An ex-Amazon employee using the handle
Ja_r00l shares their learnings for success within Amazon in their farewell post on social media website Blind. As an ex- and current Amazonian, I’ve paraphrased
Ja_r00l's advice below, as I believe it shows great insight into healthy career growth.
Always be learning
Next to your total compensation, learning is the most valuable thing you can get from your Amazon experience. Once you reach mid-level and above, you should always be looking for teams and organizations that allow you to learn something new or build from scratch. This is the most valuable thing you’ll be able to sell when you decide to leave Amazon.
Chasing promotions is not worth it
The only value promotions bring is the ability to beef up your resume. If you’re already doing the work expected at the next career level, then just go ahead and add it your resume. You don’t need Amazon’s stamp-of-approval to say you are capable. Apply to those next-level jobs externally and talk yourself up. Promotions rarely come with a noticeable compensation bump. Do not lie on your resume; if you are confident that your scope and output is already at the next level, then you should capture that on your resume.
Report to a manager who also wants to be promoted. Avoid reporting to managers at the same level as you. If you are a level 6 reporting to a level 6, then you will never become a level 7 while he or she is still a level 6.
If your manager is suboptimal, switch teams. If your manager is high-performing and has had the same manager for a while, then you are both going to coast promotions easily.
Most importantly, ask your boss where you stand for promotion and keep that conversation at the forefront of your 1-on-1s. You can find similar advice in “How to have a production 1-on-1 with your manager.”
Avoid managers inexperienced outside Amazon
Some teams get assigned growth-hungry managers with zero interest in developing you. It’s not for a lack of caring, but because they also have a full plate in front of them, and they have not learned the art of delegating or even telling their boss no. In most non-technical companies, you find yourself getting pulled into the day-to-day less. At Amazon, everyday can feel like a fire drill. You want a boss who intentionally adds value to 1-on-1s and manages their team’s bandwidth.