OT: Anybody here work for Amazon?

I've been with Lockheed Martin since I retired from the Army 2 years ago. It was a natural transition to still be able to work with the military. However, the position I have is a contractor and we all know there is no stability in that. Also, I recently finished my bachelor's degree and I'd like to put it to work for me. I have applied for several (3) positions at Amazon, all are virtual. My wife is a successful real estate agent and the virtual role would really improve our family dynamic considering how unpredictable her job/hours is/are and we still have school age children. She has been trying to get me to resign for a while now, but I am not ready to be Mr. Mom and the real estate market is fickle. I was contacted by an Army buddy who's a senior recruiter for AWS and he casually mentioned a position that is opening. I was just wondering if anyone here works there, especially in a remote capacity, and what are your thoughts working for them. Thanks, and Go Hokies!

Forums: 
DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

I have not worked directly with Amazon, only heard from friends who work/have worked there so take my word with a grain of salt. But they say it can be a coin flip between job is really good with great pay/people/life balance or job is absolute shit and there's no work/life balance and they will literally email you demanding you return from a 5 day vacation on day 2

Compensation can come in the form of stocks instead of a full monetary salary, and that stock is vested or however that term is called. Enticing you to stay for X amount of years so you can get the full value of the shares. Even with that, Amazon turnover is still pretty high.

If I were in your shoes, going through the interview process I would definitely see if I could speak to someone who would be my contemporary/co-worker on my team so I could get a feel for their current work load, work/life balance, etc.

They'll really get after ya

Thank you!

"War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.”~~Judge Holden

Yep that's all I've heard from people that worked for AWS. Long hours and crappy work life balance. Most grind it out to get vested on the stock compensation and then bail.

Former classmate from Tech loved working on the retail side setting up new distribution centers internationally.

This matches what I've heard as well. I've talked to some people who are very happy at Amazon, and others who are miserable and it is largely dependent on the team they are on. I've heard AWS is better than working on the retail side (which I guess is the opposite of what Mike06 heard, so who knows?), but it's still kind of a crapshoot either way.

From what I understand Amazon's stock grants are backloaded, you get 5% the first year, 15% the second year, and then 40% the next two years. So you have extra incentive to stick it out as long as possible. That's unusual compared to similar tech companies which would do 25%/25%/25%/25% instead. That being said it is still very good money.

I do not, but through my work in transportation real estate have met several people who either do or did, but all pre-Covid and not remote. Lots of soft pressure to work more hours. Sense of urgency to get things done fast. Young people liked the work together environment and dynamic. People with families and other priorities took short term jobs to reset Salary expectations on the resume, or got out when they decided to prioritize family. Everyone I met over 40 was not married, most divorced. Engineer from Boeing loved the culture vs the German structure. Product flow designer loved the ability to explore and try new concepts. Guy in charge of site selection loved traveling and being dined by developers. All were young and single or dating, and Loved working for Amazon. May be different working remote, or in a different department.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I'm an SDE at Amazon, so can only speak to that side of things. But it really depends on the role and team. Business/Product people seem to love amazon, devs seem to be all over the place about their feelings towards the company. Amazon and AWS is so huge that your work/life balance is heavily dependent on your team and manager.
It's been ok so far for me(10 months). I'm however actually actively interviewing, externally as well as internally.

AWS can be a pressure cooker for devs depending on what team you're on, but again thats second hand experience from other devs I know. Oncall on important aws products is a shit show, everyone is oncall 24/7 pretty much. Overall I like my team, there's no backstabbing, politics going on, I get along well with my manager. My main gripe is with our product, and I'm fed up with some of the processes/dependency on other teams in my overall org, and don't feel like I'm learning as much as I could.I'l echo Devonte's sentiment and would try to talk to your would be coworkers, and try to ask your hiring manager a lot of questions. The pay is pretty good IMO, even if the stock vests are backloaded (5%,15%,40%,40%). We don't get a lot of perks like free food(not really applicable with remote work), $400 monthly fitness stipend, etc that MS, Google, etc. get, but there are things like phone plan reimbursements, discounts on amazon, etc.

Ranger - what is your degree in?

