IMF Reviews

Updated August 23, 2015
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3.7
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IMF Chairman and Managing Director Christine Lagarde
Christine Lagarde
49 Ratings

Pros
  • And work-life balance is much better than Wall Street; 40 hours a week is typical (in 9 reviews)

  • Great pay and benefits by US standards are routine by western European standards (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Work/Life balance was a challenge during busy periods (in 5 reviews)

  • Not all staff economists are as competent as one may hope (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

98 Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 years at the IMF

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Coworkers and colleagues are from various backgrounds. Enriching environment. Lots of opportunities to both listen to discussions (when speakers come in to speak) and take some training courses online.

    Cons

    Not a lot of career movement/promotion potential, especially if you come in as a staff assistant. You have to really want to be an RA if you desire to move that way.


  2. supporting staff

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Accounting Analyst in Potomac, MD
    Former Employee - Accounting Analyst in Potomac, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at IMF (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    stable job environments and good benefits

    Cons

    no room for development; some middle level manager have been there for over 20 years with out-of-date technology; different treatment for contractors; very strong political environment


  3. fan

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at IMF full-time

    Pros

    great place to work, great work environment

    Cons

    Not that i am aware of, might be little formal for some


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Great Career Company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Officer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Financial Officer in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at IMF full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Work/Life balance, Pay and benefits are exceptional. You have the opportunity to work with people from all over the world and be part of an organization that truly has a global impact. It's a stable organization and a wonderful place to have a career.

    Cons

    The trade for all of the pros is the difficulty in moving up in the organization once you're in. With such significant benefits, turnover tends to be rather low and especially in a finance role, there aren't too many positions to move to if you'd like to expand your horizons. Additionally, because of the low turnover, promotions and opportunities for supervisory experience don't come around frequently. If you're a person looking to move up in your career, this may not be the right role.


  6. Great benefits vs. limited career growth

    • 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

    I have been working at IMF full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The IMF provides great benefits such as home leave allowance and education allowance for foreigners (G4 visa holders). The staff is very diverse. Organization offers an amazing Defined Benefit Pension plan to staff hired on term and open ended appointments. Term appointment = 3 years and option to be renewed for 3 more years. Open ended appointment = for life, you are only fired if you do a major screw up.

    Cons

    Best career opportunities are for economists while other professionals will encounter fewer opportunities for mobility, growth and promotion. HR rules are very rigid and even stellar performers will hit roadblocks and glass ceilings before getting rewarded (i.e., promotion) for their hard work. Newly hired staff is 3 to 6 years of probation and, at the end, few will be converted to open ended positions. The job security that comes with an open ended position affects people in different ways: some will become too comfortable with the security and lose interest in self development.


  7. Research Analyst

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

    I have been working at IMF full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Smart people and interesting work

    Cons

    Giant bureaucracy and the associated internal politics can be tiring

    Advice to Management

    Hire fewer technically incompetent economists. Also, there is a serious case of "group-think" occurring at the IMF which needs to be addressed.


  8. Non-Economist

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

    I have been working at IMF full-time

    Pros

    Good people, interesting and unique projects, great work-life balance,

    Cons

    Slow career growth, conservative and slow decision making processes

    Advice to Management

    Taking risks and failing fast is not a bad strategy when it comes to operational issues


  9. Economist

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Economist in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Economist in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Knowledge environment, a job where you can make a positive impact.

    Cons

    very stressful, competitive, little room for growth


  10. Helpful (1)

    Great opportunity to see how macroeconomics plays out in the real world

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

    I have been working at IMF full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Bright, engaging colleagues from all over the world who enjoy working together. Exposure to engaging and constantly evolving subject matter across all fields of macroeconomics. Tremendous opportunities for training on individual subjects and programs, as long as we take the initiative to sign up. Excellent benefits for people in entry-level positions compared to other multilaterals in the city--generous annual leave, reasonably priced health insurance, automatic retirement contributions (not just matching), and most importantly job security

    Cons

    Learning curve looks like a staircase rather than a steady slope. It can be steep in part because it's necessary to spend a lot of time learning tools and programs on the job that are developed specifically for the organization (don't necessarily translate). At the same time, once these tools become familiar, the RA tasks can be repetitive. Work can often swing from very quiet to very busy depending on the cycles of individual teams. The institution is extremely hierarchical, and research analysts fall into a gray area because we're not "economists" nor "support staff" (although we take on some of the responsibilities of both). Without a Ph.D., it's very difficult to rise in the institution. In this system, it's crucial to take advantage of as many training opportunities as possible, but these can be difficult to balance with urgent requests to compile data and create charts that may come in at any time.


  11. Senior financial sector expert

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Financial Sector Expert in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Financial Sector Expert in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Awesome place to work if you're passionate about understanding the global financial and monetary system and influencing the policy response to crises. Collegial environment and highly competent colleagues. Relatively little uninteresting work.

    Cons

    Salaries low relative to experience and skill; no opportunity for performance-based comp.



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