NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory "work life balance" Reviews | Glassdoor.co.in

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Employee Reviews about "work life balance"

Updated 13 Sep 2019

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Found 481 reviews

4.3
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85%
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88%
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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory CEO Michael Watkins
Michael Watkins
54 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "Projects/missions take a very long time to complete (3 to 5(in 14 reviews)

  • "there are no cons to this company(in 13 reviews)

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Reviews about "work life balance"

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Nice place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Scientist in Pasadena, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great place to work, good pay and benefits, RDO provides good work-life balance

    Cons

    HR is pretty disorganized Slightly competitive atmosphere

    NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory2019-07-02
  2. Helpful (14)

    "Working for the Government Presents its Own Challenges"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Pasadena, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Interesting projects. Incredibly smart coworkers who are usually very willing to help get you up to speed. Current upheaval of the old guard is actually presenting some new opportunities to lay down the foundation for the lab for many years to come. Name-drop-ability is real. People's ears perk up when they hear JPL and NASA, and if you're the type that likes to work at a place a lot of people are interested in,... and flat out envy at times, JPL will do the trick. It's also a conversation starter when talking to recruiters, and most will be very interested in chatting with you to hear what you were up to at NASA. 9/80 work week is observed by most people on the lab, and yes that means every other Friday off. Unlike most engineering jobs, it's not a trick, either. People take it off and the lab basically shuts down every other week on Friday. I've had a few Fridays I felt like I would use the day to catch up, but that was my call and overall the lab tries to practice what it preaches and does honor a good work/life balance. Remote work is also available, and depending on your team could be encouraged, due to the parking issues the lab does have. Those are real... You'll see people complain about parking a lot on here, and it's a serious problem. When I can, I work from home, which helps greatly get work done and not have to worry about running all over campus, and especially not waste time hunting for a place to park in the morning.

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    Cons

    Work can move at glacial pace. Constantly fighting the old way of thinking, and there is a lot of push back toward anything new (whether it be a tool, a different way of working, or even a messaging app). Some missions are fully agile, with a slew of modern tools and technology, while others are using software and build practices that would have looked outdated in the late 90s. There is a constant bucking of new and... smart grads and younger techs against the old-been-there-forever engineers. Most employees are also on matrix based project schedules, and it is rare to be assigned to more than 25-33% on any one project. Most engineers are juggling three to four projects, each with unique requirements, tools, and processes. It's actually closer to working three to four completely separate jobs, and with the variance and meeting schedules it can really feel like all you're ever doing is running around from meeting to meeting. Not a lot of guidance if you want a structured role. Most folks are so busy bouncing from meeting to meeting, and doing their own time juggling, that they expect you to pick up the ball and run with it. Sometimes even getting basic requirements can be a challenge, and on one hand that's very liberating, but on another when you're dealing with limited time, it is costly to have to go back and forth on a bad design, or just a completely wrong direction, due to not understanding the scope or requirements for an assignment. Government work can be hard to stomach at times. Big shock, but, yes, things get political here. There are a lot of rules, a lot of cautions, and I've heard numerous times that, "If this is mishandled, you're going to prison," and it's not a joke. It can be stressful. Zero perks around the office, and it may sound petty, but those coming from private industry might be shocked to see there's no free coffee, no tea, not even water coolers. If you want to drink water, a few groups have started water clubs (no joke) where you pay a little money each month to have access to a water cooler. Same with coffee. Otherwise, you're huffing it to the cafeterias for water or Starbucks for an overpriced drink. Forget free meals. There are some parties once in a while on lab, but don't expect food, drinks, or anything really that you don't need to get work done. Likewise, trips, travel, conferences, and what have you, are all paid for by your projects, meaning you need to have at least three groups sign off on anything you do. As a taxpayer, I'm happy that spending is so closely monitored and controlled, but as an employee it can be a pain to simply do things that might better all of my projects as a whole. This isn't a place where you come and work for a group, and work on several projects while being paid by your Org. You're actually assigned projects and paid a fraction by each, so you really have to constantly work at keeping all your projects up, hunting for new projects when things are ramping down, and manage your relationships with people on lab to make sure you always have work to do. Group supervisors can help, but mine hasn't been very present in my day to day work, and half the time he's busy with his own tasks and can't really spend time with his reports. Great guy, but sort of a hands off and never present supervisor. Perhaps other people have a different experience there. Parking is a real problem. There aren't enough spaces. It's a gag around JPL. If you try to park after 9am all bets are off. If you dare leave at noon for lunch, you're screwed. People park illegally all over the lab. There are cars crammed next to cars, parked almost blocking roads, sometimes completely blocking lanes in the parking lots. I don't blame them. I've circled for an hour plus to find a spot before, and didn't. I ended up calling my teams and told them I was going home and working there. It's bad. It's really bad.

