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This BLOG is for LLNL present and past employees, friends of LLNL and anyone impacted by the privatization of the Lab to express their opinions and expose the waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA. The opinions stated are personal opinions. Therefore, The BLOG author may or may not agree with them before making the decision to post them. Comments not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog authors serve as moderators. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Working at LLNL

How do you like working at the lab? Pros & Cons?

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Best ever glassdoor review for Sandia Labs:

“You will not find a better company to work for! There’s nothing like it. ”
Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Albuquerque, NM
I have been working at Sandia full-time (More than 5 years)
Pros
This is my top ten list:
1. Easy to get a job. Lack of candidates with US citizenship and advanced degrees resulted in hiring those who couldn't get or keep jobs in private sector. Interviews consist of behavioral questions, and no technical questions are asked.
2. Non-existent dress code. I have seen more cleavage and butt cheeks here than at Hooters. There are many college coeds and office admins who dress provocatively. A+
3. Work-life balance would make French jealous. Many employees take 2 hour lunch breaks and/or always come in late and leave early. Working over weekends is so uncommon, you will not see another living soul around. Telecommuting is encouraged, and some employees never show up for work.
4. Encouraged to come up with the most ridiculous ideas that get funded. Never mind if there is no market for your product/idea because you will get more money to go around and market this product to other groups and customers. It is a great place to reinvent the wheel.
5. At the end of each financial year, you get to splurge on new equipment, computers, and etc to spend down unused funds.
6. Get time off for working overtime.
7. Traveling to conferences and training is encouraged.
8. Outstanding educational benefits – You get to go full time to an Ivy League university while getting paid 75% of your salary.
9. Opportunity to shake hands with state officials and senators who like to come over and brag how much they did for SNL and NM.
10. Free healthcare at the onsite clinic.
Cons
No downsides at all to working here. This place will ruin you for other jobs.
Advice to Management
Keep doing the same thing. There’s no such thing as too much of a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I know this is more of a blog for complainers.

Sorry to disappoint I absolutely love my job.
It is challenging, it pays well and I have the best supervisors anyone could ask for
(I did have some not so talented supervisors at other positions).

I truthfully feel it is the best time of my life.

I am trying to think of something to complain about I guess if you look at the big picture we are probably (in California) making salaries in the top 10% of the country and with out home values we have it pretty good.

I would say that I am encouraged at seeing the new young Scientists and Engineers and how bright they are. I am optimistic to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Quit years ago, and it was the best thing I ever did. Lifers don't realize how awful the place is until they see it from the outside.

Anonymous said...

Previous poster took the blue pill.

We red pill people know better.

Anonymous said...

July 25, 2015 at 7:07 PM

You posted this crap on the blog about a year ago. If Sandia was such a bad place to work than are you so bitter about being fired from Sandia? It sounds like you wanted to keep your job. Could it be that Sandia has standards and you did not cutt it?

Anonymous said...

Like it or not, working at a National Laboratory devoted to nuclear weapons looks really bad on your resume.
I know this from experience.

Anonymous said...

"Like it or not, working at a National Laboratory devoted to nuclear weapons looks really bad on your resume.
I know this from experience."

I would say it looks good on you resume. I know this from experience.

Anonymous said...

Employers in the private sector look for similar backgrounds in hiring people. Employment at a government lab is a disqualifier. It leads to HR putting your application is the garbage or a very short interview.

Anonymous said...

Depends on the employer. In silicon valley, it tends to mean, smart person used to working in a big complex R&D world, but unknown work ethic. Could be a star, or could get kicked out the door in 3 months because he thinks the whole world is 9-4 with great bennies and no hard deliverables, or people to impress by anything except reputation and papers that few people in the private sector care about. Helps if you are young, they are much more willing to take a risk. Other entities in the .gov world, it might be a big plus if you have contacts they care about.

Anonymous said...

"Employers in the private sector look for similar backgrounds in hiring people. Employment at a government lab is a disqualifier. It leads to HR putting your application is the garbage or a very short interview.

July 26, 2015 at 5:40 PM"

Than how come some many people who have worked at the labs have gotten jobs in the private sector and done very well?

Anonymous said...


Seems to me that plenty of lab people get jobs in private industry, academics, DOE labs and DOD labs. It seems to depend on what kind of skills are wanted.

Anonymous said...

Employers are looking for a "fit". This means that you have to have a near-identical background to their existing employees. This will usually come out during the interview process. Many, many people apply to each job in any STEM file. In fact, only 25% of graduates in STEM get a job in STEM.

Anonymous said...

July 28, 2015 at 6:53 AM

??
Where on earth did you get this number? I think you are very confused. The 25% number is for faculty positions with people with Phds or other advanced degrees, most of the rest find employment in technical or STEM fields. This information can be found in
various sources on the such as AIP, American Institute of Physics and so on. Most people who leave the lab find work in other STEM fields.

Anonymous said...

Second paragraph of following article:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/a-shortage-of-scientists-and-techies-think-again/

Anonymous said...