Following the company I work for might be offering some remote work jobs depending on what hes doing.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

BS in Organizational Leadership. I have 20 years of leadership experience but I soon realized that various HR departments still hold a degree in high regard. So, I wanted something tangible to go a long with my experience. I don't regret getting an education at all, in fact I will most likely go for a graduate degree in the near future.

"War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.”~~Judge Holden

Masters or doctorate? Full disclosure: I am one of the biggest critics of the education-industrial complex that you will find. Masters can help you or be of little value, but is unlikely to really hurt. Worst is you lose what you paid for it and maybe lost wages if it turns out to not help. But if you are thinking of a doctorate, please be very careful and do your due diligence - like you would if you were transported through space and time and assigned to plan the assault on Peleliu.

A doctorate is swinging for the fences in the 9th inning down by a run with runners on first and third and 1 out. You may belt one out, but you are much more likely to strike out when a single or sac fly will do. Analogy I give is it closes far more doors than it opens, but the doors it opens lead into nicer rooms. If it works out, it can be great. If it does not, it is like watching the last 2 Pitt-VT games in a continuous loop for about 6 years straight.

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

I am fortunate to be one of the STEM PhDs who has had the door lead to a nice room. Plenty of my colleagues from grad school are just stuck in the tumble dry postdoc cycle and it's sad to see.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

The right R&D job can be cushy af. (Also a STEM PhD)

Achievement unlocked: All of the Fullers

"Sam Rogers is a college football icon" SB Nation

Thanks Frank!

I have 20 years of leadership experience but I soon realized that various HR departments still hold a degree in high regard.

This man tells no lies. No matter how eloquently you describe it on a resume, a lot of civilian HR departments have absolutely no clue how to assess your "leadership experience" if it was in uniform.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

a lot of civilian HR departments have absolutely no clue

One of those rare quotes that are even more accurate when taken out of context.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Good point. 🤣

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

I find HR has largely become a fiscal CYA umbrella than it is effective people management and having experienced HR across the world, in terms of overbearing systems and reports that take the humanity out of Human Resources, nobody does it worse that the USA. I have taken a metaphorical flamethrower to HR systems of some very large entities to get them back into something less bloated and more proactively solving the problems of corporate BUs.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

I haven't had an experience with HR that couldn't be summed up with "HR is there to protect the company, not to protect you." I haven't worked at a place that I have felt HR legitimately looked out for employee interests.

I think this is what is misunderstood. HR should still be a function that serves to protect the company. How it effects protection is the key difference. I've always found far better performance when HR is transparent, with minimal layers and personal engagement than with multiple layers of impersonal top down management of headcount numbers, no matter what size the entity is. An effective HR, IMO, can protect the company as well or better when it practices the former, than the impersonal systems approach USA has bent towards.

I have found that HR was vastly different in blue collar vs white collar companies. The blue collar companies' HR really did a lot more for the employees. And based on things I hear from people in HR that I trust, most employees don't realize how much HR does to protect employees from managers because that's never seen by 99% of the company. Manager want to get rid of good employees because of stupid and illegal reasons that HR stops.

Now with that said I have dealt with some real stupidity coming from HR. But those have been from software companies where half the time I think those companies exist to fuck with developers.

Many find it a negative, in my experience.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Egbert dropping truth bombs as well.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

I'm interested in this as well. I'm looking to retire from the military in roughly a year.

Do we have another "networking" thread or anything?

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

Believe there is one in the OT section if you dig far enough though might not be a bad idea to do a 2022 job thread to start fresh.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Bragg,

Look into University of Charleston, WV. They are very military friendly, it's a brick and mortar college that's regionally accredited and have outstanding degree programs. My Post 9/11 GI bill paid for my undergrad and there's plenty left to help with a graduate degree.

ETA: Consider getting your undergrad now while you are still active duty, let tuition assistance pay for it. Then, when you retire Post 9/11 can cover your graduate degree. I am looking at a few different Executive MBA programs now.

"War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.”~~Judge Holden

Agree with this. I was in the WV ANG and we had numerous members of the unit go to UC. I don't recall ever hear anything derogatory about the experience.

Don't y'all also have some type of transition assistance where they let you rotate through other government agencies for a year or so before you retire? I know we had a couple of people rotate through for us, but not sure they were retiring, or how they made it happen.

