There are newer employer reviews for British Consulate-General New York

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It's a government job, without all the government benefits

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Trade & Investment Officer  in  Washington, DC
Former Employee - Trade & Investment Officer in Washington, DC

I worked at British Consulate-General New York full-time

Pros

Access to leaders and decision makers within US companies and some UK government officials.
The training and learning programs.
Co-workers are fun and knowledgeable.

Cons

IT systems are painfully slow and restrictive, but they are working on a big overhaul.
Staff is pulled in many directions because of matrix structure (three bosses with competing priorities).
The administrative leader for each post (Head of Trade and Investment) have no upward mobility - the good ones leave for Industry, and the bad ones stay because they can't get a better job.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Put term limits of Heads of Trade and Investment. It's the bad ones that drive good officers away.

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

20 Other Employee Reviews for British Consulate-General New York (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Poor pay and everyone's expendable

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

    I have been working at British Consulate-General New York

    Pros

    A good group of overqualified, underpaid colleagues make the work day enjoyable. Can't really say there are any other benefits

    Cons

    It's not a matter of IF you'll be fired, just WHEN it will happen. The policies are draconian and there are so many areas that people can get tripped up by. Really low salaries, little room for advancement for non-British nationals. Many complain about being bullied at work. You have to pay 30% (or more) in taxes, and you have to pay the IRS quarterly because they don't withhold taxes from your paycheck. I actually get to keep less money working at there than if I made the same salary anywhere else.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Locally Engaged (LE2e) visa section job. Great experience if you hit it and quit it!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Beijing, Beijing (China)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Beijing, Beijing (China)

    I worked at British Consulate-General New York full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Pros:

    - The embassy great place for a Brit in China: There's smorgasboard of classy events, great facilities, famous visitors, fairer working conditions than Chinese co. and great exposure to network of young Brit professionals in Beijing

    - Jobs in the main embassy (for example political section) are more varied, less factory-like and, ironically, suffer less from office politics. If you can, get one of these roles instead of a job in the visa section.

    - OK compensation if you're LE2, good for LE2(s) and very good for LE1 +.
    HR *definitely do* have room to negotiate salary. The amount listed in the job description is the lowest 'ladder rung' for that grade. So if you feel your interview went well, you should definitely try your luck!

    - Start at 8:30 finish at 4:30, not a second more or less

    - Advised UK embassy career strategy:
    Go in the Political section at LE2 or higher, take advantage of all training/events/visits, then after 18-24 months either: get promoted, move to another section or quit and cash-in in the private sector.

    Interview advice
    - Visa section interviews are not like most other interviews, all you need to do is learn experience-based stories for competency-based questions.
    Interviewers have a checklist of "effective behaviours" you're supposed to demonstrate in your stories. For LE2 and up, interviewers will generally base decisions more on how well you satisfy these criteria than their impression of your personality. Check the competency framework for your grade on the FCO website and then learn (or make up!) stories that meet the criteria. If you do make up stories, obviously make sure they're vaguely plausible!! Visa officers are trained at spotting holes in stories!

    The questions will all be based on the job description (eg. "give an example of a time when you had to resolve a conflict with a colleague") and the answers (the interviewer's checklist of effective behaviours) will all be in the competency framework. The scoring system is hierarchical - so beware! - even if you hit all the checkboxes except basic effective behaviour 1, your score is still zero!

    Cannot stress enough how important preparation is. Learn framework-satisfying stories for combinations of the skills listed on the job description and you're instantly giving yourself a great shot. Prep up well and don't be tempted to wing it kids!

    Cons

    - Little/no career prospects without returning to UK and applying through standard channels - difficult on an LE2 salary and almost impossible on an LE3

    - Be prepared to work with UK-based staff that will be doing the same job as you for more pay with luxury apartment, Chinese tuition, diplomatic perks and kids school fees thrown in. Some will be in their 20s and may be your line manager. Furthermore, all UK-based will enjoy the benefits that a higher security clearance affords and you will not.

    A frank word on LE3 visa roles
    - For LE3 interviews, the competencies are so obvious that every sane English speaker east of Suez should be able to score highly in an interview. Consequently, personality/connections come into it more...
    If you want to get hired as an LE3 in visa, come into the interview and talk exactly like you're that Star Wars robot C3P0......ie: high IQ, nicey nicey posh polite, very mildly funny and somewhat psychologically dependent on being told what to do.

    LE3 visa work is basic and gritty (data entry, fact verifying, diary keeping, filing). As a result, most LE3s are hugely over-qualified, criminally underpaid and trapped by their (less qualified, highly paid) UK-based manager(s).

    LE3 roles can be stepping stones within visa for the highly determined/lucky/skillful, but don't be in any doubt about the size of the gamble. My frank assessment of former colleagues that tried to get promoted would be that LE3 visa jobs are not a serious career move unless you are already experienced at climbing the greasy pole. If you're not and you're considering an LE3 role in visa, I'd advise holding back and waiting for the next round of hiring LE2 ECOs in Nov/Dec. The calibre of applicant is exactly the same, the pay and work isn't!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    UK-based managers: You rely heavily on your LE staff, too many LEs are stuck in the mud - repay them by making an effort now and again to help long-serving ones to move onwards/upwards/outwards

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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