NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory - Working for the Government Presents its Own Challenges | Glassdoor.de
  1. Hilfreich (15)

    „Working for the Government Presents its Own Challenges”

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    • Work-Life-Balance
    • Kultur & Werte
    • Karriere­chancen
    • Vergütung und Zusatzleistungen
    • Führungs­ebene
    Akt. Mitarbeiter - Senior Systems Engineer in Pasadena, CA
    Empfiehlt
    Positive Prognose
    Befürwortet Geschäftsführer

    Ich arbeite seit mehr als einem Jahr bei NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Vollzeit)

    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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    Kontras

    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with a slew of modern tools and technology, while others are using software and build practices that would have looked outdated in the late 90s.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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    Rat an das 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
  1. „Amazing”

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    • Work-Life-Balance
    • Kultur & Werte
    • Karriere­chancen
    • Vergütung und Zusatzleistungen
    • Führungs­ebene
    Ehem. Mitarbeiter - Intern 
    Empfiehlt
    Positive Prognose
    Befürwortet Geschäftsführer

    Ich habe bei NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory gearbeitet (Teilzeit)

    Pros

    There is an amazing Work-Life Balance and it is a very supportive community.

    Kontras

    I truly felt that I enjoyed this internship very well and had no complaints.

    NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory2019-10-22
  2. „The ideal workplace for space enthusiasts”

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    • Work-Life-Balance
    • Kultur & Werte
    • Karriere­chancen
    • Vergütung und Zusatzleistungen
    • Führungs­ebene
    Ehem. Praktikant - Intern 
    Empfiehlt
    Befürwortet Geschäftsführer

    Ich habe weniger als ein Jahr bei NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory als gearbeitet

    Pros

    Great, academic work environment, with plenty of opportunities to talk and work with innovators and industry experts. Probably the perfect place to work for anyone who really cares about humanity's future in space! My supervisor was a really valuable mentor, and everyone I worked with was friendly and taught me something about their field. Plus, the 9/80 work schedule is really nice.

    Kontras

    The various directorates can be difficult to navigate if you're looking for a contact in a certain group but aren't certain of the group's name.

    NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory2019-10-20

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