I worked for Google for over 2 years in a non-tech department.
My opinion is that it's a nice place to work if you're an engineer. If you're in a more salesy/client facing job like I was, you have to put up with some of the worst bull**** ever with the upside of meeting some truly wonderful people.
Firstly, the perks are nice but I've always thought of them as good PR for recruitment and when you're actually working there every day, you don't really care and would in fact, like a better salary instead of average canteen slop and free sweets.
The salary for non-tech is bog standard. The bonuses are nice but should be part of your salary in the first place. It claims to be a meritocracy but that is simply untrue. I've seen brilliant people slave away for years for no reward but then certain wasters that are seen in certain social circles get promoted every quarter (one of these types is also the niece of higher-up Dublin exec).
Management on the sub-executive levels is shockingly poor. I had a manager who had no business education (in fact, studied ancient Greek), had never worked anywhere else and I can tell you, it showed. All you got from that person was the company-line week-in and week-out.
The atmosphere, I feel, took a turn for the worst when the office went into expansion-overdrive and they acquired a second building. When I first started, people were mostly friendly but nowadays (I left very recently), there's queue-skipping, people acting violently to get a free f**king tent (Googlers, search your misc-ie for that instance), career backstabbers (as an earlier poster mentioned) and some of the worst f**king-over of staff I have ever seen when it has come to bonuses and promotions.
And if you ever show any form of dissent or say that you're unhappy with how they do things, you may as well quit right then because they will make your working day a living hell and probably put you on a 'performance plan'.
Anyone applying for Google in a non-technical role can expect the following:
- You will be measured and compared against your peers on a daily basis.
- You will be expected to get involved in 'non-core job' activities that mean absolutely nothing, and then punished when it takes away from your 'core job'.
- Cultish behaviour. It isn't a cult, not everyone is a Google-freak but there are quite a few. These people are the Google-equivalent of evangelists and are the type to rat people out, blindly following all the crap handed down. Don't even try to get in an argument with them, it's pointless.
- You will fill in more spreadsheets relating to the amount of work you're supposed to do than doing any actual work.
- Got an idea? Go f**k yourself is often the message as product managers are mostly based in London and won't respond to your ideas/emails, especially if you have ideas for the Irish market.
- Career Development: You will reach a point within 2 years where you realise that your title might change but your job never will. You could change department but a lot of them are smaller, have more pressure and get screwed over worse than the big AdWords and AdSense teams.
Overall, it's very institutional and full of unnecessary pressure. Don't even get me started on the disparities between different offices (Euro workers get a raw deal compared to the US people doing the same job.....I don't even want to know what they pay the Indians in Hyderabad).
There are great people there of course but I think the lifespan of a non-tech role is 2 to 2 and a half years. A great many of my peers are also trickling out of the place on a weekly basis now purely from just being sick to death of the many, many ridiculous policies and management decisions.
I'm very glad I got to work there. I'm very glad I don't work there any more.
Best of luck to all those who want to give it a go, just make sure you set a number of months aside for the recruitment process.