14 Pros and Cons of Working for Eli Lilly

Iconically American, Eli Lilly began in 1876 when American Civil War veteran Colonel Eli Lilly returned to his civilian life as a chemist.

The Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical giant has grown, with offices for over 33,625 employees in 18 countries.

Eli Lilly develops continuum-of-care medicines for diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.

Its legacy includes the first insulin-based diabetes treatment, Iletin, in 1923.

The company was also the first to distribute Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine globally.

A global powerhouse, its products are sold in over 125 countries.

According to the job site Glassdoor, this PhARMA frontrunner rates 4.1 out of 5, based on over 4,364 anonymous employee reviews.

And over three quarters would recommend Eli Lilly and Company as a positive workplace. 

Pros of Working for Eli Lilly

As a mid-western powerhouse, managers, marketers, scientists, and security officers covet opportunities at Eli Lilly.

1. Competitive salaries

Star Trek’s 24th century may have done away with currency.

But in the 21st century? Money is still a necessary and beloved commodity.

Luckily, Eli Lilly is known for highly competitive salaries.

Zappia, a business information site, lists the average employee salary at $100,000.

And Eli Lilly has generated some fairly impressive benefits to sweeten the employment deal.

These extras are available to customer-facing sales and service positions, whiz-kid scientists, and manufacturing aides. 

2. Camaraderie

Eli Lilly employees often cite workplace camaraderie and exceptional ethics as two of the best reasons for working there.

A third, teamwork, is a vital part of research and discovery.

And Eli Lilly encourages an environment where creativity thrives, but no suits and ties are required.

3. A visionary approach

A recognized global commodity, Eli Lilly boasts over 33,625 employees and 18 locations.

Over 47% are women.

While ethnically diverse employees make up 41%.

This inclusive distribution is a determining factor in the pharmaceutical giant’s corporate ethos of respect, transparency, and individual integrity.

To Eli Lilly, authenticity is the name of the game.

And they are continuously striving to be better.

4. Global citizenship

Eli Lilly’s commitment to global citizenship resonates through its numerous humanitarian missions to provide the world with safe medicines.

This socially responsible focus has put the company in the spotlight with a BBC World Sustainability Awards-Cheers Responsible Development Award.

This unyielding commitment to world excellence is a natural extension of Colonel Lilly’s most famous quote, “Take what you find here and make it better and better.”

5. 2 + 2 = more

Learning keeps you young.

And Eli Lilly is committed to personal achievement and professional improvement.

Their generous tuition reimbursement plan is provided to all employees.

Associates can learn a new language or update their skills through a relationship with the University of Arizona Global Campus.

The online campus also offers meditative health and well-being courses.

Or if you fancy a chance to learn to cook, this is the time.

6. Flexibility

Great ideas often “pop” in unusual surroundings.

And Eli Lilly thrives on creativity to achieve the impossible.


Their pharmaceuticals treat dozens of diseases in hundreds of countries.

Unsurprisingly, they value the “eureka moment” over hours worked.

That’s why Eli Lilly and Company offers employees flexibility.

For many positions, they recognize the ongoing benefit of home offices, hybrid options, and non-linear schedules of workdays.

This approach allows employees to cultivate new ideas through a positive work-life balance, ultimately enhancing the corporate culture.

7. Top Talent

Imagine getting paid to work with brilliant colleagues, serving humanity.

Not a bad gig.

And to attract some of the smartest and brightest, Eli Lilly provides a delicious benefits package.

Included are all the usual suspects, such as health and dental.

But there is also a signing bonus and a profuse investment matching program.

The entire compensation package is enviable if you add to that a lavish pension plan.  

And they do.

But top talent also needs to feel appreciated.  

Eli Lilly’s authentic concern for its 33,625 employees is a cornerstone of corporate policy.  

The company understands that burnout is not just about hours.

And it can happen in any position.

This is why ample vacation and personal time are also part of the equation.  

Happy people are invested.

Job hunting is a lot like playing “Where’s Waldo? It can be an overwhelming struggle.

