National Geographic

www.nationalgeographic.com

National Geographic Reviews

Updated January 30, 2015
Updated January 30, 2015
103 Reviews
4.0
103 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
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Gary E. Knell
14 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The benefits (work from home, green fridays, work life balance) are rare to find in DC (in 12 reviews)

  • That would be brand recognition (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • Constantly changing work landscape, a lot of shifts in leaderships and teams, lots of uncertainty, somewhat low pay (in 5 reviews)

  • Knowledge hoarding, lower pay (non profit), no parking (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great work envionment, so-so business processes

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

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

    Pros

    You get to work with lots of great people, both in your own organization and in other parts of the company. The mission and the societies work is incredible and nearly everyone gets behind it. Benefits are fantastic and work-life balance is good. It's a non-profit that operates like a commercial entity.

    Cons

    Too political for an organization rooted in declining businesses. Culture is very different from one business unit to the next. Limited potential for advancement due to the relatively small size of each division. It's a non-profit that operates like a commercial entity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Salaries need to be more in-line with competition in the commercial space, since that is where the much needed talent will come from. Similarly tele-work options should be more uniform across the board. On-site or nearby childcare would reduce a staggering number of unexpected days off for employees.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great company, good culture

    • 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 National Geographic full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    work/life balance, environmentally conscious workplace, work culture, perks/discounts

    Cons

    not much upward mobility, compensation not the highest

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Geography program intern

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

    I worked at National Geographic as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    -It's Nat Geo.
    -Opportunities to attend symposiums and meet program's explorers. If you like learning about the world, Nat Geo offers some cool weekly opportunities internally.
    -Networking opportunities.
    -In my position, a relative flexible work pace; and room of initiatives.
    -Generally awesome people to work with, HR is mostly responsive in my experience.
    -Green Fridays, you have the option to work remotely or take the day off (well if you don't have any tight deadlines to meet).
    -Willingness of cross-departmental collaboration.
    -The cafeteria and cafe have good stuff at a reasonable price.

    Cons

    -Intern pay is low, but that's sort of expected.
    -Interns are informed about possible extension of their contracts at the eleventh hour, which is why I say to upcoming interns to not have expectations beyond their contracted term.
    -I was quite frustrated at how underwhelming the work pace was, since I was able to finish my assignments faster than they could give it to me.
    -Restructuring is apparently shifting a lot of things around so things may be much different than from what I experienced (i.e. departments becoming consolidated, end of Green Fridays probably, loss of personal offices etc).
    -I was offered a small extension onto my contract but after two weeks waiting after the end of my intern contract I decided to seek a position elsewhere. Again that might have been due to restructuring.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The intern had the chance to meet various higher-ups in the organization for advice and feedback, and I'm grateful for that. I wish the program could be more structured and that expectations of the position could be spelled out much clearly at the beginning. Give interns more responsibilities and have higher expectations.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Waste of time

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

    I worked at National Geographic

    Pros

    Discounts, experience and the people are nice

    Cons

    No room for growth and little compensation

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't hire people with Masters degrees to do jobs that less qualified people can do

  6.  

    A lot of people like working here

    • 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 National Geographic

    Pros

    Non-profit and still mainly acts like it. Profit is important but not the end all. Benefits are stellar but as the years go by, they are taking some of the good ones away. Maternity/parental leave is very very good.

    Cons

    New leadership clashing with old guard who have been here for years. NG is not sure if it wants to be a media conglomerate or an instrument of global change.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make changes slowly.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Trying to achieve too much without working with their employees.

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

    I have been working at National Geographic as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    + Great pay and benefits
    + Friendly, enthusiastic staff who care about the mission
    + Beautiful building campus
    + Interesting museum with changing exhibits

    Cons

    + Not upfront about job descriptions or contracts
    + Hard to get in touch with HR or higher-ups when there is a problem
    + No oversight for certain managers of departments

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees. They are there to work with you and help you make things run smoothly. You are their leaders, so communicate with them about your goals and what you expect from the get-go, to avoid any confusion or hurt feelings.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Company, With Issues

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

    I have been working at National Geographic full-time

    Pros

    Great benefits
    Wonderful people
    Plenty of events to keep you engaged with the mission
    Pretty consistent work

    Cons

    Low Pay
    New CEO is taking away some of those great benefits that are supposed to compensate for the low pay
    Rarely hire from within
    Too many upper level positions, not enough in the middle
    Work/Life balance depends on department managers - some want you there the same hours they are there - can be frustrating
    Occasional nepotism is disappointing
    I MUST copy these two reviews from above because I 100% agree!!:
    "It can be hard to be recognized for your accomplishments. Vocal employees are often rewarded more than the hard-working ones."
    "People are often stagnate here. They would rather stay with the company in a job they've outgrown than pursue other opportunities." - This ties in with the fact that SOME departments rarely promote/hire from within and the aforementioned problem of not enough middle positions

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you are going to start taking away some of our amazing benefits, start compensating through pay, because people will be leaving in DROVES without Green Fridays.

    Start promoting from within, and stop being to obsessed with the pay grades! Why can't a level 9 with 5+ years experience get that Level 11 position? Instead of taking 4 months hiring someone from outside and spending another 3 months training them to use our systems and learn our procedures?

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Great company with tremendous history.

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

    I have been working at National Geographic full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Strong brand recognition, tons of creative people, generous benefits.

    Cons

    Hierarchical culture, competing agendas across different parts of the organization, can feel a little old fashioned.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Address morale issues.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Bureaucratic Baby Boomers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Human Resources Manager in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Human Resources Manager in Washington, DC

    I worked at National Geographic full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The organization stands by its mission and does important work that educates and explores. The staff is committed to ensuring their work is mission driven; however, management is oblivious to the technological changes coming with the emergence of Web 3.0, the looming collapse of existing cable television distribution models, and the lack of investing capital where it's needed most.

    Cons

    Senior management is a breeding ground of toxic politicians who try to brainwash their employees into thinking their strategy is relevant in a digital age.

    The culture has been broken for 10+ years, and there is no real tangible evidence that anything has improved. The amount of office politics is nauseating, and managers micromanage as if it was a company value.

    Pay is below average, and the organization continues to believe it's brand is good enough to bring in top skills. The application process is obsessively regulated, long, and out of touch with today's mobile-centric job seekers. There is no social engagement or social recruiting strategy for hiring top candidates, and most in charge of hiring couldn't tell you the difference between social engagement and social media. Just go onto the company's job site and you will see that no attention is even paid to marketing the organization.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Every senior manager should be dismantling the boss/subordinate relationship because the competitive advantage for tomorrow's company will come from its agility. Hierarchies suppress, even suffocate innovation, and this OLD company is losing its relevance to the next generation of leaders who are looking for companies doing innovated and interesting work, who puts culture front and center proudly in everything they show to the public, and who don't embrace the status quo.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Eye-Opening

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

    I worked at National Geographic as a contractor (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Ability to internationally travel is always a plus. Compensation was fair.

    Cons

    Nepotism and "friends network" allows minimal opportunities for growth and weak leadership across departments.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow for more opportunities to advance based on merit.

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