CIA

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  1. 8 people found this helpful  

    Interesting, but you can't tell anyone about it.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst Student Trainee (Intern) in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Analyst Student Trainee (Intern) in Washington, DC

    I worked at CIA

    Pros

    At the CIA, you feel like you do work that actually makes a difference. They have a structured training program and hold different classes and seminars at least once a week, usually at the main headquarters. Because there are so many employees, there are groups and clubs within the organization for special interests such as Mandarin practice. Their salary is competitive and you are surrounded by hard-working, good people.

    Cons

    You have to lie to almost everyone about what you do for a living or how your day was at work. You cannot have friends from certain countries. If you will be staying in the same house/room with a non-US citizen, you must report it and have it approved in advanced.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Organize the recruitment stage better and communicate more with those you're recruiting. Develop more social programs for the interns. Hold more events in offices other than headquarters.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Glorified journalist.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Bethesda, MD

    I have been working at CIA

    Pros

    Serving your country.
    Relative job security.
    Good stepping stone for international relations majors to other analyst jobs.
    D.C. Area is a great place to work and network

    Cons

    Most intelligence is open source( newspapers) so it's not as glamorous as its made out to be
    Office politics
    No one will read what you compile

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve intelligence sharing protocol.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Excellent experience, great career, great mission, superb opportunity to serve the nation.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Deputy Group Director in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Deputy Group Director in Washington, DC

    I worked at CIA

    Pros

    Meaningful mission.
    Rewards if one works hard, does well, and is a little lucky.
    Meeting phenomenal people who put mission and country before self and money.

    Cons

    Poor management at senior levels is not recognized and corrected.
    Constant reorganization and movement of people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the work force - ask questions of the work force.

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  5. 8 people found this helpful  

    good for tenure, opportunities to move around, flex schedule; not great with advancement or longterm work-life balance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Analyst in McLean, VA

    I have been working at CIA

    Pros

    challenging, interesting, motivating work with chances to transfer internally over a career to try whatever you're interested in. lots of enthusiastic young people make for an invigorating team in most areas. management officially supports flexible schedules, professional growth through academic or personal research or language training, some chances to travel depending on your work. pay seems good at the starting levels for recent college/graduate school hires, but promises of rapid advancement are contingent on long hours and taking on high-profile but limited projects in many offices.

    Cons

    Hiring overload of the past decade means lots of talented young people fighting for management recognition to gain promotion to higher grades, limited number of experienced "senior" mentors to teach all the new people. Senior members of teams and offices have their pick of projects, travel, and high-level rotations. Management overwhelmed by their workload makes it a tough career path although offers better chances of promotion. Short-term they support balance and flexibility but long-term being in the office less hours or at "off" hours means less recognition, like most places.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More consistent recognition of staff's efforts, knowledge building, an long-term goals would help make them feel they're not hired only to get the job done today with little interest in next year.

  6. 12 people found this helpful  

    Behind the Times and Slow to Catch Up

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in McLean, VA

    I have been working at CIA

    Pros

    --Job security, especially in an uncertain economy
    --Great benefits, including pension with employer contributions
    --Good work/life balance
    --Opportunities to do different jobs and kinds of work, including living and working overseas
    --Training and travel opportunities
    --Well-educated and smart colleagues

    Cons

    --Mediocre and unprofessional management
    --Bureaucratic mindset among analysts and managers
    --Obsession with "chasing the news" and little focus on real analysis
    --Satisfied with mediocre written products
    --Closed-minded and unwilling to consider new and different ideas
    --A good ten years behind the times in utilizing new technologies and processes for the general workforce

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    --Stop rewarding and promoting managers who only care about looking good to their seniors and reward and promote managers who strive to develop their analysts
    --Train analysts to be generalists first and specialists second; too many analysts are so focused on the trees that they don't see the forest, which probably will result in another big intelligence failure

  7. 14 people found this helpful  

    A fun place to be, but don't make it a career.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intelligence Analyst in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intelligence Analyst in Washington, DC

    I worked at CIA

    Pros

    Absolutely a sense of mission with some really motivated people. Some very cool jobs available. You feel your job is very important, and that you're really doing something that matters. Absolutely no chance of getting fired unless you do something horrible like racially or sexually harass someone. If you want a 30-year employers with many different types of jobs, CIA is great.

    Cons

    Many levels of management are almost uniformly awful. All levels of employees are constantly sent to BS training courses. Managers seem to spend half their time in management training courses which are clearly counter productive. Bureaucracy as expected of any federal government agency.

    The absolute worst thing for me was that the best and the worst employees were treated exactly the same in many cases. Same salary, same job titles, same seniority. Need a way to weed out horrible employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn how to WEED OUT bad managers (and bad employees). Since nobody is ever, EVER fired, it seems as if the employees who suck at their jobs become managers. Upper management in my experience was mostly professional and competent. Team level and middle managers were very mixed--some good, some REALLY bad. Management is not the place for passive aggressive introverts with poor people skills.

    Doesn't Recommend
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great sense of mission, with some neat opportunities available, but bureaucracy is a drag.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intelligence Analyst in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intelligence Analyst in Washington, DC

    I worked at CIA

    Pros

    Stable job. Great sense of mission. Get to know some cool stuff. Some great opportunities to do exciting things. Stable salary increases with annual COLA.

    Cons

    Giant bureaucracy. Bad middle management. Career sometimes driven by external events (world affairs). Can miss opportunities to do cool stuff because of bureaucratic obstacles.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote people and dispense opportunities more on merit rather than time served to improve morale.

  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    only one problem i ran into involving g h w bush

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at CIA

    Pros

    i finally feel that i am amongst my peers

    Cons

    not enough face to face time with real human beings only this lousy computer

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    i started out as a seaman recruit and am now a rear admiral lower half so never ever overlook and be prejudgemental

  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Too demanding

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

    I worked at CIA as an intern

    Pros

    Prestigious I guess, but not glam

    Cons

    Too little pay, too much demand to change lifestyle

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    It is a special place, with a critical mission.

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

    I worked at CIA

    Pros

    Excellent colleagues, extensive opportunities, opportunities to address exciting issues.

    Cons

    Bureaucracies can be frustrating. Seniority takes too much precedence over performance

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Limit the tasks, state focused on the basic mission.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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