Amazon.com
3.4 of 5 2,817 reviews
www.amazon.com Seattle, WA 5000+ Employees

Amazon.com Reviews

Updated Apr 22, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.4 2,817 reviews

                             

87% Approve of the CEO

Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos

(2,054 ratings)

65% of employees recommend this company to a friend
2,817 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "You're surrounded by smart people who challenge you to grow constantly"
    in 264 reviews
  • "You learn a lot about leadership principles and how to manage people"
    in 78 reviews
Cons:
  • "Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel"
    in 438 reviews
  • "Pathetic culture-no work life balance/poor pays shares are deceiving/Extremely political"
    in 100 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

 

I enjoyed the job, but could not continue due to being unable to adjust to night shift at the time.

Picker (Former Employee)
Lexington-Fayette, KY (US)

I worked at Amazon.com full-time for less than a year

ProsIf you need a job, seasonal work at Amazon is a viable option. Although people tend to poorly review Amazon, I believe the reason people dislike Amazon is because of the demanding pace and vast amount of walking. Buy some comfortable shoes, eat healthy foods, and drink lots of water, and Amazon is not so hard. I personally enjoy challenging work and breaking a sweat, and Amazon is a great place for those with work ethic.

ConsSome of the computer systems seemed aged, the machinery is loud, and the pace is not comfortable. However it is not the nightmare job that those of lesser work ethic claim it is.

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the good work. The positive reinforcement, safety tips, and stretching exercises make the experience much safer and more productive. My advice to management is to proceed as they have.

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

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

 

Overall like the experience

Machine Learning Scientist (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA (US)

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

Prosa lot of opportunities to work on fun stuff with celever peopler

ConsLife balance sucks, literally! Too fast paced!

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

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

 

Customer and business impact at a world class scale

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

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than 8 years

ProsCustomer obsessed company with a focus on the ultra-long term
Competitive compensation for high performers
High rate of learning from smart peers and leaders
Ability to take risks on a large scale
Engineering and product innovation challenges
Ownership over roadmap and strategy even at junior levels

ConsHigh stakes, high pressure environment.
Minimum benefits outside of stock and cash compensation
Frugality extends even to laptops and monitors

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

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         

 

good

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Amazon.com part-time

Prosgood company to work with

Conssome times get very busy

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • No Opinion of CEO

 

Good Internship Experience

SDET-Intern (Former Employee)
Seattle, WA (US)

I worked at Amazon.com as an intern for less than a year

ProsTalented coworkers, they are the smartest group of people I have ever met. Lots of opportunities. Good salary. Nice location in South Lake Union.

ConsIt can be hard to get help from others since everybody is too busy on their own work.

Advice to Senior ManagementNothing that I can think of.

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

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

 

Surprisingly pleasant experience

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

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

ProsSmart people, challenging projects, developer centered. But you have to believe in owning your own quality (because you carry pagers)

Consexperiences may vary between teams, stack ranking system. Not for everyone

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

6 people found this helpful  

High Pressure but fun to work with bright people

TPM (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA (US)

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than 5 years

ProsI've worked at several large companies, and all have had some very good people (hard working, intelligent), but many that aren't so great. The lazy or slow witted don't survive long at Amazon, if they even get in the door. That is not to say that everyone is honorable, but people are universally bright and quick moving, and I find it energizing to be around very bright people. The corporate kool-aid is a flavor I like (customer obsession, restless continual striving). The technical problems you get to work on are difficult and big, and you are encouraged to think big and solve them in the right way. You are respected for delivering results, and encouraged to stand up for your point of view (if you have data to back it up).

ConsThe volume of work piled on you can be crushing and make it difficult to prioritize your work and find time to innovate. You have to be careful not to let the masochistic culture of brutal on-call and long hours suck you into a life that is miserable. Advancement and survival can be political and treacherous. Your first and second level management holds enormous power over your future at Amazon, and due to the frequency that people switch roles or leave (I had 5 managers in my first two years) and groups reorganize, you have to be very cognizant of the political landscape and your status in the current regime. You or your group could suddenly become the stepchild in a second marriage, which could put you in the "least effective" bucket when it comes time to cull the herd. There are a lot of very smart, very ambitious people there. Some of them are also honorable, but some are not.

Advice to Senior ManagementHow will the bar raising strategy change if Amazon can no longer attract or find sufficient numbers of new talent to fill the jobs?

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

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         

4 people found this helpful  

Great to have on your resume but not a place I had any desire to stay long term

Technical Program Manager II (Former Employee)

I worked at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

ProsAmazon is a resume-maker, make no doubt about it. Within months of having updated my LinkedIn profile, I had recruiters from Google, Microsoft, Apple, and others reaching out (I ended up interviewing at several and jumping ship to Microsoft). I'm sure this is partly due to fact of Amazon's reputation as being not the most pleasant place to work (so its employees are receptive to an 'out' more than some others) and because they are known to have a high bar for hiring..

It's also full of very smart people (though many of them are not nearly as smart as they *think* they are) and you get to work on big, challenging problems.

