Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) may be one of the most desirable employers to work for in the world. While there is awesome food, state-of-the-art facilities, and some of the most exciting technology on Google’s campus, there are also downsides to working for company.
In fact, there are many downsides, according to this Quora thread of responses to the question “What’s the worst part about working for Google?” Answers came from people who said they have worked for Google, claims that haven’t been independently verified. The responses below are six of the most common complaints respondents had about working for the tech behemoth.
6. Snobby co-workers
“Unfortunately, in spite of the common belief, I think the average level of Google engineers is mediocre. With a lot of arrogance, too. Everybody believes he (males dominate) is better than his neighbor. So it is really hard to discuss any issue unless it is your friend you are talking to. Objective discussions are pretty rare, since everybody’s territorial…”
“Everyone at Google wanted to be cool. Delivering quickly and effectively was not on anyone’s agenda. In other words, the engineers were pampered and customers were not taken sufficiently seriously.”
5. The work is too easy
“Of course this ‘too much talent’ isn’t really a problem for Google – it’s a problem for people working there who are trying to determine if they should tread water and perform less-than-challenging work (as original poster states) or move onto something different. Worth noting that internal mobility is notoriously difficult there, particularly for senior people. On its surface, this seems so simple – many of us prefer challenge, and so it seems we should try to effect a change… either at Google or outside, but here’s the rub. The benefits you accrue from working there are extraordinary and can cloud the judgment of even the most achievement oriented SWE or MBA.”
4. It’s hard to find a sense of accomplishment
“The work may not be intellectually rewarding (read: boring). It can be tough to feel a sense of accomplishment about what you do, and that sense is actually quite important to the type of people who are ambitious enough to get over the Google hiring bar.”
3. There’s no chance for personal impact
“I worked at Google for 3 years and it was very difficult to leave but there was one major factor that helped me make the decision – the impact I could ever have on the business as an individual was minimal. … The environment is amazing, people are smart and decent, Google’s mission is something to be proud of as an employee. However, if you enter the business thinking that you somehow will have a hand in steering that mission, it’s not the place for you. Real decisions are made at the absolute highest levels only. Everything else is finely tuned execution and requires very little thought.”
2. It’s difficult to be promoted
“It’s hard to get promoted quickly, since the person above you as well as at your level both have great educations and strong work ethics. When it’s standard to be awesome, and the work isn’t particularly tough to begin with, it’s hard to differentiate.”
Most of the complaints on the Quora thread seemed to stem from Google’s practice of putting people who are overqualified into positions below their skill level. This leaves employees bored and feeling like they can’t have an impact on the company while at the same time trapped due to the number of perks that come with the job.
“The worst part of working at Google, for many people, is that they’re overqualified for their job. Google has a very high hiring bar due to the strength of the brand name, the pay & perks, and the very positive work culture. As a result, they have their pick of bright candidates, even for the most low-level roles.”
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