Joining Amazon: how to succeed?

Mar 27, 2018 19 Comments

I’m excited to join Amazon this fall and wanted to hear the experienced Amazonians’ advice on how to succeed- things to watch for, pitfalls to avoid, habits to pick up, etc.

My goal is to work efficiently, reduce chances of burnout, and enjoy the work I do.

Background: graduating from my MBA and joining as a Senior Program Manager.

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TOP 19 Comments
  • Amazon zDnO28
    Find a good manager - someone who will nurture your skills and challenge you appropriately. A good manager is much more important than a good job
    Mar 27, 2018 3
    • OP
      Thanks for this— how do you distinguish good vs bad managers? What do you look for?
      Mar 27, 2018
    • Amazon NoStranger
      I absolutely agree too.. when you are joining a big company like Amazon, the experience you are gonna have all depend on the manager and the team. If you get a good mentoring manager then it will be a great experience.
      Mar 27, 2018
    • Amazon zDnO28
      Look for a manager who has been at amazon for at least 2+ years, has a team which has been with him/her for the same amount of time, has had success promoting people to higher levels. Ask them what is their style to “hire and develop the best” - overall make sure you can enjoy their company. You want someone you can bounce ideas vs. continuously being worried of taking a refine idea
      Mar 27, 2018
  • By not joining Amazon
    Mar 27, 2018 3
  • Daimler
    deargodwhy

    Daimler

    BIO
    Sincerely question everything!
    deargodwhymore
    Amazon is a revolving door. Turnover is around ~54% year over year. Have a plan as to what you want to get out of the experience and an exit strategy.
    Mar 27, 2018 5
    • Amazon / Eng
      Hooliganss

      Amazon Eng

      BIO
      AWS
      Hooliganssmore
      Mar 27, 2018
    • Daimler
      deargodwhy

      Daimler

      BIO
      Sincerely question everything!
      deargodwhymore
      Yeah, the reason why I don’t work for some of those companies on the list anymore. Also, I have firsthand knowledge of Amazon retention rates and I can tell you it isn’t 1.84.
      Mar 27, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng
      Hooliganss

      Amazon Eng

      BIO
      AWS
      Hooliganssmore
      Ya, maybe all of their data points are wrong
      Mar 27, 2018
    • Uber Head
      Wow the founder has the longest retention im surprised
      Mar 27, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng
      Hooliganss

      Amazon Eng

      BIO
      AWS
      Hooliganssmore
      That wasn’t the point of the link
      Mar 27, 2018
  • Amazon / Design 675645
    Know what the fuck you’re talking about when it comes to the technical side. Far and away the worst people here are those who don’t know shit about tech and try to make decisions based on it—usually, that’s L6 “product” managers and sometimes program managers with MBAs.

    So, if you’re already technically minded, you’ll be good. If you’re not, get up to speed. Read Swipe to Unlock or take Khan Academy classes and listen to engineers and designers and the people with the hard skills who make things happen. Literally nobody worth anything at Amazon gives a shit about where you went to school or all the good grades you got. It’s about the value you bring to your team.
    Mar 27, 2018 1
    • Amazon / Eng
      Hooliganss

      Amazon Eng

      BIO
      AWS
      Hooliganssmore
      Agree with this.
      Mar 27, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng Am A Bot
    Four pieces of advice:
    1. Find a mentor - maybe even two. Trying to succeed alone will frustrate or break you.
    2. Memorize the leadership principles. They are the key to daily interactions and are the common values for amazon employees.
    3. Time management is critical. No matter what job or level there will always be more work than time to do it.
    4. Set strong boundaries (like not taking your laptop home unless on call, not checking email when out of the office, etc)

    I hope this helps. Good luck and welcome!
    Mar 27, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Eng
    Hooliganss

    Amazon Eng

    BIO
    AWS
    Hooliganssmore
    Be prepared for a fast moving and environment and to learn a lot. Best of luck!
    Mar 27, 2018 0
  • Amazon Maybach
    Congrats, it’s really good way to get experience under your belt and have an amazing company on your resume. When starting out, amazon is great way to become very senior and it opens up many roads down the road. Which org are you joining?
    Mar 27, 2018 0