Critical Mass Reviews

Updated July 15, 2015
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3.1
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Critical Mass CEO Dianne Wilkins
Dianne Wilkins
64 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

96 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    watch your back at all times....

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

    I have been working at Critical Mass

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    They believe in work/life balance and have structured the company around it. There were great and talented people who worked there at one time and helped with their growth.

    Cons

    No true direction. It's all about hiring friends, family and favoritism regardless of talent. Real team building is irrelevant, it's about who's office you spend most of your time in and who you have drinks with. The work is irrelevant. Business decline, poor senior leadership, not transparent about their actions, use people and do not appreciate loyalty.

    Advice to Management

    The people who are now gone, gave you great advice you should have listened or try changing yourselves out.


  2. Happy to be here

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

    I have been working at Critical Mass full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Smart people doing good work on huge global brands and accounts. Great culture, interesting problems to solve, and lots of opportunities to create work that gets noticed. I feel secure in my job, which I'm really thankful for in this volatile Alberta market!

    Cons

    I was skeptical at first, because CM has had a pretty bad reputation around town. People would talk about crazy long hours, burning people out... but when I got hired, the idea of work/life balance and managing your time properly was paramount. It's clear they're trying to undo the preconceptions. All I've experienced here is exactly like any other agency: occasionally projects will require some extra time.

    Advice to Management

    I don't have any advice for management - I like it here, everyone I get to work with and interact with are great. You guys hire well.


  3. Account Director

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

    I worked at Critical Mass full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great big clients. Growing with global locations so not only grow opportunities but they relocate you internationally if you're interested and match a fit. Good, smart people. Really good design and digital work - inventive, innovative. Really good reputation and growing brand recognition because of the work and people.

    Cons

    At the time I was there, it was a little bit like amateur hour from a structural and organizational standpoint. It was more like a "Critical Mess" in terms of procedures, approach to business, etc but I imagine the agency has matured and grown up more and is better overall especially if Omnicom owns them outright now.

    Advice to Management

    Continue listening to employees. Stay focused and prioritize legacy accounts and balance better with new business and new accounts.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Great place to start your career - then leave.

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

    I worked at Critical Mass

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

    Pros

    opportunity to work on world-class projects with fortune500 clients. Very smart coworkers, camaraderie and fun working environment

    Cons

    long hours with very little pay, basically an internship. diffucult to advance unless you are in the right circles, nepotism.


  6. 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

    I have been working at Critical Mass

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    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!


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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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.


  8. Meh

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Critical Mass

    Pros

    Very diverse and supportive, fun laid back culture

    Cons

    Little opportunity for advancement, lots of agency politics


  9. Helpful (1)

    Playtime

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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.


  10. Helpful (2)

    A decent place to be if you're senior management, but not a great place for someone junior looking to learn or grow.

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

    I worked at Critical Mass

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

    Pros

    Big brands, international network of offices.

    Cons

    Poor upper management. A lot of favoritism and not a lot of career development or communication.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on giving your employees opportunities to learn and grow. Challenge them to be even better. Be cautious about favoritism and its impact on overall morale.


  11. 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

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

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

    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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