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Maddening yet rewarding at the same time

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - TSR  in  Kansas City, MO
Current Employee - TSR in Kansas City, MO

I have been working at Social Security Administration full-time for more than a year

Pros

--Public service. You are the lifeline for so many people and it's extremely rewarding to make a difference every day.
--Benefits. The benefit package is great; flexible work schedules, good pay, and plenty of leave availability. Some managers and positions are more flexible than others.
--Co-workers. At least in Kansas City, the people I work with are extremely hospitable and committed to providing great service to the public.

Cons

--BUREAUCRACY! Some of the policies and procedures the agency uses are so pointless and unworkable--all it does is make life that much harder on the beneficiaries and employees. I wish people who worked the frontline jobs actually designed the policies.
--Nepotism. Too often, people are promoted/detailed based on who they know rather than how well they do their jobs. It's an extremely insular environment, and the lack of opportunities for advancement have a major demoralizing effect.
--Outdated, inefficient equipment and lack of adequate training. The stuff we use is from the stone-age. SSA seems to be under the impression that online services will be the savior of the administration yet the systems that are used are ridiculously behind the times. Additionally, it does no good to introduce new technologies without providing adequate training. We can't serve the public well if we don't have the time to learn the ins and outs of new changes ourselves.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Listen to younger, frontline employees. We do the job every day and many of us have valuable suggestions for making life easier for those we are employed to serve. Stop being so married to outdated policies and focus on making government SMARTER and more efficient. Provide us with adequate resources to do the job and we will find ways to save money without derailing our mission. If SSA continues to be so inwardly focused, bright, young stars are only going to continue to leave at the first available opportunity.

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

206 Other Employee Reviews for Social Security Administration (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    A foot into government employment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst  in  Falls Church, VA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Falls Church, VA

    I have been working at Social Security Administration full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Co-workers are friendly and helpful

    Cons

    Depends on your branch chief.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    promote based on quality of work, not quantity.

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

    Disability Examiner, Arizona

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Disability Examiner  in  Tucson, AZ
    Current Employee - Disability Examiner in Tucson, AZ

    I have been working at Social Security Administration full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    --pay & benefits are good for the region
    --quiet, physically comfortable environment
    --co-workers are decent people
    --you can work fairly independently
    --the organization has an important mission; you are helping people
    --it's stable and fairly predictable
    --they make an effort to train you
    --great job is you are smart but have only a HS degree

    Cons

    --senior managers have few management skills and spend 75% of their time managing up
    --promotion is largely based on seniority, favoritism, and nepotism
    --it's fine for 2-3 years then the lack of mobility becomes apparent...and, when combined with the favoritism, it becomes obvious it may take 10 years to get promoted
    --it's difficult to do quality work because this is a white-collar factory environment - the emphasis is on numbers & once you figure out the best (only?) way to meet those, you have to sell your soul to meet your quota....in rare instances you may deny claims you think could be allowances because taking the risk of an allowance may result in an "error" for you (you can only have two such "errors" per year). Doing high quality work takes more time and after awhile it's a losing game
    --among all positions in the agency (management, IT, medical & psych consultants, and clerical staff) the DE job is the most stressful and the most mission-critical; however, you are treated like you are completely expendable and are not rewarded for measurably good performance
    --you have lots of time off but good luck taking more than 1 week of vacation at a time, and always two months or more apart, because you will come back to a huge, ugly pile of work (it is impossible to avoid this no matter how much extra work you do beforehand) - whereas managers routinely take multiple weeks off at a time
    --unless you started out with few skills, you will gain virtually no transferable skills in this position - the work is complex but it is a closed system and the knowledge you gain is only about adjudicating disability claims (again, few opportunities)
    --high attrition, for all the reasons stated above
    --due to current economic times, this agency is stagnant at a time when people desperately need services; therefore, you have a relentless caseload and claimants who've waited a long time for their claims to be processed

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management requires actual skills. If you have never received mentoring, education, or some type of training in these skills, please go find mentoring, training or education. Don't assume that because someone liked you, then you got promoted, that you instantly and magically understand how to manage people. It's a small agency, get a clue about what word on the street is....don't just talk to your friends, spouses, family members....

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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