Federal Reserve Board Reviews

Updated August 15, 2015
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4.1
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Janet L. Yellen
19 Ratings

Pros
  • Work / life balance can be very good (in 14 reviews)

  • Benefits are incredible: Still offer a pension; 401(k) match that I can't find elsewhere; can retire by age 55 (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • There is an abundance of red tape (in 3 reviews)

  • This is an academic environment, so don't expect to find good (or open) management (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

77 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (6)

    Soul crushing . . .

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Federal Reserve Board full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The Federal Reserve Board is quasi-government, which, among other things, means that they don't automatically adopt policies set by Congress or the President. It also has good benefits and amenities (gym, parking by lottery, etc.).

    Cons

    Unless you like posturing (rather than working) to get ahead, lots of bureaucracy, meeting about meetings, and occupying yourself with busy work that's only loosely related to what should be done, this isn't the place to be. The Board is very divided. Duplication of efforts is commonplace where interpersonal issues can't or won't be overcome. The fractures within the organization can make it difficult if not impossible to transfer to other divisions or units. This is a very political environment.

    Advice to Management

    I don't even know where you'd begin.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Incompetent and lazy colleagues + bully managers

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Federal Reserve Board full-time

    Pros

    If you like not doing real work, you can get by. This one guy in our department shipped 2 lines of code in a whole quarter. 2 LINES! And he didn't get fired. Of course, this is really a con if... you know... you like providing value.

    Cons

    Almost every employee at the Board is either lazy or incompetent. Examples of laziness: 1. Taking a two hour lunch break PLUS 1 hour coffee break consistently every day. 2. Promising that your work is done, but not being anywhere really close. 3. Taking months long vacations. Examples of incompetence: 1. Shipping 2 lines of code in a whole quarter! 2. Managers not really managing, just playing the political game of looking good. My manager would say anything, even say "Oh the project is going soooo well!". Total bs. Examples of bullying: This one lady we work with shouts at our daily standup EVERY SINGLE DAY. SERIOUSLY?

    Advice to Management

    I have no real advice for you, because you'd never follow it anyway. You're too concerned with looking good, playing nice to your own managers, and waiting for retirement. You need to fire slackers and the incompetents, but you'd never do anything to rock the boat.


  3. Helpful (4)

    Beware

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Analyst in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Financial Analyst in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Federal Reserve Board full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Prestige (for what it's worth), adjacent to National Mall, OK cafeteria, annual leave, insurance (health, dental, vision), raises available (but if you are not one of the 20% "high performers", you will tread water economically with low raises with 70% of the staff at the "commendable" (nice way of saying average) level.)

    Cons

    Performance evaluations (that is, the dreadful so-called PMP) use the forced distribution, or "rank and yank" method. Google it; forewarned is forearmed. A set percentage are given bad reviews, with encouragement to quit. The internal webpage shows no one gets below commendable; do not believe it. The entire performance evaluation system is a true insult to workers who bravely try to meet impossible-to-satisfy expectations. Again, my fellow human beings--beware. [To employees (current and future): As low-level managers will be taking notes for the PMP on computer, you must make sure to ask for a copy of any managerial documentation with your name on it. If denied, make note of the denial. Also, take assignments, do well on them, write a success list (for your own eyes only) so that you can update your resume and leave at will. Your heart, soul, and mind will thank you when you leave the building for the last time.] Resistance to necessary change. Just because it worked in 1970 does not mean the exact practice must continue in the Internet era. Excessive division between PHD and non-PHD staff. PHD staff advances; the rest languish.

    Advice to Management

    Complete transparency (that is, sunshine) should be standard operating procedure. Employees have a right to know if managers are making adverse decisions about their careers behind closed doors with a outside facilitator. Forced distribution ultimately will cause systemic failure, requiring congressional attention to fix the mess.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    There are better places to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Risk Analyst in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Risk Analyst in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Federal Reserve Board full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Federal benefits, dental, health insurance

    Cons

    Backstabbing, cutthroat environment. You have been warned.

    Advice to Management

    It is of no use.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Run, dont walk!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Richmond, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Federal Reserve Board full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The benefits. Other than that, I have nothing to offer.

    Cons

    When I started at the FRB, it was a wonderful place to work but it has continously gone down hill. The mid level and senior level department managers are not qualified to hold their positions. Perhaps it was unique ot my department but it is a good back to get stabbed in the back. The Fed is so out of touch with the real world.

    Advice to Management

    Take a hard look at your lower level management staff and consider making some changes. They are under qualified for the positions they hold. Set up a genuine grievance committee like the Fed of yester years. Human Resources does not listen and take complaints seriously.


  7. Helpful (3)

    Great place to work in dc

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Federal Reserve Board full-time

    Pros

    Smart people. Great pay. Great benefits. Flexible work schedule

    Cons

    Work loads can be large at times


  8. Helpful (2)

    Research Assistant, Federal Reserve Board

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Federal Reserve Board full-time

    Pros

    It has a good reputation.

    Cons

    Economists here know they are 2nd caliber. They agree 1st caliber researchers go into academia. They try to compensate by being focused on their own academic research. So they care little about the Research Assistants. No credits are given, and no going out for coffee because they like to stay in their offices. The sociable and smart economists leave for Wall Street firms or move up or out, and only the unsocial and unsmart ones stay put.

    Advice to Management

    This isn't 1980s anymore when the Fed was the only powerful global financial institution. Culture deteriorated since.


  9. Helpful (3)

    Not for a full career

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technology Analyst in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Technology Analyst in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Federal Reserve Board full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The benefits are excellent at the Fed.

    Cons

    There is an abundance of red tape.

    Advice to Management

    stop signing autographs, swallow your pride and know you're not always right.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Good place to work out of undergrad

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Pretty cushy job, very lax about hours as long as you get the work done, can learn a lot from economists

    Cons

    The kind of work you get really depends on the section that you work for. Some RAs get some real responsbilities and will learn a lot staying at the Fed for two years. Some, will learn absolutely no transferable skill and end up leaving a lot earlier than others.

    Advice to Management

    The section I worked for had terrible management. They took no responsibility in training the RAs and gave them no serious responsibilities, which is probably why my section has had such a terrible history of RA retention.


  11. Good.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Very interesting and technical work Ability to work with lots of data and empirical work Excellent benefits package One of a kind insight into economic markets

    Cons

    -Very political and very little collaboration -Hours can be extremely long and work extremely tedious -Sections can be poorly managed and understaffed



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