Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

www.international.gc.ca
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Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada Reviews

Updated June 27, 2015
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2.8
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John Baird
5 Ratings

14 Employee Reviews

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  1. Deputy Director

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Deputy Director in Ottawa, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Deputy Director in Ottawa, ON (Canada)

    I worked at Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Lots of interesting travel potential. It's a government job, so you can't get fired, no matter how lazy or incompetent. Great pay for the work done, and unbeatable pension benefits. If you want to be in government, it's a very prestigious job to have.

    Cons

    It's a government job, so no one can get fired, no matter how lazy or incompetent they are. If you're not a government type, you'll go nuts from all the ridiculous red tape, make-work, "briefing notes", process, incompetence ,apathy, and overestimated sense of self-worth in the system. As how many people are on "garden duty", and HR won't even be able to tell you. Garden duty are those rotational employees (usually foreign service officers), who don't have an assignment, yet still get paid full time without having to go to work. It's like a 1-year paid sabbatical for being incompetent.

    Advice to Management

    Cut the fat. Do a true evaluation of rotation employee performance, and trim the incompetent/poor performers. Everyone else will be a lot more productive and happier for it. Also, crack down on garden duty. The collossal waste of taxpayers money on 6-figure salary employees not having to work is disgusting.
    Charge even a nominal fee of $5 for foreign services to clients, like other countries do, and see how far the utilization drops, and how much more Canadian clients will expect from these trade commissioners. The who concept of the TC service is antiquated and irrelevant in this day and age.


  2. Web Developer for e-Communications Branch

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Web Developer in Ottawa, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Web Developer in Ottawa, ON (Canada)

    I worked at Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

    Pros

    Enjoyed working on the Web Accessibility Project, good working environment and pleasant co-workers.

    Cons

    No permanent/full time positions available

    Advice to Management

    None that I can think of off hand


  3. Lots of opportunity if you're talented and smart.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Middle Manager - Policy in Ottawa, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Middle Manager - Policy in Ottawa, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Interesting work and the chance to make a difference. Often chances for foreign postings even if you're not in the foreign service. Tons of free training available. Great benefits package.

    Cons

    Promotions and movement can be tough unless you're a generalist policy type. Office culture can be challenging and stifled in some career streams.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out how to more quickly fire poor performers at all levels. Hold executives accountable for the quality of their group's morale and the health of their own corporate culture - grade them on this... You have a great bunch of managers - you now need more leaders...


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  5. International exposure

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    - Diversified job package
    - International travel
    - Interactions with various departments and businesses
    - Interactions with different cultures
    - Building contacts in different countries

    Cons

    - System not always merit-based
    - Lack clarity in terms of planned HR opportunities

    Advice to Management

    - HR road map
    - Enhanced technology tools


  6. Work culture varies a lot from division to division.

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

    I have been working at Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada full-time

    Pros

    Salary is decent, benefits are good, colleagues are generally kind and considerate. There is a lot of opportunity to move around within the organisation and try new positions.

    Cons

    Can be very process heavy, bureaucratic. Too many internal communication, collaboration and data management tools, none of which are particularly effective. Job rotation is built into the system, but handover processes are inconsistent.

    Advice to Management

    The organisation would benefit as a whole if senior management showed no tolerance for repeated poor behaviour from senior/middle managers.


  7. wonderful place to work at

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

    I worked at Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    good environment, good pay, good people

    Cons

    no parking in the area, so public transport remains only mean to get there


  8. Interesting place and work, but resources are being cut and administrative work on the rise

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

    I have been working at Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    People, work, files, open minded place

    Cons

    Too bureaucratic and centralized, no flexible work from home in spite of secure technology availability, those who leave are not replaced, staffing freeze, job cuts or job overburden

    Advice to Management

    People need to be motivated rather than overworked. There is too much public service bashing these days from politicians, media or private sector.


  9. Helpful (3)

    Don't plan on retiring if you are locally engaged

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

    I worked at Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    It's a very conformable place to work and get exposure to the world of foreign affairs. It's basically a mini version of Canada in a box.

    Cons

    If you are hired on in a foreign mission as a locally engaged staff expect the following;
    1) Do no plan on retiring. Rarely do people make it to the point of retirement before being let go.
    2) Do no plan on advancement. Work here for about 5 years, simply for the experience, and then leave. After that it's a dead end job (see point 1)
    3) The Canadian foreign service officers will treat you poorly at best. There are two cultures at a mission. You are either entitled as of Foreign Service Officer, or a lowly servant as Locally Engaged staff. Humane rights are often forgotten.

    Advice to Management

    None really. We provided plenty of advice over the years, only to be ignored. Try treating the locals as you would a Canadian.


  10. Helpful (3)

    Job satisfaction

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Passport Officer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Passport Officer in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Benefits, Workplace health and safety, Education, Challenge

    Cons

    Very little room for advancement


  11. Helpful (4)

    The longer you stay in it the less employable you could become elsewhere.

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

    I worked at Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    If you can be there for a couple of years to get the exposure to international issues do it. Do not delude yourself into thinking you'll move up the totem pole or that the work environment could improve over time.

    Cons

    Dazed and confused bosses, procedures never followed except when attempting to lay blame on somebody else, petty and constant infighting for crumbs, bitterness among staff and a feeling of toxicity due partly to management's systemic refusal to engage even the most basic forms of originality or innovative thinking.

    Advice to Management

    The issues I'm flagging here are well known to management. They know quite well what cultural and organizational changes need to take place to find and retain talent.



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