Critical Mass

  www.criticalmass.com
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Critical Mass Reviews in Chicago, IL

Updated June 4, 2014
Updated June 4, 2014
84 Reviews

3.0
84 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Critical Mass CEO Dianne Wilkins
Dianne Wilkins
57 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great people, who make an effort to make social events fun (in 11 reviews)

  • Great culture of recognition and transparency (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • A willingness to bend over backwards on projects with little to no reward (in 4 reviews)

  • This company likes to exploit younger professionals who are less likely to complain about a work life balance (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

23 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great culture but...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Planner  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Planner in Chicago, IL

    Pros

    Great culture
    Smart people
    Fun add bonus like holiday presents and monthly bonus structure

    Cons

    Wishy washy upper management
    Slow to promote
    Quality of hires vary, especially on pm front

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Tighten this up to help with morale and line of sight to company vision

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Smoke and Mirrors

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    Pros

    A very laid back atmosphere and work environment. Good employee perks, typical to most marketing and digital agencies. Some great people work here. Or have worked here and left.

    Cons

    Upper management is super cliquish but mostly non-existent. Company culture motto is a just sound bite. Some of the support departments in Chi and Canada are a total amateur hour. Calgary runs the show.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ask yourselves what the real reason is people stay less than a year.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    I don't have anything to say so I'm not saying it here."

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Director  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Associate Director in Chicago, IL

    Pros

    Work/life balance, smaller office, reasonable compensation

    Cons

    no leadership, run by millenials who think it's playtime, no creative talent or value for the work, where is this place going?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good Stepping Stone

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager in Chicago, IL

    Pros

    - Management promotes from within
    - Fair salary and benefits
    - Casual environment
    - Execs have an open-door policy and know you by name
    - Strong office and company culture
    - Good work/life balance for an agency

    Cons

    - Clique-ish, gossipy -- we're all back in high school again. While the culture is strong, it's not for everyone if you want some level of maturity in your work day
    - Most accounts are not very interesting and offer little professional growth
    - Lots of turnover

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look at ways to bring in more interesting clients with diverse work--this will allow employees to build on their skills and possibly keep them longer. No one wants to work on insurance accounts for the long haul.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Growing pains

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    Pros

    Culture is key. Fosters a sense of family among employees.

    Cons

    Omnicom ownership has changed the focus from the people to the bottom line. Their continued push for margins have decreased career support and professional development.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good starting point, but you'll find better over time.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Creative  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Creative in Chicago, IL

    Pros

    - Incredibly fun culture and the people are great. There are benefits to working hard with these guys.
    - Potential to work on some really cool projects for brands people recognize.

    Cons

    - Pay is great for people out of college and hungry. Those who've been around for a while can get paid better elsewhere.
    - Losing swagger, partly due to client roster fading over the years and burned out employees.
    - Home office doesn't know how to operate outside their geographical space, making expansion and sharing of great opportunities messy and poorly strategized.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    A good place to start out. Don't expect long term career growth unless you are in with the right people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Creative  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Creative in Chicago, IL

    Pros

    There are some smart, fun people. Like other agencies, the culture is a lax jeans and t-shirts kind of place with beer in the fridge. Random fun office events like Bacon Fest will happen. These things make the cons tolerable for the short term.

    Cons

    Weak client roster. A willingness to bend over backwards on projects with little to no reward. Poor communication with employees regarding vision and expectations as a company. If you cannot fend for yourself and stand up for what you want, you may as well be invisible.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Transparency to some degree would be nice. Provide clear career paths and opportunities. The fun stuff is nice, but in the end people want to feel rewarded and respected.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great place to start your career.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Planner  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Associate Planner in Chicago, IL

    Pros

    Awesome people to work with, and management does their best to take care of everyone. Critical Mass has an impressive list of clients, but most of the work coming out of thie chicago office is financial services / insurance related. There's a few wild cards, but for the most part, the "sexier" clients are based elsewhere.

    Cons

    At times feels like an amateur shop playing with the big boys.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    be mindful of what other digital shops are paying, and be competitive--it's the only way to get and keep talent.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Project Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Chicago, IL

    Pros

    Great fun culture, experienced team members, open door executives

    Cons

    Leads could care more on a personal level about employees

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Firm up a process for pulling in resources to pitches to accurately staff against current projects

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Update on Critical Mass - Chicago

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    Pros

    The office has expanded, it now takes up the entire floor. Lots of new equipment and newly designed conference rooms, large kitchen, many team working areas, etc. Promotes collaboration and group work sessions well.

    Still could use some new clients that bring out the creativity and talent in the office, but steps seem to be taking place - look for some really interesting work (not typically found at an agency of this size) coming soon.

    New VP/group creative director hired, looking forward to see what he does.

    Still culturally a great place to work - tons of events, outings, beer 30's, as well as people going above and beyond for each other - makes you realize it's more then a place of work.

    Cons

    Could use some improvements in the project management side and social media leadership side.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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