CIA Reviews

Updated August 23, 2015
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CIA Director John O. Brennan
John O. Brennan
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38 Employee Reviews

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  1. federal employee

    Former Employee - Director and Deputy Director in Herndon, VA
    Former Employee - Director and Deputy Director in Herndon, VA

    I worked at CIA (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, excellent working environment

    Cons

    Long hours, work is sometimes tedious


  2. Helpful (1)

    Management Officer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I worked at CIA full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Interesting work, wonderful colleagues, travel opportunities

    Cons

    Security restrictions sometimes made for a less than spontaneous personal life but everything always worked out in the end.

    Advice to Management

    Wow. I think Management needs to read the annual feedback surveys that employees fill out and where possible implement some of those ideas. Listen.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Mr

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Intelligence Officer in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Technical Intelligence Officer in McLean, VA
    Recommends

    I worked at CIA full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Positive Contribution to the Everyday Operations of CIA

    Cons

    Work never sees the light of day

    Advice to Management

    Keep Plugging Away


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (3)

    Worst Place I've Every Worked

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at CIA full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Lots of good training. Some good managers, but these are quite rare so if you get one ensure you go where ever they do and you should do fine. However, I don't recommend anyone work here more than 3 years since its not particularly interesting work that they try to sell you on. Its a better environment for white males since the 3rd world which is what they deal with respects that gender/race combo so its only natural that they do better here.

    Cons

    Seriously bad management - that's traditional here. Wasted talent here. Supremely boring - don't let the Hollywood version fool you - there's just a bunch of bald ugly fat guys. NCS acts like a bunch of 13-year-old girls - very immature and petty and are the joke of the intelligence community. Bait and switch you on the job whether you are a staffer or a contractor. Lots of new hires leave before their their 2nd year. Constant feuding with Congress impacts your work, making it simply too challenging to get anything done. Unusual proportion of people having clinical personality disorders who are simply "promoted out" instead of fired - every office has at least one. Delegates most of their work to contractors anyway. Blames their contractors for their own poor judgement. Cut-throat and eager to throw any employee under the bus.

    Advice to Management

    Not everyone is cut out to manage. Contract out more, and just be a good overseer of the contractors.


  6. Helpful (4)

    This is Classified

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Field Operative in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Field Operative in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Best job on the planet

    Cons

    Nothing of any particular note in that regard


  7. Helpful (2)

    Some interesting skills and experiences but gets narrow quickly

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at CIA full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The organization attracts smart people and offers good training in leadership and management. There is an overarching focus on mission that can be inspiring (or homogenous). Views employees as there for the long term so willing to invest in growth opportunities.

    Cons

    Overly bureaucratic so there are way too many layers between you and the product that goes to the policy maker. Difficult to get a breadth of knowledge since forced to specialize in narrow areas of expertise. As an analyst, you will spend most of your day working in isolation reading, writing, editing, re-editing, re-reading, re-writing products that quickly becomes more tedious than interesting. The security requirements are oppressive. It's impossible to provide the best analysis when you are not able to follow an unrestricted path of research and inquiry.

    Advice to Management

    Move away from written products so that analysts can spend more time supporting the time-sensitive needs of policy makers.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Not all glamour and 007

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intelligence Analyst in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intelligence Analyst in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Travelling is the number one upside of this job.

    Cons

    For self explanatory reasons this job isn't something you tell your wife, kids or friends too much about and therefore is more of a lonely job than you might think at first. Also the DC location kind of limits you to a certain degree.

    Advice to Management

    Decentralize more.


  9. Helpful (6)

    Loved the Opportunities

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Finance Officer
    Former Employee - Finance Officer
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at CIA full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Chance to do meaningful work. A wide variety of jobs. Good benefits. Travel opportunities. Opportunity to be involved with high impact projects.

    Cons

    Living in the DC area can be tough (long commutes). The Agency is becoming more and more like the other bureaucratic agencies.

    Advice to Management

    Stay focused on mission, and not on being popular with the public.


  10. Helpful (4)

    Nice experience as an intern

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Intern in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Took me as an intern freshman year

    Cons

    Too strict on GPA, mine dropped a little wouldnt let me return

    Advice to Management

    Have wiggle room


  11. Helpful (9)

    A mixed bag

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Project Manager in McLean, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at CIA full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Ability to travel the world and do the coolest things possible

    Cons

    Culture is best described as "they eat their young"

    Advice to Management

    Listen to why so many smart and young officers leave



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