While they offer fantastic benefits, the effort required to join the team may prove overwhelming.

If you want to join a global behemoth like Eli Lilly, then buckle up.

Cons of Working for Eli Lilly

Eli Lilly and Company has its charms.

But not all work environments are good for all people. 

1. Insanely competitive

Even with a reputation of success, Eli Lilly is still only one of a couple of dozen world pharmaceutical companies.

Those that work in the medical research division work long hours under stressful conditions.

So, if you prefer to use your skills in a more laid-back setting, then working on the next big cure may be a bit overwhelming.

2. Welcome to Corporateville

Eli Lilly is constantly evolving – trying to improve 

But that push for excellence is shrouded in a large multinational corporate endeavor.

And for some, being known by your employee number may be a bit sterile 

While the company pledges to hear all concerns, when deadlines are imminent, issues may be ignored.

And the workload becomes overwhelming.

These do-or-die situations may be misinterpreted if you are used to a supportive hand. 

3. Costly mistakes

Working at Eli Lilly requires making an A++ on every assignment.

The company expects excellence.

And the work demands it.

But the commitment to detail is evident in their achievements 

But this is when that work-life balance may take a backseat.

If this is a job-essential factor, bit PhARMA may not be your industry.

4. Reputation

Eli Lilly helped make and distribute the cure for polio.

That’s a hard legacy to maintain.

It is no wonder that Eli Lilly competes for the world’s most talented minds.

In fact, many employees start as interns or lab assistants in college.

And while there is more to Eli Lilly than working in a medical lab, all opportunities at the company require experience and dedication.

5. Unrelenting pressure

As one of two dozen top pharmaceutical firms, Eli Lilly stands apart.

And trying to maintain that position requires loyalty and dedication from its employees.

Sometimes the pressure to succeed is unrelenting.

But some employees may believe those expectations are unreasonable – driven by financial gain.

And they may view deadlines as unnecessary anxiety.

6. Rules are everywhere

Flexibility and creativity don’t equate to a lax environment.

Unsurprisingly, running a 28.5 billion-dollar behemoth like Eli Lilly requires lots and lots of structure.

And corporate life, whether in the United States or Malaysia, is carefully detailed and spelled out.

Not one for rules and regulations?

Then you may want to pass on a job in a controlled environment like Eli Lilly.

7. A surprising level of security

Intellectual property, like the formula for a drug, is a valuable target.

And there are information spies everywhere.

Yes, this sounds like the plot of the next Hollywood blockbuster.

But it is an everyday truth that corporate secrets, as well as employees, must be protected.

At Eli Lilly, security is tight.

And there are strict access rules that go way beyond a locked door or an employee badge.

14 Pros and Cons of Working for Eli Lilly – Summary Table

Pros of Working for Eli LillyCons of Working for Eli Lilly
1. Competitive salaries1. Insanely competitive
2. Camaraderie2. Welcome to Corporateville
3. A visionary approach3. Costly mistakes
4. Global citizenship4. Reputation
5. 2 + 2 = more5. Unrelenting pressure
6. Flexibility6. Rules are everywhere
7. Top Talent7. A surprising level of security

Should You Work for Eli Lilly?

If you’re looking for a strong company with longevity, Eli Lilly is a top choice.

A mid-western icon, this pharmaceutical giant is a leader in health innovation.

With a research pipeline focused on diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cancer, the company has numerous opportunities and positions.

Eli Lilly’s stock symbol is LLY – trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

And at last estimate, Eli Lilly was worth over $28.5 billion – ranking in the top 20 of the big PhARMA companies. 

But as positive as it sounds, Eli Lilly may not be the right fit.

It’s a big company with more than a few big company problems.

A little research may be necessary to puzzle out the global culture, its work style, and its values.

Try a few general online searches.

You can check company pages and job reviews on Indeed, Monster, and Glassdoor.

This will give you an idea of overall employee satisfaction.

These sites are also a good source of compensation policies and benefits – helping you make the right choice.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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