Update 2017: This post gets a lot of love from Google from people considering taking a job at Amazon in Seattle. This post is almost 5 years old now so I figured I owe all of you an update on how things are going. Hopefully I can also answer a lot of the questions people typically have when they’re making the decision.

First off, I’m about to hit my 5 year anniversary at Amazon. Before Amazon I had never worked anywhere for more than 2 years before getting bored and wanting to move on. That speaks highly to the diversity of projects and great people I get to work with. I’ve been lucky to have found a wonderful team with managers, directors, and a vice president that I respect. When I hear about people who aren’t happy at Amazon, it always comes down to the fact that they aren’t a good fit with the team. I recommend during your interview process to ask a lot of questions about the team’s dynamic. Also, try to get a feel for how long people have been on the team or at Amazon. It’s very likely everyone will be new since there is so much hiring going on, but hopefully there are at least one or two veterans (2+ years at the company) in the organization who have a longer term outlook. 

Everyone asks about work life balance. Again, it comes down to your team so the best thing you can do is ask the people interviewing you about how much time they work on the nights and weekends. They will be honest with you. Personally, I spent a couple of years working a lot. It was partially out of necessity since our team was understaffed, but it was also because I wanted to. I was excited and liked making a big impact and wanted to prove myself. Looking back, there were other ways that I could’ve proved myself than working tons of hours and over the years I’ve learned how to prioritize my time to be more efficient. I now have a very good work life balance which gives me amble time to spend with my growing family. The new paternity leave benefits have also been really awesome for our family.

A lot of people are also unsure of whether they want to move to Seattle or not. We LOVED Seattle. But, I’ve also worked with plenty of people who hated it. If you’re into outdoor recreation it’s hard to beat Seattle. If you want an active downtown with a ton of nightlife then it might not be your thing (although you can find nightlife if that’s what you’re after). Coming from Minnesota the cost of living difference was a bit of a shock to us–particularly house prices and rent (but Washington has no state income tax which helps make up the difference). Definitely tour the different neighborhoods and find the one that’s a good fit for you. 

I couldn’t have made a better decision than to work for Amazon. If you’re trying to decide whether to take the plunge or not I can’t tell you if it’s the right move for you personally. I would say there are certain types of people who do better at Amazon than others–you need to be self driven and willing to speak up. The best advice I can give is to read the Amazon Leadership Principles and embody them. I know that sounds really corny, but seriously, they come up every day at work when we make decisions and are the driving force behind the interview and annual review processes. Also, you might have heard rumors that only jerks succeed at Amazon. I haven’t found that to be the case personally. The jerks I have worked with (every company has jerks, right!) aren’t at the company anymore and the people that have stuck around have been very respectful. 

Full disclosure: In 2015, we moved back to Minnesota after having our first child so that he could grow up close to grandparents. But, I’ve continued to work for Amazon from Minneapolis and make frequent trips back to the Seattle office. 

And no, I haven’t been paid or told to write any of this. I’m just sharing my personal experience. 

Read about our experience relocating to Seattle to work for Amazon below: 


Plane tickets have been canceled and a new adventure is beginning! My incredibly talented husband was contacted by Amazon.com with a job opportunity in Seattle, WA. After much discussion we decided to move forward with the interview process. In mid-April we flew out to Seattle where Bobby had his interview and we checked out the area to see if we would be interested in living there. We were surprised by how much the vibe of the city felt like Minneapolis. We were also shocked how at home we felt spending the whole weekend with friends and family who have migrated to Seattle before us. We spent time with my cousin who is a real estate agent. He showed us the suburban scene and we looked at a few houses. We were amazed to discover that it isn’t uncommon to spend $400,000 on a fixer-upper. We were also continually warned of Seattle’s notoriously bad traffic. We spent an evening with a previous, and soon to be current, coworker and his wife who showed us where Amazon is located and we got a feel for living in the downtown area. We spent a day with a friend from Scout Camp, hiking in the foothills of the cascades followed by a BBQ at his house. The weekend was full of good friends and good times and we began to already feel as though we were home. The final step in the weekend trip was Bobby making it through the interview! While he was being grilled I went and saw Titanic in 3D all by my onesies! Some might say that’s kind of depressing seeing a movie like Titanic alone, at 11:00 in the morning, where my only companions were a rather charming elderly couple, but to be honest it felt good to walk through downtown alone and get a feel for what it would be like to go out on my own in a strange city. It has been rumored that the hours at Amazon can be pretty crazy and seeing as I do not yet have a job lined up I will spending a good deal of my time alone. Therefore, it was good to do something on my own. Plus, who doesn’t love seeing Titanic again and again?!?

We returned to Minnesota and began the process of getting our house ready to be put up on the market, just in case. Luckily, I had been working on it in the weeks leading up to the interview and had gotten a room painted and convinced Bobby to buy bedroom furniture for staging purposes! So, our final steps were giving away and selling A LOT of stuff. After discussing where we would live in Seattle we decided that it made the most sense to rent an apartment or condo in the downtown area, which meant that we needed to get rid of a good deal of the items we’ve crammed into our three-bedroom house. Four days after the interview we were driving to pick up some Thai food when Bobby got the call that would change our lives forever.

Bring on the stress! Two days later we gave our notices at work. Three days later the house was on the market. A week later and after lots of discussion we decided to find a new home for our Schnorkie, Scout, whose love of barking and whining would be most unwelcome in a small condo. Two weeks later we sold both our cars and bought a Ford Explorer. Three weeks later we decided to cancel our European Adventure deciding it was best to hold off until things in our lives were a little more stable before going on another adventure! Four weeks later, with the house still unsold, movers were at our house packing all of our belongings.

