"The worst part of working at Google, for many people, is that they're overqualified for their job," said one commenter. "Google has a very high hiring bar due to the strength of the brand name, the pay & perks, and the very positive work culture."
Working at Google easily takes over your life.
"The worst part about working at Google is how, when you weren't looking, it takes over the majority of your time and energy," said a former sales employee. "If you are not intentional about how you approach your time, it can quickly become your life."
The company only cares about measurable improvements.
"Any improvement not based on a hard metric was flatly not a respected use of time," said a former Google software engineer. "Usability? Number of bugs? Nobody cared. If you couldn't measure it, nobody was interested in it."
It's hard to be honest with your colleagues.
"It is really hard to discuss any issue unless it is your friend you are talking to," said a former employee. "Objective discussions are pretty rare, since everybody's territorial, and not interested in opinions of other people unless those people are Important Gods."
"The biggest negative, by far, for me has been seemingly arbitrary project cancellations," said an anonymous commenter. "To add insult to injury, people who worked on cancelled projects have promotion applications denied for failing to have made an impact."
There are managers who have been over-promoted.
"People are promoted into management positions — not because they actually know how to lead/manage, but because they happen to be smart or because there is no other path to grow into," said a former technical program manager. "So there is a layer of intelligent individuals who are horrible managers and leaders."
There's not enough employee diversity.
"They hire the same person over and over again," said an anonymous commenter. "Same background, same 10 schools, same worldview, same interests. It's no exaggeration to say that I met 100 triathletes in my three years at Google. Only a handful of them were interesting people."
Working at Google may not prepare you for future jobs.
"The downside is that after doing that for a few years, you may very quickly lose touch with the real world on how to scale things via open source technologies," said a former engineer.
You have to work to set yourself apart, but sometimes that's not enough.
"There are enough talented people that being talented won't guarantee you an inside track on good projects, because there are thousands of equally smart people ahead in the queue and equally underutilized, but there are just enough bozos that you have to prove that you're not one of them," said a former engineer.
"If you are in the process of gaining employment with Google, negotiate hard, be demanding, and make sure to get EVERYTHING in writing," said a commenter who has been recruited by the company several times. "Google makes lots of vague promises, and seems to not deliver."
Only techies can feel like they're making a difference.
"If you're in a non-technical role, (i.e. Sales, Recruiting, People Ops), it's so easy to feel like you're just another piece of the machine," said a commenter. "Many of the processes are already so refined that — as many have said — you feel overqualified to be doing the job."
Temporary workers are looked down on.
"As someone who has worked for a temp job working for Google, the worst part is the smug attitude of those who work for the REAL Google," said a commenter who had worked a temp job there. "They seem to think that anyone who isn't working for the actual Google like they are is somehow mentally and morally inferior."
Despite the downsides, Google has amazing offices worldwide.