Amazon.com
3.4 of 5 2,804 reviews
www.amazon.com Seattle, WA 5000+ Employees

Amazon.com Reviews

Updated Apr 18, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.4 2,804 reviews

                             

87% Approve of the CEO

Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos

(2,047 ratings)

65% of employees recommend this company to a friend
2,804 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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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

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  • 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

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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

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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

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Not the best place for career growth...

Production Associate (Current Employee)
North Charleston, SC (US)

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

ProsDecent benefits, pay, time-off. The schedule's great (four 10 hour shifts). The job is incredibly easy.

ConsIn the small facility that I work in, there is not much opportunity for advancement. We hire from the outside most often. And you can only move up the ladder one rung at time. As a result, you'll be stuck at the same level for years! If you're ambitious like me, it gets old fast. Management is horrible. They just don't know what they're doing and seem not to know how to communicate with their employees.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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1 person found this helpful  

Overall it was very positive.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Amazon.com

ProsSome of the other workers that I met there were very likable. The work pace is fast and conducive to performance.

ConsThe management and operational culture there was diametrical. The importance of safety was stressed; however, there was an undercurrent that performance and production should take precedence.

There was also acquiescence by management towards some "loafing" employees. Some of the operational modes were highly inefficient and likely result in higher costs to customers.

The performance based "contests" for workers to earn Amazon gift cards and the like appeared to be highly discretionary with winners selected; by the "luck of the draw" of their specific assignment during the contest and/or the whim of their supervisors.

Advice to Senior ManagementListen to employees more closely. Seek their input. Consider tracking mechanisms to recognize performance equitably.

Amazon is a great company - it could be much better however.

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Job, yes. Career, no.

Outbound (Current Employee)
Murfreesboro, TN (US)

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

Pros- Stability. In a year and one-half, I've never worked less than forty hours.
- Variety. Amazon offers the opportunity to work in almost aspect of the business, from receiving to shipping.
- Overtime. On average, our facility offers fifty hour weeks, for those that want it.
- Schedule. Four ten hour days, three days off.
- Shifts. The opportunity to change shifts as your schedule deems fit.
- Leadership. Through the Ambassador program, Amazon offers entry level 'leadership skills', welcoming new associates into the company/dept.
- Workload. The amount of work week to week 'weeds out' unproductive workers, most of the time.
- Technology and Efficiency. Amazon has streamlined the processes where almost anyone can succeed at their job. Its almost (almost) stupid proof, and usually easily correctable when a mistake is made.
- Benefits. Very cheap and start almost immediately after hire date.
- Opportunity. Amazon offers the opportunity to open new facilities around the country. They will pay your travel, lodging, meals and overtime pay for the duration of your assignment. This is also your best option for promotion. Amazon offers an attractive compensation package that pays for moving expenses to open new facilities.

Cons- Overtime. Especially around holidays, the company expects you to work mandatory 50-60 hour weeks. To quote something I read on Facebook: 'Amazon, where you OD on OT.'
- Schedule. During 'peak', those ten hour shifts get longer and longer.
- Pay. I'd call it 'adequate', but not enough for the amount of work the company asks of you.
- 'Bonus'. The 'monthly bonus' is calculated on the FC as a whole. So, the person making 80% gets the same paycheck as the person making 180%. Aside from 'positive feedback', the company does not recognize individual achievement when calculating this monthly 'bonus'.
- Management. I have been working since I was 16 years old, and have never seen this much management turnover in my life. My department alone has gone through four managers and 'leads' in the last 18 months. I can't keep up with all the senior management turnover.
- Turnover. Not a huge problem in my dept, but as a whole, Amazon has a large turnover rate, more so than most my previous jobs combined. Its hard work, long hours, not friendly to families or the elderly.
- Constant Change. While this is a condition we signed up for, management is very unclear and nontransparent when it comes to such change. They observe you working with a stop watch and pedometer for a week, turn your dept upside down, raise rates, then expect you to 'adapt' and learn the new process.
- Promotion, or lack thereof. The competition for these jobs are fierce, and graded on some kind of point system. Most of the time, the most qualified fail this system and the least qualified candidate gets the position. Despite the companies claim to transparency, the veil of secrecy surrounding these jobs remains shrouded.

