Pros: great salary, great benefits, good software tools, laptops, headphones and blackberries issued quickly
Cons: constant barrage of emails from corporate that may not pertain to your job, cumbersome and bureaucratic, highly-competitive creating distrust amongst colleagues
I was so excited to become part of a large corporation like GE but I soon realized that it was like a huge machine, and I was just a number. Although I value GE's commitment to integrity, I was overwhelmed with the amount of training and GE marketing information that hits the inbox what seemed like daily. The training requirements were hard to maintain – more... because an employee must quickly learn not only what their job entails, but what GE the corporation requires. Although the company had great benefits, the day-to-day expectations and highly competitive nature within the company made for an environment where I felt like anyone would take the first opportunity to turn someone in or stab someone in the back, just to be recognized among the masses.
In many ways it felt like the Borg....As long as you did exactly what the corporation expected and blended in, you are fine.
Job transfer and advancement limited - When I realized that my job description didn't match what I was expected to do, I tried to relocate (I am a mid-level manager with 20+ years of experience) but was told that I needed to complete 2 years in my present position before I could move. Ironically after that 2 years, this sector of GE (nuclear) went through a large layoff, and I would have been one of the ones let go had I not already found another position and gave my notice. I learned the day I gave my notice that once you quit this large corporation, they turn their back on you and terminate your benefits effective midnight that night. They did not award any severance pay even though my name was on the layoff list, but because I handed in my notice, they zero'd out my already determined severance. When I tried to contact the ombudsman, they acted like I never worked there and didn't take the time to talk to me at all. HR wouldn't even return my calls. This company expects loyalty, but does not give it in return.
As a final observiation: there seemed to be a lot of waste in this sector of GE; too many people, not enough direction, too many drawn out or not well-defined processes. I know personally of one female manager who sued (and won) the company for illegal practices. Oddly, no one was informed about this and for the year the employee was out, no one would discuss why she was gone and what was going on. GE's communication seemed to be very good when it was blowing its own horn; not so much communication when there was a whistle being blown.
My 2 years with this company was frustrating and confusing because I am not a slacker and am typically a top-performer, until I met GE.
I am only able to write about this now because I am a manager in a smaller company now that I feel valued, and most off, that I am making a significant contribution to my company's success. The CEO knows my name and I have been given recognition and awards with this 200+ employee company so I'm not a slacker.
I am grateful to have had the experience to get the Lean Six Sigma training with this company, but I would caution anyone else that if your job satisfaction involves being appreciated and feeling like you really make a difference, you will not find it at this company unless you make it into the elite circle of managers. And play golf. – less