Amazon.com

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Amazon.com Reviews

Updated 20 November 2014
Updated 20 November 2014
3,836 Reviews
3.4
3,836 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,611 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You can definitely learn a lot in short spam in Amazon as they make you work a lot (in 115 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here (in 340 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel (in 616 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company (in 140 reviews)

More Highlights

947 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 319 people found this helpful  

    Make sure you know exactly what you're getting into

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Marketing in Seattle, WA (US)
    Former Employee - Marketing in Seattle, WA (US)

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

    Pros

    The name will precede you. This company can legitimately be called a "Disruptor" and perhaps even a world-changer. Customers love it and it's amazing to watch it all unfold at times. It's a pleasure to be even a small part of that.

    Even low-level employees are given some ownership, more than they might in some other places. Processes like the customer service andon cord demonstrate this.

    Pay is mostly good, with some caveats (see the Cons section).

    You will learn a ton. You'll be put through the ringer, but will emerge stronger for it. It's been said that a year at Amazon = two years elsewhere. That's definitely true. You'll learn business, supply chain, tech, retail, you name it. You're surrounded by smart people who challenge you to grow constantly. That was one of my favorite parts about working here.

    You can bring your dog to the office, dress code is casual, and South Lake Union is a fun neighborhood to work in. Seattle is stunningly beautiful in the summer, too (if you have time to enjoy it, that is.)

    Bezos is one of the few CEOs I've seen who earns the glowing reputation. He's a genius and a visionary. It's exciting to work in his company, though the thought of what will happen when he moves on is also a bit frightening.

    Cons

    "Work-life balance" means different things to different people, so I'm not going to say it's bad here per se. That said, long hours are the norm at all levels across the company, and usually that's required and expected just to keep up. Expect 60 hours as your baseline year round and 70 or more during Q4. You should expect that your time and mental energy for kids, hobbies, etc. will be extremely limited. Plan accordingly. Whether this is a negative will depend largely on the individual; just ensure you know where you stand on this before you sign an offer letter.

    That Amazon is a massive company with tons of smart people at all levels can actually be a huge negative. You might be a solid individual contributor, but so is absolutely everyone else - and you're all fighting for the same attention. It can be very hard to stand out, and you have to ensure your manager and your manager's manager know what value you bring at all times or you're toast. (You may still be toast regardless.) That means politics, backstabbing, and stack ranking do occur, despite some claims to the contrary. People definitely look out for themselves and themselves alone here; it's not a collaborative environment. It's also very easy to get the sense that you are a highly expendable cog even if your contributions bring significant value to the company. Plan to fight for yourself hard here, and be prepared to not get much acknowledgment or praise. Even if you do prove yourself well, know that advancement opportunities are limited. Most transfers in my observation were lateral, with big new hires being external. I've heard that the strategy of many people is to do a few intense years of lateral moves which can then be leveraged into a higher position at another company.

    Compensation is a mixed bag. Salaries are just average, but you get a huge signing bonus and stock which vests in strange increments over four years. Since the average employee lasts less than two years, you will not see most of that stock and you may need to repay some of that signing bonus (usually awarded over two years) if you leave or are pushed out. Raises are very, very small each year - your salary will not substantially increase even with a good review. Most people work startup hours, so their effective pay rate is pretty low. Additionally, the company espouses frugality as a core value. While this can be a positive, it also means they're downright cheap on some things, including hardware. Employee perks are pretty much nonexistent, and that's compared to most big companies and not just the Googles of the world. Benefits like health insurance and 401k match are mediocre at best. No free Prime accounts. No paid parental leave; moms get disability and dads get zip. (As in zero. None.) I did mention earlier that this isn't the most kid-friendly company to work for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's great to work at a place that highly values customer experience, so please keep that up. Work on your compensation - it's not competitive when compared to other tech giants. If I'm going to work as hard or as much as I did, at least I'd get free haircuts and food and massages at Google. Hell, even some paid paternity leave would be a start.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    good place to start a job but not stay long

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst Intern in Seattle, WA (US)
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst Intern in Seattle, WA (US)

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    learning a lot. there are a lot of things that can be improved, so it is a challenge/opportunity.

    Cons

    no life/work balance. depends on who your managers are. some managers dont spend time on junior analysts and then dont really care.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Fun, challenging and interesting at first, but after nearly 4 years it's exhausting.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA (US)

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Signing bonus
    - Decent benefits
    - Great location
    - Opportunity to transfer within company

    Cons

    -Average salary
    -Difficult to get a significant raise, even after a positive review.
    -Stack ranking
    - You are expected to keep up with an insane pace and a mountain of of work while also going above and beyond
    - High turnover due to burnout

    Approves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Eventually you will know more people who have left Amazon than you currently work with.

