IMF

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IMF Reviews

Updated December 11, 2014
Updated December 11, 2014
90 Reviews
3.9
90 Reviews
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IMF Chairman and Managing Director Christine Lagarde
Christine Lagarde
51 Ratings

Review Highlights

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

  • Good pay and benefits, travel with many jobs, intellectual stimulation (in 5 reviews)


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

  • Staff are overqualified for what they do and very low turnover, so opportunities for career development and advancement are very limited (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great group of highly educated international employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Back Office Role in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Back Office Role in Washington, DC

    I worked at IMF full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Loved the multi-cultural aspects of the workplace. Great pay and benefits by US standards are routine by western European standards

    Cons

    Fake deadlines and too much redoing of otehr people's work for those not dealing with economic crises in member countries, and often even in those circumstances there is a great deal of unnecessary flurrying around

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maintaining respect for the organization's role is paramount.. Staff need to understand and demonstrate their understanding of political realities of member countries, e.g., concessions requested of finance minister may not be possible without legislative involvement and assent. That can be very difficult to achieve

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    very smart, diverse people, interesting work, but also very bureaucratic and risk-averse, top-down, hierarchical culture

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

    I have been working at IMF full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits, travel with many jobs, intellectual stimulation

    Cons

    Differential employment contracts create resentment among staff who do not have tenure.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The top-down hierarchical structure stifles creativity. Let your talented people experiment with new ways to solve problems!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Excellent place for economists

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

    I have been working at IMF full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    It's a great place for macroeconomists to work; maybe the best, in fact. You will work with incredibly smart colleagues. It is a very collaborative environment. You get to influence the international macroeconomic policy debate. There is a lot of travel involved if that is your thing, or you can choose positions where not much travel is required. Thanks to its being a UN agency that has been run by Europeans, the expat benefits are excellent--tax-free salaries (NB: if you are a US citizen your pay is topped up so your after-tax income is the same as your colleagues; effectively the IMF pays your tax for you); education benefits (75% of tuition is covered, up to $24T per child); you can bring a nanny; generous leave (25-30 days a year plus holidays); maternity and paternity leave; it has fully-funded defined benefit pension (you can hardly find this anymore!). Job security is excellent; they effectively hire for life (downsides to this, see cons below). And work-life balance is much better than Wall Street; 40 hours a week is typical.

    Cons

    As an international organization, it is prone to bureaucracy, although one consolation is that it is better-run than the World Bank across the street. It is a pretty flat organization so promotions tend to be slow; you should derive your satisfaction not from moving up, but from the variety of assignments available. No one gets fired, which is good for job security but it also means that poor performers are shuffled from one department to another instead of being fired.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    While the IMF is a great place to work, its compensation and benefits package vis-a-vis academia and the private sector has been eroded over the past few years. If management wants to be able to attract and retain good economists, it should restore the competitiveness of its compensation and benefits package. Just as important, it should do more to differentiate compensation based on performance, rewarding good performers properly. Finally, it should make employment more flexible so it can get rid of poor performers.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Experience at the IMF

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Assistant (RAP) in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Research Assistant (RAP) in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    Work life balance, opportunities for growth, and desirable compensation

    Cons

    i cant think of anything at the moment

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Competitive Salary

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

    I have been working at IMF full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good experience to place on resume. Multicultural, working with people with good connections, good work environment.
    Good exposure to international macroeconomic issues, a lot of learning events.
    The benefits (when you get them) are great! No income tax.

    Cons

    Not enough opportunities for younger staff to advance and gain meaningful experience. Can take years to earn a permanent position. The slim chance of becoming staff from a contractor position.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop drinking coffee.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work rich in cultural diversity.

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

    I have been working at IMF full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Respect of colleagues. Exposure to leading edge technologies. Ability to work remotely. Flexible work schedules. Good work ethics.

    Cons

    Under staffed. Work load is extremely high. Salaries could be more competitive. Relationship with vendors could improve. Appearance of a cast system could be eliminated. Reward high performing people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    work on being more transparent and apply policies uniformly. improve collaboration across divisions

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Lots of financial benefits but outdated work practices, does not foster talent and tenure structure promotes bullying.

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

    I have been working at IMF full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The financial package overall is attractive, although very little growth can be achieved on the initial offer and no bonuses. Opportunity to work with some intelligent people and on the international stage.

    Cons

    Embarrassingly outdated work practices. Organisation is unable to identify, foster and encourage talent. Endemic passive-aggressive bullying and intimidation. Predominantly frustrated workforce.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Come up with a way to fire the non-performers

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    It's a good and exciting place to work in your 20s

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

    I have been working at IMF as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Diverse work environment, intellectually stimulating events and generous benefits

    Cons

    Very short career ladder unless you're an economist

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need more transparency in internal hiring procedures

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great organization to work for but depends on your Dep.

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

    I have been working at IMF full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    great benefit and pleasant work evironment. You will have a lot to learn from the smart economists

    Cons

    Your experiences is largely depend on which department/division you're in. If you are lucky to be in the important division (I mean many important projects in the division), you will have a lot to learn but it will significantly increase your OT as well..

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    good experience

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

    I have been working at IMF full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    benefits, work environment, training offered

    Cons

    no career growth, poor management

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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