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I worked at Edelman (More than 5 years)RecommendsPositive OutlookApproves of CEORecommendsPositive OutlookApproves of CEO
You will learn from some of the best in your field. You will work on the biggest brands or biggest challenges facing any industry. You'll be challenged by your peers and clients alike. You will work hard and be compensated well.
You will also have extraordinary flexibility in your career; the firm (generally) recognizes that value comes in many shapes and sizes and that you are more effective if you're passionate so there are amazing opportunities to try new things, travel to new places, to take chances or chart your own course.
There is still a family atmosphere, and Richard cares deeply about that part of the culture.
Despite the cons below, Edelman remains the best of the big firms. Whatever her challenges, they aren't the ones driven by public holding companies that focus on short-term thinking and treat employees like rows on a spreadsheet.
The company defies logic when it comes to growing at scale, but at the same time there are real cracks under the surface.
-Upper management (office-heads and up) has become extraordinarily political and more focused on "management" then leadership or client work. Understandable at many levels given the pressures of growing big things. Unfortunately they are also pretty homogeneous when it comes to philosophical outlook; not a problem if you're well on the political left, but challenging if you're on the center-right.
-Layers and layers. Five years ago, Dan Edelman's mantra of "everyone is an account executive" rang true. Today, not nearly as much. The firm has added large numbers of "operations" people, "practice" people, and other kinds of people that don't really face clients as a key part of their job. Unclear how much value they bring, but HOLY COW CAN THEY WRITE LONG EMAILS OUTLINING SMALL CHANGES.
-Bad apples. Everyone has them. Edelman seems to have some at the very top of the chain. From abusive to unethical, it's unclear how the very top doesn't see them clearly for what they are. Suspending one is a good down payment.
Advice to Management
Add some diversity of THOUGHT to the executive committee. Stop rewarding operators and bureaucrats. Spend more time asking "what's good for the client?" than "what's good for my agenda?"