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🏢 Design @ Amazon. Part 2 - Diverse
Amazon is huge AF. There are certain pros and cons because of its sheer size and reach. One of my favourite pros is its diversity, diversity of everything.
Starting a new series to share my story and observations about working as a UX designer at Amazon. Read Part 1 - Decentralised.
ℹ️ Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on this website are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any of my current or previous employers.
There is so much diversity in people, that it is hard to overestimate. Different cultures, professional backgrounds, ethnic origins, ages, etc. I think the main reason is that Amazon is a global company with a presence in many countries around the world.
Also, from what I’ve observed from the hiring and interviewing side, the only focus is on the candidate’s skills and alignment with Amazon’s culture (the famous Leadership Principles) and if they can provide evidence of these skills and characteristics.
The interviewing process and the Leadership Principles are something else in and of itself and I am going to share more about this later.
Amazon is a unique company. Many people think of it as a big online store with good prices, a large selection, and fast delivery. In reality, Amazon is a giant organism consisting of a large number of different companies (big and small) that Amazon has acquired over the years, and keeps doing so.
Just recently, I saw an article mentioning that Amazon was one of the bidders for a health-tech company doing remote doctor appointments tech (or something like this).
What is truly unique about this company is that the variety of different industries and problems that these “subsidiaries” try to solve is enormous. I don’t think there is another company in the world that can boast such a selection of different problems you can try to tackle.
See the list of companies that Amazon has bought so far: Wiki.
A complimentary, and also fantastic benefit of working at Amazon, is that internal movements are very supported and even highly encouraged. In most cases, you can transfer teams at any time (assuming the other team is hiring). And often the company can even pay for your relocation to another country/city.
This leads to a huge perk of this company - you can find opportunities to grow forever. One may think that staying within a company is slowing your growth.
But with Amazon, switching teams often means a big change in every aspect of your day-to-day. From the problem space and target audience to processes, from leadership support to day-to-day responsibilities and location, etc.
I know quite a few folks, who just transfer to another team when they feel that their learning curve is slowing down. These kinds of opportunities are hard to overestimate.
Going back to the previous post about its decentralized nature, there are dozens and dozens of different teams. And each individual team has its own structure, team size, processes, and everything else that constitutes its maturity level.
There are many very advanced teams with specialized roles like UX Writers, Design Technologists, etc. And there are also a ton of 1-person “teams”. And everything is changing very quickly.
For example, in my recent role, I was the solo designer hired to replace the previous solo designer. A month later, there were two of us. Another month later, there are 3 of us and we are defining processes and mechanisms that indicate that the team is growing and maturing.
So, nothing is set in stone. You can start as one and quickly find yourself in a growing team.
Because of the number and variety of different teams and business lines, the role of a designer can be very different, too. Not every person is a Product or UX designer. There are Visual Designers, Art Directors, Production Designers, Content Designers, Design Strategists, AI Designers, and many more.
See current openings for Design job family: Amazon Jobs.
New and more specialized roles are popping up regularly. Acquisitions of new startups and expanding into new industries and technologies definitely help grow the opportunities inside the company.
As with many global companies, Amazon has a presence in many countries and cities. Not every location has Designers there, but a lot do.
In most cases, the company can sponsor your immigration and relocation (for the whole family) and I can’t stress enough how big of a benefit this has been for us with our recent move from Canada to Luxembourg. We had some wrinkles, but overall, I have huge respect and a lot of gratitude for Amazon for providing such support.
So, for those of you, who have a passion for travelling, Amazon can provide an opportunity to live in a different country and experience new cultures and adventures. Just this alone is an exceptional benefit. Highly recommend!
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