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Great for a job, but growth, career and bringing out your best? no so much

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

I have been working at The World Bank full-time (more than 5 years)


-Incredible insights to developing countries, people, institutions, government that are not privy to the large majority.
- Overall objective is fantastic.
- Benefits are fantastic
- travel - lots of travel.
- the potential to contribute to the cause ought to be enormous!
Basically the pro is what the bank is supposed to be doing - making positive change to the world in ways that are effective and sustainable.


There is a missing gap to what is the development strategy in the object of helping clients, to what actually goes on day to day, FY to FY and how the institution works.

Basically, if you're young, you will be trolling for work (at HQ in DC) and work that you didn't need that masters or phd to do. Do not expect to lead or get promoted or anything for years - unless you're a great politician. Forget about any ideas you have about making a difference to poverty, or innovating. Quietly put away your brain for awhile and listen to 'the adults' to learn about processes, and do as you're told. Which often entails formatting, sitting in meetings where you are *not* supposed to talk. People do not want to hear about your ideas. Also, you'll be expected to deliver work that others will claim credit for.

It tends to be a very individualistic culture - most people are for themselves and their own career (particularly in HQ, country offices are better, but there's always ego and turf wars going on). The majority of the staff are introverts, and conservative - not great if you're an extrovert and creative.

There are clicks and cronies - less merit based, and more on perceptions and gossip. Example, people who are incompetent but really popular will be preferred over someone who is highly competent and not so popular. At the end of the day, development is a highly complex process that requires not just average capability but the strongest, most brilliant minds on. Putting a popular person in charge of project over someone competent results in sub optimal outcomes for development. Management seem less concerned about results, and more concerned with not offending internal constraints.

Basically, once you enter the bank, it's a whole new market in and of itself. Do not expect to 'brainstorm' with a team of dynamic individuals to come up with innovative solutions to one of the world's most important agenda - to alleviate poverty.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Change the culture. Listen, facilitate and nurture staff, build teams that can put aside egos and careers and are open to suggestions and creativity.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
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