Pros: The top three things for me at AES are the people with whom I work, the international and interesting nature of my work, and the influence I have in defining my work. I am a senior employee in the organization, which likely makes these three things possible. I also have a collaborative and open manager, which means I am given the freedom needed to do my best work in a team environment. Not all departments or managers are like this. AES is also an exciting place to work right now as it is in transition. Change does not suit everyone, but I like the interesting problems and projects, and I think the company is moving towards more appropriate long term strategies in the energy market.
Cons: AES was late to introduce an HR department in its formation and it still shows. Many managers at all levels are technically capable but lack the soft skills needed for good management. Even among technically strong managers, many lack long term planning skills and much of the work is done as a fire drill. This is hard on employees and causes financial waste on small scale, but which adds up across the organization and creates a culture that is largely unstructured and undisciplined. HR itself can lack that structure and discipline, which means that most interactions with that group take too much time, are opaque, and are often left incomplete. Also, while I have been told through compensation and words that I am a valued employee, I could in no way tell you if the company thinks I have a career path or if they have no further hope than for me to just keep on doing what I do today. Communications at the company also need to improve. The official communications department mostly sends out jargony soundbites that don't communicate the meaning or import of company strategy. In fairness, communications around specific company events can generate excitement to be at AES and about our strategies, but others tend to struggle with meaning as they are repetitive marketing phrases. This pushes the requirement for communication back to managers who often lack those skills. Finally, a common theme at AES is for employees to have more work than it is possible to complete thoughtfully and in a timely way. I like a hard working environment in which employees are asked to step up. However, the current workload is a constant firehose. There is a constant feeling like a ball may get dropped or that a relevant piece of work will keep being delayed and relegated to the bottom of the list. Some days it is hard to feel job satisfaction because we are so busy with duct tape and bandaids that we frequently lack the space to delevop and implement real solutions. Creative thinking is hard to come by because there just isn't the time or space to do it with the volume of work. Simple items become complex because of delays.