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/a-shortage-of-scientists-and-techies-think-again/


This is for people with undergraduate degrees not graduate degrees.

Anonymous said...

Upcoming contact change puts all benefits at risk. NNSA is an incompetent sponsor. It does not have a single employee capable of writing an effective RFP, for a new contract, nor administering one. This means stupid errors are likely to be an unavoidable distraction in your career, as the last contract change was for those employed.

Have a plan B. Have an offer elsewhere in hand as the new contact terms are announced. Dont luke the new terms?
walk.

Anonymous said...

The old rot promotes new rot. In the past those who could not work were promoted. Those who want to work do a goOD job. Those promoted have to work with people who know those promoted are the rot from within theIR organization. I am so glad I got out after 34 years. Those left to run the LAB have no concerns except their own pay increase at the expense of those they work with at the LAB.

Anonymous said...

The old rot promotes new rot. In the past those who could not work were promoted. Those who want to work do a goOD job. Those promoted have to work with people who know those promoted are the rot from within theIR organization. I am so glad I got out after 34 years. Those left to run the LAB have no concerns except their own pay increase at the expense of those they work with at the LAB.

July 29, 2015 at 8:15 PM

Solid medication, druges, delusions, and mental disability.

RMH said...

I worked there for a long, long time. I would look else where for employment.

Anonymous said...

If you are in LANSLLNS as a mid career or later employee it is a tough call. If you are early in your career,
vigorously explore your options.

Anonymous said...

I know a lot of people who graduated, worked at the lab for 3-5 years, then got a job paying 1.5-2.5x more in Silicon Valley, Wall Street or even prestigious universities. I don't think its a bad place to grow your career in the beginning. However, if I interviewed somebody in the private sector who worked at the lab >10 years, I would seriously call into question their motivation, work ethic and abilities. Most of these people are good people--they just aren't super motivated or passionate about their work.

Anonymous said...

35 years... excellent rewarding career with excellent colleagues, great friends, great location, fine facilities and mostly fine sponsors. Many fine mentors. Good salary and fine benefits. Continuity. Many proud accomplishments. Great place to raise family. Went by much too fast.

But, lots of stress...Some boobs for managers and an unfortunate change in culture due to NNSA mismanagement of the privatization fiasco.

Is past prologue? Who knows.? But I think I might choose it again today. Perhaps SLAC or LBL.

Did I mention good retirement? Retired at nearly full salary eith some pool of tax deferred savings.

This part of life worked.

Anonymous said...

I congratulate 4:49 on his successful career. To look back without regrets and have a feeling of satisfaction is great.

However, the lab of today is not the same place. Back then you had managers that had to have accomplishments and the Cold War gave things a sense of urgency. Now your have careerist managers with few accomplishments and literally no leadership skills. Just look at the top management team of WCI. You're being lead mainly by mediocre former computer programmers with no background in experiment or science for that matter. It's a sad place. But then, the nuclear weapon has declined in importance to the military.

Anonymous said...

Best place I ever worked. I totally miss it.

Anonymous said...

Best place I ever hung out... and this includes a long weekend sneaked into a soroity bedroom, with attendant privileges.

Strong technology, strong people, strong purpose.

Anonymous said...

Sorority bedroom. Who are you? Ted Bundy?

Anonymous said...

More like Al Bundy.

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a software engineer,
6 years at LLNL set my career back 10 years.
If you ain't a PhD physicist you ain't sh*t.
Ego driven programs with no sense of urgency.
Aimless. No real thought to what the mission is.
Poor management and no leadership.
Managers more concerned about protecting their feifdom than producing.

Anonymous said...

Having the lab on your resume is poison, especially if you're applying to a startup. I've had HR people ask me why I was applying to the job because I worked for the government which they consider an easy ride. They will also make assumptions about you too. Had one HR interviewer ask me why I was applying to their posting because I was a "nuclear engineer". I was not, but they assumed that because of the Livermore connection. Mainly they will reject you because you don't share the exact background of their existing employees, even if you have the skill set. Oh, and PhD doesn't matter, at all, even if the job description really requires that level of expertise.

Anonymous said...

August 13, 2015 at 4:39 PM

Perhaps there is something else about you which keeps you from finding employment. In my experience lab employees who have left the lab have been very successful in obtaining excellent jobs in the private sector including starups not to mention the the ex-labbies who made create startup themselves. I would suggest you ask some former colleagues or family members to be honest with you about your true abilities and how you come across, their suggestions could go a long way for you you
in finding proper employment. This is really for you own good. Best of luck on your job search.

Anonymous said...

" This is really for you own good. Best of luck on your job search. "

Actually, just stay home and work on your hobbies. The way the Bay Area is going, your hobbies could turn into startups !

Anonymous said...

I quit 2 years ago. I now literally dig ditches 6 months out of the year and hunt and fish the other 6 months. I do not make enough money to afford health care so the obamacare subsidy picks up that tab. I pay $29.00 a month for 100% coverage and a $100 annual deductible. I should have quit years ago.

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