Lastly, their publicly professed focus on the customer is absolutely legitimate. It was great to see how they approached this from the inside as it's something I think Amazon gets uniquely right in the tech industry.

ConsAmazon, like other big companies, will never present a uniform experience. Your experiences will depend on the team you join. There were a lot of people on my team who wanted nothing more than to get out but I have other friends who actually are fairly happy there. That said, there is some uniformity of the culture that has its origin in Bezos Darwinian worldview. The best advice I can give is to read the book The Everything Store as I think it nails the culture. Personally, I found it quite unpleasant. It is a harshly critical environment. Work environments that challenge you to be your best are great, but it seemed nearly pathological at Amazon. Anything I did was corrected by at least 4-5 people whether or not it merited it, partly so they could show off how they were *better* and partly because it's an ingrained part of the culture. One of the Amazon Principles are 'Are Right. A Lot'. I think the corollary to this is many Amazon employees think everyone else is always wrong and feel the need to constantly tell you. It gets pretty old fast. At first I took this personally and thought maybe I was just a screw up but when I started paying more attention I realized EVERYONE received this treatment.

Amazon is also the kind of place that will use you up and spit you out if you let it. I've worked at true start-ups in my twenties and put in hours that would put most of the folks even at Amazon to shame. In doing so, I learned what my limits were, how much of my life I was willing to sacrifice to work, and that ultimately I didn't want to do that for the rest of my life. As such, I was well equipped to manage my work load and still be successful. I didn't work crazy hours or get too stressed out. But I saw those that had not had such an experience, and the often ended up worked into the ground because they didn't know how to draw the line at some point.

Lastly, Amazon is an extremely chaotic place. Many people who work there like to delude themselves into thinking it functions similarly to a start-up (anyone who has worked at a real start-up will immediately tell you it isn't really like one at all). The problem is, it's a huge company. And when a company exceeds a certain size, it *gasp* actually needs a bit more uniformity in process and coordinated long-term planning. Instead, Amazon makes pretensions to process but kind of lets teams do their own thing. Frequently, there is process, but it varies by team or if you actually use the 'official' process it just means you won't accomplish what you need to as you'll be mired in some dead-end path. The idea of being 'start-up like' like or 'scrappy' is wonderful in theory for such a big company, but in practice it just doesn't work. Amazon wasn't even particularly fast in pushing out new features, which is presumably the point of such an ethos.

Lastly, the comp really isn't that great. It's okay, but the benefits are mediocre at best, the base salaries are just average (I knew what a number of people were making from having discussed it) and much is locked up in stock that vests over years. It's basically a golden cage designed to keep people at the company despite how miserable most of them are.

And that's the thing I'd really impress on prospective hires, it was very rare I perceived anyone to be truly *happy* to be there. For my part, I did a year and got out. Not because it was unbearably difficult or the worst job ever, it just wasn't a particularly pleasant or rewarding place to be. I think if you know what you're getting into the cost/benefit is there, you get to see the company from the inside, work on big problems, and work with a ton of smart people. But it's not a place I could ever see staying more than a couple years unless you had no other option.

Advice to Senior ManagementShow your employees you value them rather than see them as commodities to be used up and thrown away. Ditch the abrasive, hyper-critical culture, the unnecessary long hours, and focus on making sure they have a pleasant experience. You cannot hire quick enough to make up for the massive attrition you guys have and eventually it will catch up with you.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • No Opinion of CEO

2 people found this helpful  

Not worth it

Human Resources Associate (Former Employee)

I worked at Amazon.com full-time for more than 3 years

ProsCo-workers
Compensation/benefits
Looks great on a resume

ConsNO WORK/LIFE BALANCE. Everyone complains about it but no one does anything about it. Mangement just doesn't care about you as a person, your a number.

Advice to Senior ManagementThere are better companies to work for. Get that experience on your resume and run.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         

 

Great pay, okay culture, mediocre values

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time

ProsPay and benefits are good and fair. They give decent bonuses too. There's decent job security due to the companies rapid growth and a wide variety of jobs to choose from. Office culture is laid-back and fairly relaxed for an office work environment.

ConsHuge disconnect between leadership and people on the ground. Tons of disorganization, last minute changes, and generally a lot of poorly thought out policies put into place hastily as band-aid solutions. Often time the lower employees on the hierarchy have to pay for the mistakes and odd policies of management in additional time spent at work and added obstacles to daily tasks. It's a bit gotten worse every year I've been here and I don't see that trend stopping. Very greedy company, but that's just the nature of corporations.

Advice to Senior ManagementSlow down and get things right instead of rushing procedure to make yourself look good.

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review
RSS Feed Embed

Worked for Amazon.com? Contribute to the Community!

Amazon.com Videos

Loading...

Amazon.com – Why Work for Us?

Not ready to apply yet? Click here to join our Talent communities, where you can learn more about us and stay up-to-date with Amazonian opportunities! Full Overview

Provided by employer [?]

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.

Glassdoor is your free inside look at Amazon.com reviews and ratings - including employee satisfaction and approval ratings for Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos. All 2,817 reviews are posted anonymously by Amazon.com employees.