Oceana

www.oceana.org
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Oceana Reviews

Updated January 28, 2015
Updated January 28, 2015
10 Reviews
2.9
10 Reviews
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Andrew Sharpless
2 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Good

    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Washington, DC
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Washington, DC

    I worked at Oceana as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Great atmosphere, good ideas. And overall the office was a great place to work. Would look forward to the projects for each day

    Cons

    Sometimes hard to work as they hire 1 intern for a variety of teams. Managers can be very demanding. Hard work

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Amazing mission, inspired employees, terrible leadership

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

    I worked at Oceana

    Pros

    The mission and potential of the organization is unbelievable. The employees are truly dedicated and work like crazy to achieve their goals. You won't find an employee at Oceana that isn't seriously dedicated to the organization. There is also an amazing sense of camaraderie, support and genuine friendship among staff. The opportunities and responsibilities granted to employees are above average and you often feel like the work you do makes a real impact.

    Cons

    It's a sinking ship right now. The leadership has driven the organization to a place where pretty much every person that works there (from entry level to director) has extremely low morale and is looking for a new job. There are multiple top leaders at Oceana that are unbelievably difficult to work for, and despite the revolving door of their direct reports and constant complaints to HR, nothing is done about it. Most staff currently feel overworked and under appreciated, and like all that matters is the opinion of the board, CEO, and major donors. The upper level executives all blindly support each other and ignore the cry's for help from the general staff that make up the majority of the organization and do the bulk of the work.The extreme top down approach combined with the fact that some of the top execs have unbelievably poor managerial skills leads to an environment of jaded, disgruntled staff who despite having extreme passion for the mission and their jobs (as most people do at Oceana) they end up forced out in order to find an environment they can succeed, advance, and be rewarded in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the staff. Pay attention to what is happening. Everyone that has been there long enough to understand the organization and be a real asset to it is fleeing and it is not a coincidence! A lot of leaders need extreme coaching or are beyond repair and the organization should have the guts to do something about it and make real staff changes. The organization is growing at a rapid rate, and a lot of the current leaders and doing nothing but drag it down. The potential of this organization is unbelievable, but if it expects to succeed it needs to make very serious changes in leadership.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Bad leadership

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

    I have been working at Oceana

    Pros

    Depends on your boss and role.

    Cons

    Hardest part to win concrete policy victories is the executive committee and the board.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Drop the egos and fire you yes men.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Good Mission, Poor Management and Quality of Life

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

    I worked at Oceana full-time

    Pros

    Great benefits package, especially compared to other non profits. Good mission and unique view on ocean management, with their focus on restoring ocean fisheries to feed people and benefit biodiversity.

    Cons

    Expanding too quickly. Lots of buzz around opening offices in new countries without any top-level discussions about how service departments like fundraising and marketing will meet the extra demand and/or what they are actually responsible for.

    Poor work life balance. Upper-level management are incredibly inflexible: employees in the DC office are expected to be chained to their chairs for 9 hours a day, with little flexibility given for natural things like doctor's visits, difficult commutes, or family. The general vibe is that you'e always not working hard enough.

    Office moral in headquarters is very low. HR is helpful, but problems are never actually solved, especially pervasive problems with poor upper-level management. That being said, lower-level staff are incredibly supportive of one another, and they make the job tolerable day to day.

    Leadership often changes priorities of staff, either because of requests from wealthy donors or board members (mostly wealthy donors). I agree with other reviewers that the organization needs to hire more people to deal with these random requests or start standing up for their staff and protecting staff's ability to do heir jobs.

    The CEO is a smart man, but has blind spots when it come to extremely ineffective and universally disliked upper level management. Dysfunctional VPs drag their whole departments down, making it actively difficult for employees to do their jobs well. Upper level management does not trust the expertise of their employees. Employees often feel that when they do their job well, they are either punished by threatened management or are rewarded by more work that does not contribute to their goals. Additionally, very little consideration is given to career advancement, goals, or professional development, especially for younger workers.

    Not surprising, turnover is extremely high in many departments, even for nonprofits.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust the expertise of the employees you hire. Stop treating employees like naughty children who would rather be elsewhere. Pay attention to career advancement goals of your younger employees, or don't be surprised when they don't stick around.

    HR: pay attention when you receive multiple complaints about individual managers. Giving them lectures won't solve things... make staff changes.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good mission, problematic leadership

    • 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 Oceana full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great mission and strong scientific credentials. There's a really nice set of standards for how campaigns should be chosen and run (if they're followed). There are good office culture initiatives in place to encourage social interaction (DC office). The organization is growing a lot internationally.

    Cons

    Getting the actual campaigning work done is difficult when leadership changes your priorities either seemingly on a whim or because a wealthy donor requests it. The organization needs to hire more people to deal with random requests or start standing up for their staff. Central control may have its benefits, but it seems no one will stand up to the CEO.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't let funders lead campaign direction. Your staff, especially managers and directors, have great difficulty building strong campaigns while being pulled in one direction after another due to the whims of leadership and donors.

    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    I organized petitioning and informational campaign events, allocating jobs for all Oceana volunteers in my state.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Summer Intern in Cambridge, MA
    Former Intern - Summer Intern in Cambridge, MA

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

    Pros

    A lot of variety in my work, which was nice for a 3-month internship. Employees were excited and enthusiastic about their work.

    Cons

    I liked my boss but my only complaint work was not evenly distributed throughout my 3 months of work: I was assigned nearly no projects in the beginning, and ended up having to do a lot of catch-up at the end of the summer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I was here for so little time that I did not get a sense, but I did really like my immediate boss.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work!

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Oceana

    Pros

    Great people and a fun office culture. People always looking to help and there is lots of collaboration between departments.

    Cons

    Not too many bad things to say.

  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Employer is a fast-paced growing advocacy group.

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

    I have been working at Oceana full-time

    Pros

    Employees have the opportunity to work with passionate people, engage with challenging problems, and use their skills to work in teams to make a real difference.

    Cons

    The non-profit sector has a lower salary scale than equivalent for-profits, is not subject to market discipline correcting problems, and may have less room for internal career advancement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in your people.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Better run than many non profits

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

    I worked at Oceana full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Efficiently run; great colleagues; social activities; seeing results from your work

    Cons

    No employee development programs or education benefits (common for a non profit)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Foster your employees with continued training and mentorship - they'll stick around longer

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Prestigious, but lots of work done by only a few.

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

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

    Pros

    Brand name
    Celebrity A-list backers
    Noble mission
    Modern offices
    Office events

    Cons

    You could be doing something very easy and very boring/repetitive; or,
    you could be doing everyone else's very fast-paced challenging work that gets shrugged onto you

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    See who's necessary and who is not

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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