Now Latigo, Bobby, and I are resting up at the Gladstone Inn in Jamestown North Dakota after a long day of driving. We were grateful that our driving route took us directly by Fergus Falls and we were able to stop and visit with Bobby’s Grandparents for a short while before continuing on to North Dakota. We knew that staying in North Dakota may be difficult due to the oil boom so we planned ahead and made a reservation at a town that was far enough away from our home that we met our daily mileage quota (Amazon requires us to drive a certain distance every day if they are going to cover expenses) but still far enough away from the drilling that we were able to get a room on short notice.

This is our first big trip (that isn’t camping) with Latigo! He is, unsurprisingly, being a total rock star! He slept the whole way here dealing well with his, somewhat, crammed quarters in the back of the Explorer. After being fairly scared upon originally entering the hotel he really calmed down and has stayed by our sides while still allowing several people we met in the Lobby to pet him without any fuss! Even now as we sit in the room people are walking by and chatting and doors are being opened and closed and he remains incredibly calm, sleeping at my side. It does feel rather odd having a dog in a hotel, this is something I’ve never done before but I must say that my first experience is going rather well!

Tomorrow we start day two of our four day travel to our new home. We are anticipating making it into Billings, MT by the evening! Sadly, today we really didn’t have any time to see any sights along the way (not that there really were any…) but, hopefully tomorrow will be a different story!

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About the author


I am the youngest of six daughters and spent my childhood vacations camping in the beautiful State Parks of MN. In 2009 I married my best friend, Bobby Marko. We have embarked on numerous adventures along with our Golden Retriever, Latigo, our son, Jack (born 7/26/2014) and our daughter, Rowan (born 10/25/2016). When not adventuring in the great outdoors I spend my time as a stay at home mom and volunteer. I am a Branch Lead for the Twin Cities Hike it Baby branch. My favorite pastimes include dog training, eating chocolate, reading mysteries and crappy romance novels, and creating paper crafts, my passion lies in writing.

13 comments

  1. Kelly

    Ahhh I’m possibly moving to Seattle for a job at Amazon as well and I am from Alexandria MN and living in Fargo, ND so I just loved this post! 🙂 So exciting and a great read!

  2. Bobby Marko

    Exciting! Glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  3. Danielle

    So what’s the rest of the story! How is it to work for amazon? How much hour are you working? I’m a software developer and considering moving to seattle to work for amazon but I also have two young childrens.

  4. Bobby Marko

    Hi Danielle,

    Working at Amazon is great! I’ve been here 3 years now and am loving it. It’s the longest I’ve ever worked for a company. I work about 45 hours per work now, but that has fluctuated a lot over the years. It definitely depends on your manager and the team you’re on so I’d recommend asking the people on your loop about what their work/life balance is like. There are a lots of us here with young kids, so you won’t be alone! Feel free to email me if you want more specifics – email address is on our home page.

  5. Phil

    Thanks for the post. I’m curious as to how are things flowing with y’all? How’s the weather/gloom? Have you found a place to live permanently? I’m in a similar situation(in finance field) but no offer yet. My wife and i were living in Portland, OR but the job market there sucks.

  6. Bobby Marko

    Hi Phil,

    We moved back to Minnesota in February 2015 to be closer to family after having our son. If it wasn’t for wanting to be closer to grandparents we would definitely still be living in Washington. We spent 3 winters there and the gloom can get to you, but we spent a lot of time in the mountains and on the east side of the cascades on the weekends where the weather was sunnier to help deal with it. Also, being from Minnesota, it was a lot easier to deal with a little bit of rain and 50 degree weather than freezing cold temps and tons of snow! The job market in Seattle is definitely really good right now so you should have no trouble finding someplace to work. The biggest issue we had was the cost of housing — the market is crazy! Good luck with your decision! I travel back every couple of months and still really enjoy any time I get to spend there.

  7. Hope Norris

    Hi Bobby! My fiance just got offered a jon with amazon but we do not know where we are moving yet. How soon did yall know after your interview where yall were moving too? She put her start date as Feb. 1st

  8. Bobby Marko

    Hi Hope!

    Congrats to you and your fiance! The position I applied for was in Seattle so we knew from the start if I got the job we’d be moving there. They didn’t give you any indication over where the job would be located?

  9. Jessica Roan

    Hi Bobby,

    my fiancee will be interviewing with Amazon, they said that they will cover the relocation, but we didnt ask for any details. I was wondering if their relocation package covers selling your current house, like fees for the real estate agent and etc..

    Thanks a lot!

  10. Robert Marko

    Hi Jessica, I’ll send you an email to discuss more. Thanks!

  11. Jessica Roan

    Thank you!

  12. Wendy Kruger

    I was just called by Amazon recruiting to be told I’m “top of the list” for a position. I know this is putting the cart before the horse, but I’ve had to turn down positions because I’m in Colorado and the company DIDN’T pay relocation. (I won’t name the company, but it rhymes with Tree Ray.) Anyway, I would be moving alone–no family–do you think it’s still covered in this case? And, like Jessica, I wondered about relocation details. I don’t want to move furniture–it’s all staying with my daughter and her new place–so wasn’t sure if that would be a huge issue starting out? (I plan to do all that furnishing stuff gradually, and only interested in renting.) Lots of things touched on there, but all stuff I’m curious about. 🙂

  13. Bobby Marko

    Hi Wendy, I’m going to send you an email. Talk soon!

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