Advice to Senior Management- Listen to your associates more often. We know the job, do it everyday, some inclusion in radical redesign of layout and procedures would be nice.
- There needs to be more transparency when it comes to promotion opportunities.
- The monthly 'bonus' should include individual achievements. It is grossly unfair that an under performer should get the same paycheck as someone who exceeds rate and makes the effort to show up on time everyday.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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All hype but very disorganized

Part Time Logistics Administrative (Former Employee)
Irving, TX (US)

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

ProsCatered food during the first week
Small sort center
Great pay and benefits if you're young and inexperienced

ConsVery disorganized
 Seriously! I was hired on as a part time fulfillment associate then was offered a "logistics admin" job that was a 3 tier (As I was told) position yet the pay was the same.

Started with a M-F 2-6 position, then Sun-Wed 1-5 and a few days later 6-2 AM then yet another change to Fri-Mon 1-5 in my first month!!! I got so confused I kept missing days and was fired because they "contacted me numerous times" when all I got was 2 calls from a private number with no voicemail ... so how was I supposed to call back?

Advice to Senior ManagementPlease tell HR to not call from private numbers and not leave voicemails! Give employees some stability come on some of us have kids here and we can't rearrange our lives because you can't get it together.

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

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Be prepared to feel like a number

Warehouse Associate (Current Employee)
Phoenix, AZ (US)

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

ProsVery fast paced.
Good Benefits.
Decent start off pay with $0.55 increase every 6months
Always able to get extra hours in for a bigger paycheck.
There are a lot of different things to do if you have a willing mind to learn.
Very innovative, strive towards greatness

ConsThe pay of the Tier 1 positions cap out after about 3 years, so around $15.30?
Managers are very biased and can be pretty inconsiderate at times. If you happen to work below expectations even just one time, they will punish you before trying to understand what could have caused the problem. Even though it is usually not your fault as there are many different factors that could affect your work. However even if it's not your fault, the write up stays on your record for about 3-6months.

If you're a good worker in your current position, they will keep you there even if you want to move up.

You can know how to do everything in the warehouse and get the same pay as someone who can only perform 1 function.
You can have a hard and vigorous function and get the same pay as someone who does little to no work in their job function.

You have to be "cool" with management to get anywhere.
It doesn't matter how amazing you work or how long you've been there, you will be treated the same as everyone else and have the same opportunities as everyone else unless you're "cool" with management.

If you do bad, expect some form of correction and the event added to your record.
If you do good, expect nothing.

Not flexible with your schedule.

Advice to Senior ManagementBegin to care about your employees and stop being so biased. Rate your employees based on the work they put forth, not on how much you like them personally.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Great company to learn, no scope to grow in long term.

Software Development Engineer I (Current Employee)
Hyderābād (India)

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

ProsThis is a great place to add skill sets to ones resume. The company has great tools for development and you can get help from people with a lot of knowledge to learn a lot about distributed software platforms.
The name of Amazon helps a lot when you plan to switch to other companies.

ConsAmazon is famous for frugality towards its employees. It is hell bend to spend least on its employees. The whole notion of infinite availability of new employees within the company has taught Amazon not to value its current employees.
The work-life balance is greatly disturbed, specially if you are in a team which owns lot of old software.
The managers are not very experienced.
The salary hikes are very less compared to other companies.

Advice to Senior ManagementBeing the most customer-centric company would have been much easier if the company had taken good care of its employees.

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

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Long hours and political

Advertising AE (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA (US)

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

ProsIt offers employees interesting projects and data oriented company.

ConsThe company is very focused on maximizing the time it works employees. And training is almost nonexistent.

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

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