What's the company culture at Northrop Grumman?

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Every business has it's own style. What is the office environment and culture like at Northrop Grumman?

Are people dressed in business casual, jeans and t-shirts, or full-on suits? Do folks get together for Friday happy hours and friendly get-togethers?

What is a typical day in the life of an employee at Northrop Grumman?

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Ricardo in Glendale, California

89 months ago

Northrop Grumman is a typical defense contractor. When I started working there in the late 80's it was a pretty decent place to work. When I walked away from my job for health reasons last year I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of people I knew who actually enjoyed what they were doing. Of the four full-time software engineers in my group at the beginning of 2006, three of us had left the company by that May.

During my tenure there the company had evolved from a place where the employees enjoyed their work and enjoyed the people they worked with (well, at least most of the people they worked with), and where management viewed their subordinates as partners on the same team, to a place where to even suggest that a group go out for lunch or get together socially meant that you must not have enough work to do because you had time to come up with an idea like that, and where management would refuse to even acknowledge employees who were more than two levels below them.

It's a great place to work if you're single, don't have a family, and don't care if you have a life. If you value family, health, personal time, and/or community involvement I would suggest looking elsewhere.

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Mike Leonard in Alexandria, Virginia

88 months ago

I heartily concur with the above comments. I worked at NG for four months until the control freak manager caused me to abruptly quit. We were faceless drones to senior managers. We were supposed to ask permission to go home at night. 10-12 hour days were routine. Sorry, but I came from the adult world and never saw anything like it in 20 years as a government contractor.

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The hired help in College Park, Maryland

88 months ago

They refer to their contractors as "Purchased Labor", kinda tells you how they feel about people right there.

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Anonymous in Plano, Texas

88 months ago

I think it depends on where you work. The company pays pretty well and they have terrific benefits. I worked there for 5 years in the business unit (Texas). If you work in the business unit (accounting, finance, etc), there is a lot of politics going on, watch your back. I'm no longer there because the politics got so bad.

I heard stories that Grumman was really awesome to work for, very paternalistic towards their employees. When they merged with Northrop, things really changed.

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Kim in Compton, California

87 months ago

I think it heavily depends on the sector and group you got hired into. I was fortunate in that I have a supporting group. Socializing is heavily encouraged to improve morale around work. I've heard that other groups at my site work alot of overtime though. So it's all relative I guess. I don't really think there is a standard at Northrop. It's manager dependent.

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ExContractor in Washington, District of Columbia

87 months ago

The hired help in College Park, Maryland said: They refer to their contractors as "Purchased Labor", kinda tells you how they feel about people right there.

Interesting. After 2 years of gov contracting I decided to go back to the private sector. I vow never to do contract work again.

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AO in Newport News, Virginia

87 months ago

I worked for NG for 10 months as a subcontractor to another project. Upon being hired, I had no idea I would be a subcontractor. I felt really disconnected from the NG culture and felt more like an employee number rather than an employee (this is due to being a sub and not a regular NG employee). There are several sectors of NG and they operate as separate entities. I have found a new job and would not like to do contract work ever again (if I can help it).

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Kevin in Baltimore, Maryland

87 months ago

Good ol' boys club. If your not an middle aged white male, then good luck at doing jack in this company. At least NGES in Linthicum MD

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KB

86 months ago

Ricardo in Glendale, California said: Northrop Grumman is a typical defense contractor. When I started working there in the late 80's it was a pretty decent place to work. When I walked away from my job for health reasons last year I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of people I knew who actually enjoyed what they were doing. Of the four full-time software engineers in my group at the beginning of 2006, three of us had left the company by that May.

During my tenure there the company had evolved from a place where the employees enjoyed their work and enjoyed the people they worked with (well, at least most of the people they worked with), and where management viewed their subordinates as partners on the same team, to a place where to even suggest that a group go out for lunch or get together socially meant that you must not have enough work to do because you had time to come up with an idea like that, and where management would refuse to even acknowledge employees who were more than two levels below them.

It's a great place to work if you're single, don't have a family, and don't care if you have a life. If you value family, health, personal time, and/or community involvement I would suggest looking elsewhere.

I don't think Northrop is the only place where the working environment has changed. Businesses in all types of businesses seem to be demanding more and offering less. It's difficult to have a good environment when people are required to do more for less and have the constant threat of downsizing and reduced benefits hanging over them.

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LA engineer in Palos Verdes Peninsula, California

86 months ago

If you are under 35 and have a college degree stay away from NG. The company burns people out. My sector was full of old white males who were not qualified to be in their position and minority women managers who were just grateful to be in their position. What a shame since the products NG offers are very innovative. During my tenure at NG I saw more young people heading to Raytheon and six months later were very content and making more money with better career opportunities. My sector thought the only reason young educated people were leaving was due to the high cost of housing and the old buildings. If that were true then why were such a high percentage leaving to go down the street to Raytheon?

