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Picatinny Reviews

Updated October 14, 2016
15 reviews

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15 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great Place to Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Chemical Engineer in Newark, NJ
    Current Employee - Chemical Engineer in Newark, NJ
    Recommends

    I have been working at Picatinny full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great Benefits
    Government Job
    Flexible Time (SDO)

    Cons

    Too much travel
    Not much planning
    Silos and complicated processes


  2. "Contracting Officer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Contract Specialist in Picatinny Arsenal, NJ
    Former Employee - Contract Specialist in Picatinny Arsenal, NJ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Good benefits and working conditions. Good retirement plan.

    Cons

    Limited opportunity to advance based on individual initiative. Very controlled by Federal regulations.

    Advice to Management

    None.


  3. "No Engineering"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Dover, NJ
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Dover, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Benefits. Rise up in rank quickly.

    Cons

    No real engineering. All the real engineering is done by Contractors.

    Advice to Management

    Federal government needs to do their own engineering.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Large, highly political, and dysfunctional organization"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Computer Scientist in Picatinny Arsenal, NJ
    Former Employee - Computer Scientist in Picatinny Arsenal, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    - Hard to get fired
    - Work/Life balance -- once you are done with work, you are basically done with work
    - SOME organizations within Picatinny are well managed, and work on interesting projects that can be very rewarding.
    - Will pay for graduate school (the best benefit of working here)
    - Gym and other facilities on site
    - Very talented engineers who are a pleasure to work with

    You can end up on a good team -- but this is up for chance.

    Cons

    TL;DR: You’ll love it or hate it (you’ll more than likely hate it)

    Picatinny is very large organization that’s highly compartmentalized. You can either be very lucky and end up on a great team (they exist, but more are bad than good), or you can end up on a really bad team. It’s a game of Russian Roulette. Below are some of my experiences:

    - Highly political -
    Very dysfunctional; obscene amounts of political in-fighting and favoritism amongst teams and managers. This will absolutely affect you (even amongst well managed teams). Many projects have failed because of this. I can't stress how bad the political infighting really is.

    -- Collaboration with other teams is hard and discouraged:
    There is an over-reliance on “chain of command”

    - Not a meritocracy:
    Hard working and self-starting individuals are the most dissatisfied at Picatinny. The rating system is stacked ranking with favoritism on steroids. Don’t expect your hard work and effort to be recognized (in some organizations).

    - It's "too hard" for people that are not productive and downright toxic to the organization to be let go -
    In some cases, these individuals are promoted. Often, others need to do their work for them.

    - Terrible management -
    This is broad, but there are some specifics to outline:

    -- Lack of professionalism and objectivity:
    For many organizations within Picatinny, managers have close personal relationships that greatly affect their ability to make objective decisions. In some cases, managers are in very obvious romantic relationships. As one can imagine, problems in the relationship bleed into the work environment.

    -- Too much focus on funding and growing the organization:
    The Government is not a business, yet the management is overly focused on growing the size and scope of what the org must work on. This often comes at the expense of time and resources to work on existing projects and obligations.

    -- No interest or care in what you are most talented in working on:
    See career development below.

    -- Poor priorities and values:
    Good, innovative work is not valued at Picatinny; bringing money into the org is. A lot of this is political.

    -- Lack of motivation for improvement:
    Unfortunately, too many managers have the attitude that you would never leave a stable Government job with benefits. So, they lack the motivation to make meaningful improvements.

    -- Many managers are simply control-freaks

    - Poor career development and pigeonholing -
    The Government has a very heavy-handed approach to career development. They force you to take many training courses (40+hours at a time) that are not even remotely relevant to your job function. They consider this “career development”

    -- Mobility is difficult:
    Unless your management wants you to move elsewhere, mobility is very hard to achieve. Managers often block people from moving to other organizations where they would be a better fit. This is due to the religion of the org chart (see politics above). As such, your manager would much rather you be unhappy and not grow professionally than contribute to the greater organization. In some cases, pettiness of management plays a role (again, see Politics above).

    -- Ignorance of your skillset and career goals:
    This is very significant. Picatinny management could not care less about what is in your best interest career wise. They often pigeonhole people into job functions that are mundane, and lack professional growth. It is way too common for people to be explicitly hired for technical job functions to quickly be placed onto a non-technical career path. They very much encourage and task highly-technical staff to work on business developmental work (and rate poorly if you fail to do this). <- For some people, moving from technical to management is OK, and in line with your career goals. But, it is something that you need to be made aware of.

