Sotheby's Reviews

Updated August 21, 2015
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2.8
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Sotheby's President and Chief Executive Officer Tad Smith
Tad Smith
6 Ratings

Pros
  • Exciting, fast-paced environment working with many smart and talented people (in 5 reviews)

  • Great access to art & property, internal initiatives like art talks and seminars provided by upper management, lots of young people (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Impossible to get promoted in a specialist department, low pay (in 8 reviews)

  • Expect to work long hours (and weekends) for low pay (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

63 Employee Reviews

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  1. Review

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

    Pros

    The company offers opportunities to get in contact with different parties in the industry and provide mobility within the company.

    Cons

    I have not finished my work experiences here to have believable cons, but will find out and give updates as soon as I do.

    Advice to Management

    I have not finished my work experiences here to have concrete advice, but will find out and give updates as soon as I do.


  2. Sotheby's

    Former Employee - Vice President, Senior Specialist in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Vice President, Senior Specialist in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sotheby's full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Sotheby's is a dynamic, innovative company and a leader in the international auction business. To work in such an environment is exciting, fun, challenging and exposes one to an international market unlike no other employment opportunity can.

    Cons

    Sotheby's is dynamic and innovative and along with that comes many long hours, a lot of travel, constant deadlines and a high-pressure environment,

    Advice to Management

    Continue to keep supporting your specialist departments, hiring great talent and supporting management, and continue to always take care of the customer.


  3. Highly mismanaged executive staff

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Gloobal Security Manager in College Point, NY
    Former Employee - Gloobal Security Manager in College Point, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Sotheby's (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great artwork, security team is excellent

    Cons

    management team is very out of touch


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Administrator

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrator in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Administrator in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Amazing art work. Team Spirit (If you are lucky enough to be in a functional department) The ID gets you into many great museums for free Health Insurance

    Cons

    Pay. This is common in this industry; however, the pay is way too low. Always negotiate for more. Upper Management and C-Suite are out of touch with majority of staff Lack of opportunities, even if you are willing to take classes outside of your immediate role, the company does not like to consider you for other business areas.

    Advice to Management

    Sotheby's does not own any amazing products. The great art pieces are consigned by clients...and are not owned by the company. Therefore, the company has nothing of substance, other than its employees, who are by far the company's strongest assets. However, with insane number of cuts, high burn-through rates (people can only take so much S^*$), the general lack of respect towards the people who do majority of the grunt work, the company will soon lose its only asset: The Staff.


  6. digital imaging specialist

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Sotheby's (More than a year)

    Pros

    exposure allot of different genres of art

    Cons

    Not enough room to grow

    Advice to Management

    improvement with cross departmental communication


  7. Terrible place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Can not think of one.

    Cons

    Incredibly nepotistic and poorly managed.


  8. Helpful (1)

    It's great, but

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

    I have been working at Sotheby's full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you like art, working at Sotheby's can be a rewarding experience

    Cons

    lack of structure and low pay leads to high turnover rate


  9. Great Experience!

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Amazing environment and people! HR is incredible

    Cons

    High stress and very demanding workload.


  10. Helpful (7)

    Surprisingly Artless Staff

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Access to a stunning array of art and antiquities, as well as an opportunity to bone up on Art History, if so inclined.

    Cons

    Remarkably toxic environment for those whose parents, grandparents and great-grandparents neither served on the Board of Directors nor spent tens of millions per year at auction. A rigid class system is firmly in place, and the majority of staff aggressively and arrogantly flaunt what they perceive to be their own superiority.

    Advice to Management

    At least go through the motions of acting like you respect the efforts of all who work for you, rather than saving your respect for those employees who bleed bluer than the rest.


  11. Helpful (3)

    Coordinator

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

    Pros

    Great Art education with employee gallery walks. Opportunities to move into different areas of the business are possible.

    Cons

    Disorganized upper management that informs the rest of the business structure. Things are never done in a thoughtful way it is a fire drill mentality. There has also been a push in the recent years to squeeze the lowest level employees overtime and it only has gotten worse over time. The culture is very blame oriented and positive feedback is not a common occurrence. Also there is a great deal of snobbery among many employees but that is par for the course in this business.

    Advice to Management

    I have noticed an exceptional amount of turnover since I started with the company and it seems there is a lack of understanding from upper management that you need to provide positive feedback to the employees who do the heavy lifting. I have heard from so many employees who have been in a position for a number of years just request a title change from an assistant role to a coordinator without asking for a pay increase and have been denied the request. I don't think management understands the importance of recognition of hard work and dedication especially at the lowest level. I also feel as though Human Resources is not a safe space to voice concerns.



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