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SF in Palos Verdes Peninsula, California

85 months ago

I'm currently a Quality Inspector for NGST. Sub-contracted via TASC Tech. I read all of these and the thing I most agree with is that it really depends on what sector and program you are on. I have been fortunate enough to be placed on a really exciting program with really good people and very few "bad apples". I work a lot of hours, no doubt about that, but at this place in my life, I dont mind it because it means that financially when my family and I are together and i'm not working, we can do the kinds of things that we could never afford during my time in the military. Ultimately, i've found NG to be a great transition into the civillian sector. My .02

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nufan in Silver Spring, Maryland

80 months ago

Ricardo in Glendale, California said: Northrop Grumman is a typical defense contractor. When I started working there in the late 80's it was a pretty decent place to work. When I walked away from my job for health reasons last year I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of people I knew who actually enjoyed what they were doing. Of the four full-time software engineers in my group at the beginning of 2006, three of us had left the company by that May.

During my tenure there the company had evolved from a place where the employees enjoyed their work and enjoyed the people they worked with (well, at least most of the people they worked with), and where management viewed their subordinates as partners on the same team, to a place where to even suggest that a group go out for lunch or get together socially meant that you must not have enough work to do because you had time to come up with an idea like that, and where management would refuse to even acknowledge employees who were more than two levels below them.

It's a great place to work if you're single, don't have a family, and don't care if you have a life. If you value family, health, personal time, and/or community involvement I would suggest looking elsewhere.

I would completely disagree with this. My team has a lot of fun during the day, but we also get work done. We plan lunches and things, and no one views it as a lack of things to do. My boss is great, very professional, but also jokes around with us. Its a very friendly atmosphere, and I'll do a standard 40 hour week a majority of the time.

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Jadedea in Glendale, Arizona

73 months ago

so whats the culture for IT field in the MD, DC and VA area? i was looking at applying in the lexington park md area. any thoughts?

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subject name here in Arizona

66 months ago

A large portion of NG are recent acquisitions that were formally sovereign entities. This leaves the company with a multifarious nature and very few commonalities between locations. The best you can do is to look around the place where you interview.

I can't attest to the horror stories, it seems in most cases it comes down to personalities of management. That said, it is the country's 2nd largest defense contractor, most assumptions based off of that are likely true. Not exactly a start-up atmosphere. There is a stress on corporate responsibility, which is nice. Seems to be some ethics from my pov.

One thing of note is all of the new Information Systems sector is being bombarded with repeated exhortations to refer and find more talent. There's likely a job here if you seek one.

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Jadedea in Washington, District of Columbia

29 months ago

subject name here in Arizona said: A large portion of NG are recent acquisitions that were formally sovereign entities. This leaves the company with a multifarious nature and very few commonalities between locations. The best you can do is to look around the place where you interview.

I can't attest to the horror stories, it seems in most cases it comes down to personalities of management. That said, it is the country's 2nd largest defense contractor, most assumptions based off of that are likely true. Not exactly a start-up atmosphere. There is a stress on corporate responsibility, which is nice. Seems to be some ethics from my pov.

One thing of note is all of the new Information Systems sector is being bombarded with repeated exhortations to refer and find more talent. There's likely a job here if you seek one.

but not in dc which is where i am at now.

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WaNG in Gwynn Oak, Maryland

21 months ago

Is working at Northrop Grumman good or bad? Consider that it has the lowest attrition rate in the industry. If a company isnt a good place to work, people will leave.
I was with Westinghouse/Northrop Grumman in Maryland for a long time. There are lots of stories to be told. It is a place to work & it is consuming if that's what you want it to be. It can be a workaholics paradise or you can just put in your time. You're choice.

There are the few who have passed away at their desks, some found by guards making their rounds.
The too often obit that comes within one year after retirement.
In 2010 one man retired with 63 years service.
In 2008 or 2009 they provided new employee orientation to a 72 year old.
Of two people I started with, 1 is now VP of Engineering & the other is President of the sector.
I've met a few people and eventually their offspring at work.
Check out the discussion on Linked-In, people who left for a variety of reasons are trying to return.

Sure, it has it's share of 'winners' who are losers. But with the frequency of re-orgs you can get away from them if you try.

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rubio in Washington, District of Columbia

20 months ago

WaNG in Gwynn Oak, Maryland said: There are the few who have passed away at their desks, some found by guards making their rounds.

wow, great story, Wang. Really makes me want to jump on board...

It's a big company, so keep that in mind, but I'm struck with the number of people who consistently offer the same negative observations I have. The culture at this company is awesome if you're a bully without a lot of technical skill. If you're smart and a bully (and white)? wow, skies the limit for you, bud. I've never been at a company so rife with useless middle managers who aren't billable, aren't engaged in mentoring younger employees, and aren't worth anything.

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