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    Advice to Management

    The matrix accounting system is hard to deal with for a lot of people. It's working, but it's barely working, and I can see more and more people getting stressed out of having six plus projects they're maintaining. Please keep an eye on that. If it isn't working, then getting people on more dedicated projects, even if it's 50/50 with certain missions, could make work so much better on the lab. Parking is... disastrous. I know there isn't much we can do about that, but it's really bad. Keep encourage remote work where it makes sense to cut down on the burden to employees that have to be onsite. You have a great workforce that wants to work, and if you could push more of them to at least 50% FLEX, that would probably save a lot of parking spaces on lab. IF you have a day full of WebEx meetings, do those at home.

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    NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory2018-11-28
  3. "JPL"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Great Work environment, super competent coworkers, great work life balance

    Cons

    Advancement can be slow because worker turnover is relatively low, you don't always have a ton of say on what types of work or projects you get to work on

    NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory2018-05-24
  4. Helpful (1)

    "Looking Good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Great work/life balance, good pay, exciting field

    Cons

    bureaucratic, slow, old thinking,

    Advice to Management

    ethics needs to look into more wrongdoings

    NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory2018-03-08
  5. "electrical engineer 1"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer I in Pasadena, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    work life balance, cool facilities, great experience, and low stress

    Cons

    government job with bureaucracy and lots of rules

    NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory2017-09-10
  6. Helpful (2)

    "Diverse environment with freedom to get your work done."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Pasadena, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great place to work. Diverse environment. Freedom to do your work with minimum interference. Able to talk to anyone at ANY level. Work on unusual projects. Management does sincerely make an attempt to keep work/life balance in check.

    Cons

    Benefits not as strong as current tech companies. No profit sharing (government). No free coffee, soda, juices, meals, yogurt, childcare, etc. Skills learned may be of limited value for other companies. Transition to other projects when current tasks get completed, is not smooth. New hires seem to get more attention than current employees.

    Advice to Management

    Nurture your employees. Train them for new projects and challenges. More classes and inclusion into new projects. Encourage more mentoring and team building.

    NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory2017-07-27
  7. "Electrical Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Pasadena, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -Amazing projects -Work/life balance -Nice campus -Friendly coworkers

    Cons

    -Low raises -Could do much better on benefits

    Advice to Management

    -The new raise system is ambiguous

    NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory2017-06-12
  8. Helpful (2)

    "Inspiring workplace"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    JPL is unlike any other workplace with a focus on gaining knowledge rather than making money. It has a university like atmosphere, and for the most part enthusiastic and motivated employees while maintaining a great work life balance.

    Cons

    As a large, government funded entity you can feel bogged down in the hierarchical organizational structure and are dependent upon funding and political changes.

    NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory2017-06-04
  9. "Coworkers are like family"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graphic Designer in Pasadena, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great environment, work/life balance, 9/80 work schedule, amazing benefits

    Cons

    Can be too much of a fast-paced work environment, Parking

    Advice to Management

    Look to the future

    NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory2017-03-08
  10. "Good place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    -Very smart people -Friendly -Good work life balance

    Cons

    -Pay not as high as industry -Parking can get bad

    NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory2017-03-02
Found 481 reviews