Amazon.com

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Amazon.com Reviews

Updated Jul 25, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 3,271 reviews

85% Approve of the CEO

Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos

(2,280 ratings)

64% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good opportunity to learn a lot in a particular area of software development(in 101 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here(in 306 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel(in 540 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company(in 125 reviews)

3,271 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Depends on the team, and that can change fast

    Senior Software Development Manager (Former Employee) Seattle, WA (US)

    ProsYou get to work with really smart people. You get to make a significant difference for millions of customers. As long as the stock keeps going up, total compensation is above market.

    ConsSome areas put a lot of pressure on their employees. Some areas have horrific work/life balance. The constant raising of the bar and the push to top-grade makes it hard to maintain consistency and allow really smart people to fail and stay with the company.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWhile raising the bar is good in theory, the way it is implemented forced me to get rid of good people.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great place for work, Aggressive environment

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsIf you love technology.
    If you want to learn and learn, want to take individual responsibility and ownership.

    ConsWork life balance is bad. Very aggressive working culture.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTreat engineers like humans not robots.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Very good

    Warehouse Associate (Current Employee) Hebron, KY (US)

    ProsA great company to work for, you are given the training needed to do the job and the rest is up to you. The compensation is very competitive.

    ConsSome of the challenges of working at Amazon are some colleagues with very bad attitudes, they approach you in a rude and demeaning manner and that personally makes working at Amazon very challenging. Also, a lot of favoritism within the lower levels.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake time out to look into some these complaints and make some necessary changes.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
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    15 people found this helpful  

    Customers First at the Expense of Employees

    Instock Manager (Current Employee) Seattle, WA (US)

    ProsSmart Coworkers
    At Amazon you’re going to work with some really bright individuals. Everyone I work with is very intelligent and very hard working. That’s evident by the clock ticking down to 6:00 and seeing all your coworkers typing still at their door desks.

    Interesting Work
    The work you do at Amazon is already quite fun. On the retail side it’s like running your own business. There’s so much to do and you’re never bored with the work. It’s neat to see how everything you do impacts your business and improves it.

    Casual Work Environment
    It's also quite nice that you can go to work in jeans and a t-shirt. Bringing your dog to work is great also, but really it's just a wait to keep you there longer.

    ConsBefore I go into the cons I’m going to say that this is based upon my personal experience during my 3 positions on the retail side of the company.

    No Work Life Balance
    60 hour work weeks are normal. Meetings at 5:00 happen and people regularly work past 7:00. It feels like I go to work, get home, work some more, go to sleep, and repeat. On the weekends I get a bit of a break, but I still am required to work as I have certain reports and other tasks that have not yet been automated to complete. Amazon work kills all hope I have of an outside life.

    Always on call
    Even being on vacation doesn’t matter as you’ll receive high priority emails management wants answered right away. Holidays are no exceptions. I was called once at 6:00 AM on a holiday because of a promotion running at a competitor I had to match. I finished all tasks associated with the promotion at about 8:00 PM. I didn’t have a holiday as a result, but customers were able to get a good deal on the retail products I was in charge of.

    Single People Preferred
    Do not expect to see your kids or significant other regularly. If you mention you have to leave early, like 5:00 (which is a normal 8 to 5 day) to pick up your kids or go to a dinner date, expect to be mocked by your boss after you’re gone. I’m regularly late now to almost all after work events because of work that is given and required to be completed after 5:00.

    Too Much Work
    This is great as you’re never bored, but it also means you’ll constantly be working. Lunch normally doesn’t happen as you’re in a meeting during that time, completing something for later deadline, or rushing for a fire drill. It’s basically survival of the fittest here. You will need to automate your tasks or risk drowning in a pile of endless work. There are a lot of improvements needed to be made at Amazon and management wants them done now.

    High Bars
    Once you’ve automated your work and reached your goals, you’ll be asked to surpass that the next year. Eventually your goals will become impossible to achieve. I’ve mentioned this to management and their answers are normally along the lines of “I’m not sure how you’ll be able to improve, but you need to.”

    Small Raises
    I’ve been lucky that I’ve achieved high ratings on my reviews and so my raises have been just above inflation. Even so, they’re laughable. Raises occur only on your base pay and your base pay is relatively a small portion of your compensation.

    Golden-handcuffs
    Amazon entices you with a bonus your first two years and stock every year afterwards. If you leave the company before the end of the year in which you received a bonus you’ll have to pay it back. If you leave during one of the years in which your stock vest it’s like you worked for nothing. My stock is almost equal to my base pay for example. This keeps you working for the company.

    Low Base Pay
    Living off your base pay is also terrible as the cost of living here in Seattle is rising. You’re income on paper will look like you make a decent amount of money, but only because of your stock/bonuses. If you choose not to cash out of it when it vests you’ll be living by meager means as most of your pay will go to rent and other expenses. Having a low base pay also puts you in a different bracket for loans as they don’t consider your grants and bonuses reliable income.

    Frugality
    Only the bus pass is free. Parking is not and parking is expensive. Amazon will reimburse up $160 worth of parking, but at over $25.00 a day it doesn’t go very far. If you can get monthly parking you’ll pay less, but there’s a long wait list. On the bright side most people leave after 2 years so you may get a spot if you stay long enough. There are also no employee perks that I’m aware of, except free coffee and tea in the kitchen.

