Amazon.com

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Amazon.com Reviews

Updated 26 November 2014
Updated 26 November 2014
3,866 Reviews
3.4
3,866 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,629 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You can definitely learn a lot in short spam in Amazon as they make you work a lot (in 118 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here (in 352 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel (in 636 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company (in 145 reviews)

More Highlights

953 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 325 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. 1 person found this helpful  

    When It's Good It's Good, When It's Bad...

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

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

    Pros

    The company offers fairly competitive compensation packages, lots of perks, a great environment in which you can learn and grow. Amazon's one of the few companies where a determined employee can really put in the effort, rise up and make a difference IF you're willing to go the distance.

    Amazon's pretty lenient on sick days or unexpected events, and works with you. Never had an issue calling out or needing to leave early (for the most part). You can learn a lot, move within the company and they have fairly good benefits package (don't expect an employee discount though, it's pretty much non-existent).

    Cons

    Amazon has incredibly poor work-life balance. You're expected to work stupid amounts of mandatory overtime (yes, mandatory). Complain, you're told "You signed a legal agreement stating you'd be available." to remind you that, legally, you said you would when you were hired 40 hour work week can easily stretch 60+ hours. Being told that comes off oddly threatening.

    Internal documentation is next to non-existent. You can find half a dozen different ways to do the same thing on the internal wiki and all of them contradict each other or are woefully out of date. Ask management for clarification, they tell you to look at the internal documents (see above) or to "do the needful" in order to make it work. You never really quite know if you're violating a policy on something because everything you're told is nebulous. When you bring up the documentation is vague or contradicts itself you're told "we grew too fast". Oh. The rest of it is "tribal knowledge". Hope you've got a coworker that knows what's going on.

    Employee reviews are stack-ranked. A certain percentage of employees MUST be put on a PIP (performance improvement plan) even if they have NO issues with this performance. This is severely degrading to employees, and outright kills morale (both for people put on a PIP and those who they're friends with). Having a mandatory policy that X% of employees must be punished come review time kills Amazon's talent pool people. It causes unnecessary disruption, and can affect employees who've had to endure rough periods in their life and come back from them only to find out they're now punished with a PIP and are told their employment status with Amazon is now at risk.

    Amazon preaches "frugality" but doesn't follow it. You can literally destroy thousands of dollars of good equipment in order to do your job and nobody bats an eye (it's the "cost of doing business"), but you need to expense something and out come the magnifying glasses.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Documentation. Consistency. Don't just tell employees "You HAVE to do this because you signed a legal agreement." when it comes to overtime. Work with them. Talk to them. We get sometimes we have to rise above as it's part of the job, but when a company with as much Amazon tell us it doesn't have funding, that we're short-staffed but forces us into overtime it kills the vibe and burns employees out. Paychecks are good, but happy employees are better.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 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
  6. 3 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  

    Lots of learning, Impossible Upward Mobility, Political

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in New York, NY (US)
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in New York, NY (US)

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Learn from and with the best, grow thick skin and game-changing growth experience. Very well paid, great benefits, opportunity to move laterally, just upwards is near impossible. Employees live the company values, sometimes to a fault.

    Cons

    Political, stuck, cowardly incompetent sr leadership. Optimizing so aggressively always throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    not for everyone

    • 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 an year)

    Pros

    Ok training. Another reviewer said that 1 year at amazon is like 2 years anywhere else; I couldn't agree more. Very challenging and lots of new concepts to constantly master. Decent pay and benefits. Definitely the smartest group I've ever worked with.

    Cons

    Ineffectual upper management. They don't seem to be required to follow the leadership principles that are expected of the rank-and-file. Virtually no recognition for a job well done. Advancement seems to be based more on popularity than actual skills or value added.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    WAKE UP!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 3 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
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    CAE1

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Recieve Associate in West Columbia, SC (US)
    Former Employee - Recieve Associate in West Columbia, SC (US)

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

    Pros

    It was employment. That is all I can really say about.

    Cons

    Management, Rates, UPT, VCP, and hourly pay sucked

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn how to treat your employees. They are rhe ones that make things happen, contrary to their job title.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Great opportunity

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

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

    Pros

    Awesome work. Great technologies, awesome coding experience and agile methodologies.
    Get to work on projects which have direct impact on the website, you can actually see the code being executed, especially when your code helps the company during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    Cons

    Attrition rate is high. Oncall can be bad.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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