Wait, what?

Yes, that is an option. I utilized this my last 6 months on active duty, not everyone takes advantage of it though. It's a program where you get permission from your commanding officer to participate in a non paying internship with a company while still receiving your military pay. The company I did it with was going to hire me as soon as I started terminal leave. However, their contract was coming to an end even though they were under the assumption that it would get renewed uncontested. Well, another company put a bid in and that put them in a hiring freeze as soon as my leave started. So, I told them I was no longer going to work for free and took the summer off before being offered my current job at LMCO.

"War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.”~~Judge Holden

I work for Uncle and we had 2 of them rotate through. I don't think either wanted to work for us, but I'm pretty sure we would have hired either of them if we had slots at that time.

Wait, what?

I have my Bachelors and an MBA. Just trying to find what's next really. Would prefer to stay in the Carolina's.

A buddy of mine was mentioning Amazon the other day and had some similar things to say as others have posted but it's third hand info as well.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

That's awesome! Sorry if I misinterpreted your comment, I thought it was about the education piece.

"War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.”~~Judge Holden

I'm LinkedIn with a recruiter who specializes in veterans. Don't know him at all well, had just reached out to him when we were looking to hire people. But someone to peek at. Kevin O'Brien.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/veterans/

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

I have friends in Product Management, Ops, and Finance at Amazon. The one who works in Ops is also retired Army (we were classmates in business school).

Can confirm that (for these positions at least) Amazon caps cash salary at $175k (changes every year though, so this might be outdated) and the rest of your comp is paid in stock (for these roles, another 6 figures each year, not sure of the vesting schedule).

Work/life balance varies a lot by role AND department. My friends in product typically work 45-55 hours/week. Finance friend reports working ~40hrs/week UNLESS it's end of quarter (2-3 weeks of 60hr/week) or he's pulled into an acquisition (a few 15 hour days back to back to back). My classmate who works in Ops is in the Pathways LDP. He's basically supervising a warehouse. I think he does four 12-hour shifts each week, but often stays late.

Twitter me

I've got a friend in HR with AWS who has said her weeks are often 60 hours. Since covid she is generally working remotely but does have a lot of travel. I've never asked what her salary is precisely, but she is paid well and received a signing bonus when she took the job.

Don't work there but have enough second hand knowledge to understand that Amazon can be a bit of a churn and burn environment where they will use you up and spit you out knowing there are 10 people waiting to take your role the second you decide to leave. While not to the extent of the horrendous employer mandates we've been hearing about in the warehouses, that kind of mindset permeates through the entire company, and most of the time not in a good way.

You might get lucky to get a good manager there where a lot of that is shielded, but I've found that even the best managers can only do so much when the culture sucks. And even then you're still at the mercy of that manager staying, because it can quickly turn if they leave.

My suggestion would be to see it through, if you want to work there, give it a shot. You might actually like it. If you don't, collect the paycheck for a while and find something else. The job market itself is scorching hot right now, and probably will remain such for the next few years (going to guess it stays hot through the end of this year, and then as people realize the grass wasn't greener when they jumped in 2021, there will be more opportunities opening as they vacate those roles). Plenty of time to get into something now and jump again in a year or two if it doesn't work out.

This is my school
This is home

I asked my little sister (also a Hokie) who works for Amazon to chime in and they following is what sent sent back:

I've worked for Amazon logistics going on 4 years. I know AWS is a bit different and, honestly, a little more stable as our logistics orgs are fairly new. I probably won't be here for 10 more years (there's a reason that boomerangs are a pretty common thing over here) but I will say I haven't regretted my decision to come work for them.

Pros: fast paced, interesting, autonomy with decision making, quick to initiate change if something isn't working, growth industries are always more fun to work in than declining industries, I love what I do in supporting small logistics start ups.

Cons: ambiguous environment, move and make decisions with only half the info needed so not all moves are good ones and create unnecessary challenges that could have been avoided by better situational awareness, workload is extensive, compensation is a big blend of pay, signing bonus, and stock options so ultimately competitive but hard for some to understand.