    - Poor physical work environment -
    This depends entirely on your building. Some buildings are newer and are OK. However, there are other work environments in very old buildings that should frankly be condemned. The building I worked at was dirty, dilapidated, had frequent HVAC issues, mold and pest problems.

    All the above being said, if you are lucky to land on a good team, then you will not have many of the above problems. However, there are too many orgs at Picatinny that have the above flaws (some are universal). As another reviewer very well said: “You’ll love it or hate it” -- I hated it.

    Throughout my career, I have spoken with many people of various DoD installations, and I can very well say that Picatinny Arsenal is one of the worst DoD installations that you can work at.

    Advice to Management

    Resign. Stop the political infighting; we all work for the same people, and we all have the same goals. Respect is not automatically given; it’s earned. Show your employees respect, and actually talk to them individually. See what they want to do with their career and help them grow professionally. Stop dumping work on people and pigeonholing them -- help them grow professionally, and your employees will show you loyalty and respect.


  6. "OK company to work for"

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

    I have been working at Picatinny full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good pay, good benefit and laid back work environment. Job security as well since this is a federal government entity.

    Cons

    Office politics will consume you. You either fit in with the majority or you don't and get frustrated.


  7. "Great place to start out"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Lots of great projects and opportunities to gain experience as an intern. Also lots of friendly people who help make you feel like a part of the team.

    Cons

    Pay isn't great and as an intern you don't get any of the government benefits. All your friends who didn't go into the public sector will be making double your salary

    Advice to Management

    Keep on getting the young people engaged. Any project is better than having nothing to do at work. If there isn't any work in your department let interns explore other areas


  8. "Administrative Officer"

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

    Pros

    good benefit package, training and education provided, good working environment.

    Cons

    Some transferable skill set backs


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Salary is on par for all the benefits you get."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Picatinny Arsenal, NJ
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Picatinny Arsenal, NJ
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Picatinny full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Salary may not be as high as private industry, but the benefits make up for it. You get a good amount of holidays, rarely have to work late, and most importantly a stable job. The chances of them having to lay off people are slim and it's also really difficult for them to fire you too. Also, depending on your management, vacation and sick time use is pretty flexible, and you can work a compressed schedule so that you get off every other Friday!

    Cons

    Morale can be low depending on your management. There are issues with working with employees who are basically just counting down the days to retirement and have absolutely no motivation (especially since it's difficult to fire people here). Also, there's always the risk of furloughs (aka forced unpaid days off) and you don't get a paid lunch break!


  10. Helpful (4)

    "You'll love it or hate it"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Picatinny Arsenal, NJ
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Picatinny Arsenal, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Picatinny full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Vacation days and health benefits are good
    You will have to try very hard to get fired
    Salaries are better or equal to private industry for engineering jobs
    If you have a family, a great steady job with cheap healthcare and cheap daycare
    A lot of facilities on base, including a nice gym with swimming pool, basketball court

    If you end up in a good group...
    You can actually make a difference and be recognized nationally for your efforts
    Will pay for college classes
    Extremely rewarding work
    Chances to work on a wide swath of technical problems, easy to change projects / careers

    Cons

    Top management makes decisions arbitrarily
    Limited sick days (long term sickness means you will have to take leave without pay)
    Unempowered leadership
    In the middle of nowhere
    If you're single, find somewhere else to work
    Promotion decisions based on seniority or favoritism
    Culture of don't complain and one-way loyalty

    If you end up in a bad group...
    Do not expect any practical technical training at all (sink or swim)
    You will be marginalized and made to feel worthless
    Paternalistic management

    Advice to Management

    Your employees rightly think of you as dated and idiotic. Please retire. Hire someone from private industry to shake up the WWII attitude towards managing and employee welfare, particularly women. Simply, get a manager who actually cares about anything else other than their own career and retirement.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "This is a place to get comfortable. Not to grow or be challenged, but to be comfortable."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Picatinny Arsenal, NJ
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Picatinny Arsenal, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Every other Friday off. Good benefits including signing bonus, school loan reimbursement, and masters level tuition covered. No pressure.

    Cons

    Hard to get excited about work. You must try very hard in order to find a challenge, and when you succeed, nobody will care for months.

    Advice to Management

    Push your employees a bit. Give them a chance to be challenged.



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