All professional organizations, like people, have their flaws and shortcomings. However, as with any relationship, once you observe red flags you should take a moment to review and evaluate. Northwestern Mutual looked great on the outside and does have some 'nice' perks/attributes, however internally; above normal politics and bureaucracy, poor cross-group communication, few or non-existent development processes/procedure in place, did I already mention poor cross-functional communication? And management team that, other than title, is non-existent. If senior management had a clue what's going on, they would literally have a cow... no offense to my Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Zoroastrianism friends. From a CMMI assessment, NM would be a level 1 (or below, if that were possible); Processes unpredictable, poorly controlled and reactive, unclear/undefined roles and responsibilities. Development is definitely in a state of contraction and turnover high.