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

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

    Pros

    Smart people, lots of internal job opening, you can transfer once every year.

    Cons

    Smart people with knowledge eventually leave. Zero perks. If the stock goes up they consider it a raise for the next year. The stack ranking means you can't really make a big mistake.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Few bad apples spoil the barrel of wine.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Seattle, WA (US)
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Seattle, WA (US)

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Working at Amazon gives you the ability to learn and to interact with incredibly smart people. There is no shortage of interesting projects or initiatives. Good place to develop writing skills.

    Cons

    Grinder culture, work is your life, incredibly bad and toxic managers tend to hang on much too long, and in some cases thrive. While everyone is a vocal proponent for direct communication style, finding errors in projects can lead to retaliation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nasty personality does not indicate a successful manager.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Life at Amazon

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Stow in Robbinsville, NJ (US)
    Former Employee - Stow in Robbinsville, NJ (US)

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    I liked working nights and enjoyed my time there as short as it was. July 2014 until November 2014.

    Cons

    As with all Bigger than life is the usual evaluation based on the numbers alone and not on common sense. Experienced employees are replaced by temporarys

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let the productive people do their jobs and remember us in the trenches are the ones who are the most important

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Fulfillment Associate (picker)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Fulfillment Associate in San Bernardino, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Fulfillment Associate in San Bernardino, CA (US)

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Publicly traded corporation. Billions in assets. Okay, in other words it's a stable company, you can say you have a secure job. Easy to get into. I recommend waiting when they have a direct hire event to get in direct with Amazon and not thru an agency. You get all the good benefits, health, dental, vision, life, 401k, restricted stock units, pto, vacation, unpaid, discounts etc. all on the first day of employment when direct hire. The fulfillment center is high tech, well ventilated and water stations are plenty to keep hydrated during job. Not much micro managing. HR is easily accessible as they are on the floor. Nice cafeteria style lunch rooms with variable lunch options if you want to buy. Scattered bathrooms thought center as well. What else.. Oh and plenty of free parking.

    Cons

    Rate. I always said this job would be a keeper if weren't for rate. Or a at least doing a different job function where rate does not dictate you collecting a paycheck or collecting unemployment. Picking is amongst the demanding job functions in the fulfillment center. As of late 2014 rate was 114 per hour. Meaning picking 114 items per hour for 10 hours. Shifts are 4 days 10 hour shifts with 3 days off. Back to rate. Rate is what you are in here. You are nothing but a metric of performance. You are to be treated as a robot. Area managers are always switched. And almost always new. So there is no building relationships as coworkers. They are pressured to meet high production outputs or be fired. So in return they have to eliminate the underperformed. That's the way it is. I say get replace workers with high tech robots and save yourself money and increase production exponentially. Rate is robots not humans. At least humans who are intellectuals and are doing the job out of necessity and don't just have an empty head, like most of the unfortunate youth in there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Establish a more team oriented production output. Keep managers longer in their departments.
    Reconsider the rate metric or use your billions in cash to develop high tech robots to pick in your facility.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    What's the reward for good work? More work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer II in Seattle, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer II in Seattle, WA (US)

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Very smart group. You'll learn a lot and also contribute/teach plenty.

    Cons

    Worklife balance sucks especially if you're in an operational heavy team, Project deadlines are unreal. Can be very disorganized at times. Tons of Egos but that's just the IT field in general. AWS struggles to understand what it means to be a sysEng. It seems their idea of sysEng tasks are whatever the devs cannot get to at the moment (this does not hold true for every team to be fair).

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    No longer raising the bar.

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great ability to own and deliver.

    Cons

    Company is hiring external executives that are not Amazonian and not growing the people in their orgs. The company is focusing on delivering results at the expense of their employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Its ok if you need something

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Amazon Warehouse Worker in Hebron, KY (US)
    Former Employee - Amazon Warehouse Worker in Hebron, KY (US)

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The benefits are great and there are great opportunities to advance to further your career. Within my two years of working I was became an onsite staffing agency coach. After getting hired on the company I became a Problem Solver, Process Guide and even became a Seasonal PA guaranteed to be a full time tier 3 PA. All of which has help in my supervisory skills. Holiday hours are great, so seasonal work there is great.

    Cons

    Though I moved up in the company quickly, I was able to realize the bad organization within management. People are not trained efficiently, only selective HR teams are good at helping you, and that depends on what building you are in. All the rules don't roll over from building to building, so this causes internal problems when transferring. The hours are not so good if you want some type of life. Long hours on your feet, and an unwritten rule of no talking.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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