I would also tell you that virtual roles are very dependent on current leadership of the org (Amazon gives the sr leadership a bit of autonomy to structure their orgs how they best see fit). Get something in writing that you can keep in case leadership/perspective changes so you can be grandfathered for virtual if changes happen. I know a few people who didn't do this and were hired into "virtual" roles and then eventually told they had to move into a Hub when leadership changes occurred. Hopefully this helps! Good luck!

With 2 years at LMCO and your military background - I'm sure that there are plenty of Beltway bandits (including the one that I work for) that would be happy to have you. A lot of the work that I'm seeing even in the gov contracting arena is being shifted to 100% remote. As long as you are honest about what you are looking for you should find something.

I told him I’d crawl on my hands and knees to be the DL coach at Virginia Tech. Now, all of a sudden, I’m sitting in this chair and I told him I’d still crawl on my hands and knees to work here. I just want to be here.
JC Price

Thanks everyone! I am still wrapping my head around that in the civilian sector job jumping is fairly common. I had the mindset after the Army that my next job would be for another 20 years but, I am quickly learning otherwise. I want to try something that I am not comfortable doing, to grow. So, that's why I am looking outside of the defense industry for now. To see if I can be successful in another arena. The latest job at Amazon that I applied for is to a be client recruiter. The first two was to be a leadership developer and operations manager, the OPS MGR has closed though. Again, really appreciate everyone's insight!

"War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.”~~Judge Holden

Being from a military family I can tell you how shocked so many military folks are when they go to civilian life and realise how often people change jobs. Especially these days with so much change happening everywhere its probably one of the biggest culture shocks for people when they try to leave military posts.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

No too veer too far OT but in the aspect of transitioning back to civilian life there's a pretty cool foundation local to Charleston, SC who do year long transitions with post 9/11 Vets along with multiple other programs. One of my favorite causes to donate to.

https://vantagepointfoundation.org/process/

(add if applicable) /s

still wrapping my head around that in the civilian sector job jumping is fairly common.

Think of it as PCS-ing. Or at least, rotating to a new assignment, whether you PCS or not.

I've been at my company for 7 years and I'm in the top 50% in terms of seniority 🤷‍♀️

Achievement unlocked: All of the Fullers

"Sam Rogers is a college football icon" SB Nation

Thanks Frank!

85+ percentile after three years here

2022 Season Challenge: TBD
Previous Challenges: Star Wars (2019), Marvel (2020), Batman (2021)

Some of it is how you think about 'jobs'. I've been with my firm for coming up on 20 years but I've switched jobs/projects within the company a number of times. The larger Beltway bandits (LMCO, Booz Allen, GD, etc.) can support internal changes and shifts more frequently than some of the smaller contractors.

I told him I’d crawl on my hands and knees to be the DL coach at Virginia Tech. Now, all of a sudden, I’m sitting in this chair and I told him I’d still crawl on my hands and knees to work here. I just want to be here.
JC Price

Can personally vouch since I currently work (nearing 20 years) for one of the mentioned bandits (although nobody uses that term any more)... more like well paid innovators that help the gov't get out of their own way.

I would recommend looking into being a recruiter. You make your own hours, pick your candidates for various opportunities, can setup your own company once successful, etc etc. Start small, but the first executive placement usually hits at 30%. Placing someone at $100k gets you $30k.

Especially with your degree, you can compete against recruiters who really struggle to find candidates a "fit", much like Fuente vs Pry.

And if you really know the technical roles, like software or engineering, you can leverage your network to put competitive candidates into a role.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

That's interesting! I am seeing through my wife that working your own hours/owning your on business has its perks. You get out of it what you put in.

"War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.”~~Judge Holden

Typically work life balance and FAANG companies don't mix, but I only know this from 2nd hand accounts.

I personally will never say I want to work for X company, I can't see not being disappointed because no company is great. Look for things you want to do and then jobs that match, if you want to do something different then you won't be upset leaving a "dream" company, though often you can move around in larger organizations.

Typically work life balance and FAANG companies don't mix, but I only know this from 2nd hand accounts.

This depends very much on the company and the team within the company. I work at a FAANG and it is very rare that I work more than 40 hours a week. I've been encouraged to let my manager know if I end up working more than 40 regularly so that we can figure out how to fix that problem.

The other part of your post is accurate though, while there are great benefits and perks it's still a giant corporation so there's still plenty of bs to wade through.