Critical Mass Reviews

Updated August 21, 2015
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3.3
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Critical Mass CEO Dianne Wilkins
Dianne Wilkins
18 Ratings

Pros
  • Most people are great to work with (in 13 reviews)

  • Offers a very good work life balance as employees are rarely required to put in late hours at the office (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Little to no growth in Chicago IT (no next level to move to) (in 4 reviews)

  • Long hours and rushed deadlines are the norm (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

28 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great support and teamwork from everyone. Really smart people to work with!!

    Cons

    Really enjoyed worked here, every place has its challenges, but CM is always trying to improve!


  2. Can't seem to get it together

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Critical Mass (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Smart people, location, career development/mentorship program.

    Cons

    Since they changed management they don't seem to be able to find their rhythm nor connect with their employees. The culture was amazing about 3 years ago, but they didn't make any effort to retain the talent and personalities that made the company what it was. So now, it's a ghost of what it used to be.

    Advice to Management

    Listen.


  3. Just remember, it's all business

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Creative Director in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Associate Creative Director in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Critical Mass full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Some really nice and smart people. Lots of company-sponsored fun and drinking.

    Cons

    Passive-aggressive people, particularly in management. Some incompetent people who have leadership positions and doesn't seem to be any attempt to change that.

    Advice to Management

    Open your eyes to what is going on and don't just believe what people say - see if for yourselves.


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  5. Ups & downs

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Critical Mass full-time

    Pros

    The people are nice, and the culture is fun. It's heavily encouraged to participate. Also, it has a smaller agency feel to it and the execs are very approachable.

    Cons

    Work life balance can be overwhelming. You feel like you have to stay late or put in extra hours in order to advance or get recognized. Too many times I've seen good talent overworked and under appreciated.


  6. Helpful (3)

    Too big for their britches.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Critical Mass full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Offers a very good work life balance as employees are rarely required to put in late hours at the office. Office perks are inline with most creative agencies, including beer o'clock on Fridays, bonuses and recognition for a job well done, and decent employee benefits. Despite the cliquey culture there are some great people there.

    Cons

    Even though most everyone in the Chicago office seems friendly, it's mainly on the surface as it is very cliquey. Upward mobility seems hampered by said cliqueness, since the most interesting and engaging projects tend to be assigned to people who are close to upper management. Backpats in townhall meetings seemed self-congratulatory and hardly sincere. Teams and disciplines fail to share their expertise or project knowledge among each other resulting in inefficiencies across departments. Although there are some talented individuals, the Chicago office lacks the enthusiasm or creativity to produce award-winning work, which appears to be self-perpetuating. Sadly, this last year was fraught with such low morale and non-existent comradery that it became a depressing place to work. Expect to be siloed into project teams for years or months at a time.

    Advice to Management

    Culture trickles down from the top, so consider encouraging a more inclusive environment where employees are nurtured. These days lux perks aren't enough, employees want to feel engaged and proud of their work. Working in isolation does not encourage growth or innovation.


  7. Helpful (5)

    Smoke and Mirrors

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Critical Mass full-time (Less than a year)

    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 Management

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


  8. Helpful (1)

    Great culture but...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Planner in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Planner in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Critical Mass full-time (More than a year)

    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 Management

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


  9. Helpful (5)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Director in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Associate Director in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Critical Mass full-time (More than a year)

    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?


  10. Helpful (2)

    Good Stepping Stone

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Critical Mass full-time (More than a year)

    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 Management

    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.


  11. Helpful (2)

    Growing pains

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Critical Mass full-time (More than a year)

    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.



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