Critical Mass Reviews

Updated April 10, 2015
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3.0
93 Reviews
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Critical Mass CEO Dianne Wilkins
Dianne Wilkins
63 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
  • 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 Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (5)

    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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    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.

  2. Helpful (4)

    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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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?

  3. Get in and get out

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

    I worked at Critical Mass full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Pays well for most positions

    Cons

    Everything else is not worth it

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  5. High school Drama!

    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Critical Mass

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    CM will push the "fun" to mask the problems it's having. So if you like beer, come here.

    Cons

    They take advantage of hard working employees and do not compensate...well, until they let a few more people go, then you may get a raise. Not a secure place to work! They seem nice at first, but watch out, it's a ploy to get you in the door!

    Advice to Management

    CM needs to pull away from the click it has in upper management. No matter what good you do, if they don't like you, or if their friends don't like you. you will be let go/fired. You have been warned!

  6. Helpful (1)

    Hire em, Fire em attitude... to keep people scared

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I worked at Critical Mass full-time (more than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    like every place i have worked at, lots of smart people

    Cons

    management is horrible.
    Calgary centric, with big chips on their shoulders.
    Unless you are with the Calgary "In" crowd, forget about career advancement
    they hire people then fire them after 2 years to keep the salaries down
    senior leadership has been there forever and live in a platinum bubble
    sweatshop

    Advice to Management

    grow up

  7. Helpful (1)

    Sweat Shop that Thinks it is creative

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

    I have been working at Critical Mass full-time (more than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Lovely people
    great office
    lots of smart folks

    Cons

    - they work you to death
    - the creative leadership is lacking
    - Head office has a chip on its shoulder
    - lack of new business opportunities
    - lack of career opportunities
    - lack of ideas all tactics focused
    - the place is run like a small company
    - they speak of "it being like a family" which is true for about 20 people in Calgary, the rest of the organization, everyone is expendable

    Advice to Management

    Get more senior leadership from outside of your gene pool. Most of you have been there forever and you fall back on the same approach time after time.

  8. Helpful (4)

    little sweatshop of horrors

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Calgary, AB (Canada)

    I worked at Critical Mass

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    CM has some of the most prestigous clients in the world, and the bragging rights one gains by working on those accounts is tremendous. Lots of very talented staff, and a great commeraderie among employees. Relaxed dress code and attitudes.

    Cons

    Pay is terrible. Overtime is completely taken for granted. The best people are worked to death and shuffled off, while those who can schmooze at the office parties are most likely to be promoted. So much potential, but the mistreatment of employees leaves a terrible taste in ones mouth. There are a few dozen people in the "elite" clique, who seem to be "above the law" while the hundres of people who do most of the work are treated like dogs.

    Advice to Management

    Put your money where your mouth is. You talk about how important the people are, but you treat them like garbage.

  9. Helpful (9)

    A Bad Experience Overall

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

    I worked at Critical Mass

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Critical Mass has an impressive client list and portfolio.

    Cons

    This company likes to exploit younger professionals who are less likely to complain about a work life balance. Long hours and rushed deadlines are the norm. While they provide adequate pay and insurance benefits, salary bonuses and recognition for a job well done are practically non-existent unless you are in the right clique. In addition, the company and its people aren't managed well which has resulted in a downward trend in quality work and employee morale.

    Advice to Management

    I would encourage them to take a management course to understand how to manage people, because that's not a quality any of them seem to possess.

  10. Not a great place for working mothers/soon-to-be mothers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - USIL in Chicago (Guatemala)
    Current Employee - USIL in Chicago (Guatemala)

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Despite the boring work there are some really talented and creative people.

    Cons

    Lack of creative work with a high turnover rate.

    Advice to Management

    It's a little hypocritical to start an initiative for women at CM while maintaining some pretty bad maternity leave policies that offers little to no support for professional growth.

  11. Helpful (1)

    Playtime

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Planner in Chicago (Guatemala)
    Former Employee - Planner in Chicago (Guatemala)

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good agency if you're a developer or a project manager. It's run by project managers, and the developers roll in around 10 and leave at 4:30.

    There's always lots of beer in the fridge.

    Cons

    The creative work simply isn't very good. The agency prioritizes timelines, "shipping", and keeping clients pacified over creative.

    There is no strategic thinking. The relationships that Critical Mass has with its clients are so far downstream from strategy that the briefs they get are of the "turn this campaign into an iPad app" variety. If you want to do strategy (not UX - which is all well and good, but UX and strategy are different things) then stay far, far away.

    Agency leadership is not strategic, either in the sense of "understanding how marketing and communications work", or in the sense of "having a plan and steering the agency in a clear direction."

    Advice to Management

    Beer fridges and townhalls are not the same thing as having a culture.

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