goals - they are basically trying to survive the stack rank every year too. Not familiar with the stack rank? Check out the 2012 Vanity Fair article called "Microsoft's Lost Decade".

    Advice to Management

    I'll type it here - but I don't they are listening...
    1. Help proven talent move laterally in the company for new opportunities.
    2. Kill/evolve the stack rank. Here's basically how it's viewed:. 30% of the company gets 1s and 2s - and they are happy. 50% get 3s and that basically feels like getting a "C" in school. This sucks for talented people when a multitude of UNCONTROLLABLE conditions keep you from getting into 1 or 2 range. The 20% getting anything below a 3 are walking dead. In summary, 70% of the company walk away from the review cycle feeling like crap. This is no good.

    After 10 years, I'm leaving - it's just a matter of time until I find the right opportunity. I need to find a company spends 90% of it's time building technology experiences, as opposed to 90% of its time building PowerPoints. And I expect to refuse the exit interview - because if you really cared what I thought, you wouldn't ask me after I decided to leave.


  2. Helpful (6)

    "Be ware of which Team/Org/Group you join"

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time

    Pros

    Undoubtedly, one of the best places to work at.
    - work life balance
    - benefits
    - work on products used by millions

    Cons

    - can be very political depending which team/group you join, so do your homework before you accept the offer, else you'll have to deal with mental agony or join the political order
    - avoid MSEG at any cost, its one of the most political orgs within Microsoft

    Advice to Management

    Weed out Leads and GPMs who feel entitled to bully new joinees, and don't hesitate to ruin careers.
    Bring in progressive managers, who have the empathy and the conscience to be righteous, and who lead by example.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Im RIFed, but still a great company"

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    You get to work with really smart people
    Benefits are very good. As some noted they used to be outstanding but like all companies they've had to cut HC costs. Still they continue to work on improving benefits where they can, like increasing company matching on 401k contributions and accelerating stock vesting...both relatively recent improvements
    relatively flexible work options, home, office, customer site, mobile. Note: I was in a field office not Redmond, but I believe it's still flexible at campus

    Cons

    While I believe in Satya's vision for the company, the new reality of Microsoft at least for the next few years will be a constant risk of RIFs. You have to be really adept at knowing which group to be in. It's like a giant game of whack a mole, you can get hit at any time for no reason regardless of how good your performance is.
    I personally know someone who won Platinum Club (highest sales honor) and less than 2 months later was RIFed. There is ZERO consideration of the individual or talent when it comes to a RIF. While they do allow you to interview back in, it's sort of an empty welcome as you are booted out of the company and treated like a new hire, at least from an access and interview perspective. Also you are only given 2 months...not nearly enough time given the glacial speed with which MSFT recruiting teams move. I've been on both sides of this now. I've interviewed and hired in dozens of great people at MSFT but the process is painful in my opinion.

    Advice to Management

    I get that Microsoft needs to restructure, but you are doing an awful job at it right now. All your top performers if they aren't looking for new jobs are definitely looking over their shoulder or are left in an awful position as their vteams are getting RIFed and nobody is explaining why, or how they are going to get the resources to support their goals. MSFT is a very collaborative place and when you suddenly lose 1/4 of your vteam that leaves the remaining employees with the same lofty goals and 1/4 less people to get it done. Even the managers are beside themselves and can't explain what's going on or how they are going to support the teams with the resources they have.
    While I agree with the big picture of the restructuring, leadership has to know and understand that they are releasing some of their most talented people into the market for their competition to scoop up. It feels very much like a person who has no knowledge of Microsoft business or a group of lawyers trying to keep MSFT out of harms way is making the RIF decisions. There is a massive amount of tribal knowledge going out the door. Some of the RIFs eliminated whole teams of people who were the only ones with a key skillset (a skill noted by our CEO on stage as important). My manager was beside himself when I was RIFed, he's like you are the only one on our team who knew how to do this. I'm like sorry man, and by the way, everyone else I knew in MSFT who was good at what I do was RIFed as well, so you are going to be left with the blind leading the blind. good luck. This may sound like a vindictive rant, but I've spoken off the record with extremely senior Partner level Engineering execs in Microsoft who don't understand some of the RIF decisions and are challenging some of the decisions made. For me, too late but hopefully they can stop the bleeding.
    Also on my CEO performance, my rating is based on what he's done for the stock, which is largely due to headcount reductions IMO.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Software Engineering Internship - Great experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Software Engineer(Internship) in Bellevue, WA
    Former Intern - Software Engineer(Internship) in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Microsoft as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I had a really great experience with the team I worked on. I enjoyed my coworkers and the project I was given. I had to be very self-directed. Benefits were good and very competitive for a software engineering internship.

    Cons

    Difficult to switch teams and interview with other teams. You're sort of stuck where you're at and sometimes in the organization you get placed into. You also don't get much say in what team you'll be placed for an internship position.


  5. "Microsoft"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Territory Account Manager in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Territory Account Manager in Redmond, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great pay, benefits, and experience. Many locations with lots of opportunities for movement. Depending on your manager it can be a great place. There is a wellness fund you can use to buy fitness related items that is $800.

    Cons

    Consistent layoffs, high stress, lack of work life balance. If you get a bad manager you will be micromanaged and have no growth. The environment is very political and cut throat.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest with employees and don't spout just the company line.


  6. "Great place to work if you work hard and can live in a world of continuous changes"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Channel Marketing Manager in Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Channel Marketing Manager in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Flexibility to tailor your job to your liking
    Easy to move around within the company
    Great benefits for high performers

    Cons

    Frequent and major changes in strategy and roles
    Internal politics above a certain level
    Unpredictable and frequent layoffs can be demotivating


  7. "The best intern program"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Software Development Engineer Intern in Redmond, WA
    Former Intern - Software Development Engineer Intern in Redmond, WA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Microsoft as an intern

    Pros

    Interning at Microsoft was a fantastic experience. They have enough events to keep you wildly busy and the Intern Signature Event this year was Daya and the Chainsmokers. Overall a very wonderful experience full of learning with lots of great peers and coworkers.

    Cons

    It's not to say that all interns experience this, but my manager was absent a lot so I had to struggle a lot on my own.

  8. "Amazing 10 years"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Redmond, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Talented people teams
    Caring and understanding

    Cons

    Too much management intricacies
    Everything needs to be done by yesterday and needs quick fixes

    Advice to Management

    Fix the basics


  9. "Excellent place to work, very friendly"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - MIcrosoft Explorer in Seattle, WA
    Current Intern - MIcrosoft Explorer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Microsoft as an intern (More than a year)

    Pros

    Everyone helps each other and people are very nice and friendly.

    Cons

    I couldn't find any downsides.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Former Business Program Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Program Manager in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Business Program Manager in Redmond, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The benefits provided are top notch, including matching for charitable donations. One of the best perks of working at Microsoft is the access to the latest and great technology, and the ability to help shape future products and services.

    Cons

    As with any large company, layoffs can and do happen, in a very impersonal manner, which is how I left. Middle to upper management in some areas can be detached from the individual contributors, so it is your responsibility to wave your flag, it's a tough environment in some groups.

    Advice to Management

    Layoffs to meet some arbitrary milestone forecasted a year or two in advance may not be executed in ways that are helpful to the company. Be wary of mass layoffs as a tool, as even those who remain are battle scarred.


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