    Performance Improvement Plans
    PIP is very real at Amazon. A certain number of people in your department every year will be put on it. Essentially the weakest link will be eliminated. If you don’t perform better than someone else you’ll be let go. Politics are very real and active as well. Consider it similar to Game of Thrones. Make sure someone owes you a favor and preferably that’s someone at a higher level.

    Promotions
    Lateral moves are common, promotions are not. Most people rotate after 1-1/2 years. Getting promoted requires laterally moving to a high job level. Once in that level you will need to perform the job better than coworkers doing the same job at the level you’re trying to get promoted to. This accounts to doing a much harder job with more work at a lower wage than everyone else until you’ve proven yourself. You’re also competing with other coworkers at your level and job for the promotion. This works great for the company, but makes you feel like you’re way underpaid for the job you’re doing.

    Turnover
    I’m not sure the exact numbers as Amazon is constantly hiring new people, but it seems high. I’ve seen lots of people leave Amazon that I’ve worked with. The average stay seems to be about 2 years. After that people leave for better opportunities. Consider this place a stepping stone to the next job. Also expect your workload to increase each time someone leaves until they fill that position. You may be moving on before that happens though as Amazon has a really high bar for hiring.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAmazon could be a great place to work. I actually enjoyed working for the company for the first 1-1/2 years. After that I realized things were not going to get better. My work days did not get shorter, only longer. I now feel like all I do is work and am starting to burn out as a result. I could probably deal with most of the other flaws, but I work to live not live to work. I’m counting down the days until my next stock grant and then I’m heading for the door.

    I’m not the only one either that thinks like this. Most people will not speak the truth; even if you ask me to my face I’ll lie and say I’m not going anywhere. I’d lie because I know the politics of the place would stab me in the back if I told the truth. Working at Amazon is a job, not a career.

    If the stock ever crashes you can also expect a mass exodus of workers as our base pay isn’t comparable to other offers out there.

    My advice is to look at my list of cons and figure out a way to fix them. We do the same thing to improve the experience of the customer, why don’t we improve the work life of our employees? How many good people have to leave before Amazon upper management figures this out?

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great college experience working for Amazon.com

    Brand Ambassador (Former Employee) Long Beach, CA (US)

    ProsThe company pays very well and the coworkers are very exciting people. I love the culture and the company values. I felt valued by the management greatly. It is just a great company to work for, but not much room for advancement if you aren't from a top-tier university.

    ConsThe interview is a little whacky and unorganized. Leadership is shaky and sometimes unorganized. The deadlines are very strict and timely. Lots of pressure from cohorts and upper management.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHire more college grads

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Pays well. Depends on your team.

    Software Development Engineer (Current Employee) Seattle, WA (US)

    ProsPays well.
    They cover housing for you, bringing your intern salary to about 100k if full time.
    Opportunity to learn a lot.
    Flexible work schedule. (can come in late. can work from home. can leave early if you need to)
    Tons of smart people
    Employees care about the customer
    You get full disclosure on your performance
    real work as an intern - your team will give you a project to work on that they had on the back-burner but still want done

    ConsThe pros are largely universal. The cons will depend on your team.
    If you have a great team, you'll have a great time. If you have a crappy team, you'll have a crappy time. I'm basing this off of what I know about my team versus what other interns told me about their teams.
    Either way, you'll need to be assertive. Ask questions. Get help when you don't know something. General rule is spend 30 mins trying to figure something out. Then if you haven't, go ahead and ask a someone with more experience.
    Your project may not be defined. You will have to get it defined. (i.e. figure out what you have to do for it to be complete). It can be hard to communicate with superiors as an intern, assuming you have little prior experience. A thought I basically had "I am inexperienced. I do not want to annoy anyone. I'll just try to figure this out on my own." This is incorrect. Your boss will know that already. Go ahead and don't be shy and you'll avoid lots of the problems.
    You may have to work longer hours depending on your project.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Financial Analyst Intern

    Financial Analyst (Former Employee) Seattle, WA (US)

    ProsGreat learning opportunity, unlike many internships you are expected to contribute and deliver work at the same level as a Financial Analyst.

    ConsDepending on your manager feedback on your work and expectations can be very unclear. This is a con that may not be specific to Amazon. Your over all experience and learning is very dependent on the team you are on and your direct manager.

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    partly good, partly "OK"

    Software Development Engineer I (Current Employee) Seattle, WA (US)

    ProsA lot of talented highly skilled people
    Non-trivial projects
    ability to develop, enhance skills, learn

    Consoncall: hard to maintain life-work balance due to oncall
    minimal company benefits

    Advice to Senior Managementpay more attention to employees, make the, feel valued

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Not bad for me.

    Amazon Warehouse Worker (Former Employee) Murfreesboro, TN (US)

    ProsWork independently, decent pay, easy-come-easy-go

    ConsLong hours, gets stale, rate can be difficult

    Advice to Senior ManagementCut stowers and pickers a break

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Satisfied with compensation and work life balance

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsSalary and work life balance

    ConsNothing new to learn and someone who is only 2 years old in the company

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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