US Department of State Reviews

Updated July 30, 2015
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390 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Interior Designer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA

    I worked at US Department of State full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Such a rewarding job! Opportunity for growth and advancement is A+.

    Cons

    PSC do not receive full benefits such as the Direct Hires/GS positions. GS can't get fired as easily as a contractor/PSC.

    Advice to Management

    Communication & respect!


  2. Helpful (1)

    Information Management Specialist

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

    I worked at US Department of State full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    You get to live and work in awesome places all over the world.

    Cons

    You have to live and work in some truly awful places.

    Advice to Management

    Great organization to work for.


  3. Good. Even better under Hillary.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Department of State full-time

    Pros

    You're doing the most important work in the world. Lots of talented colleagues, and the opportunity to work on amazing issues with global impact.

    Cons

    Long hours, below market compensation, a sprawling, sometimes duplicative bureaucracy, senior leadership that is only interested in two or three issues -- and frequently picks the wrong battles.

    Advice to Management

    Remember that there is a world beyond the Middle East. Try to focus a few hours a week on long-term strategic goals beyond pet priorities.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Community Liason Officer

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

    I worked at US Department of State

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Always changing interesting work. You wear many hats.

    Cons

    Paperwork and reports are time consuming


  6. Helpful (1)

    Foreign Service Officer

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

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    The State Department offers great travel opportunities and interesting work. it is an opportunity to see the world, get paid and serve our country at the same time. There are also nice benefits includiing paid housing and schooling for kids while serving overseas.

    Cons

    Very top heavy with very little incentive for innovation or change. Multiple layers of clearance and supervision that dampen any attempts to streamline or make operations more effiicient.

    Advice to Management

    I would say to management that you recruit a very talented pool of individuals and the work is interesting and that a plan is needed for taking advantage of that talent. Not everyone needs to fit the cookie cutter mold


  7. Foreign Service Officer

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

    I have been working at US Department of State

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Worldwide service; challenging mission; important and meaningful work

    Cons

    Low salary; almost unlivable if you have to spend any time in DC


  8. Helpful (1)

    Great Opportunities To Serve

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

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Working for the Department State you will have opportunities (and expectations) to learn new languages and develop a variety of skills including policy analysis, written communication and most importantly, serve as the face of America to the world. Your housing is provided overseas as is private school tuition for your children.

    Cons

    You don't determine your assignments, especially your first two, afterwards its a bidding process. You have to promote the administration's agenda, despite your personal differences. You may have to live in some difficult circumstances in undeveloped countries. You will most likely, never become an ambassador (40% are political appointees). You will start very low in a large, pyramidal bureaucracy.

    Advice to Management

    Encourage fresh thinking and expand and update the Ask Admin Database, far too often, State employees grouse that it seems as though no one has ever done a PCS or some other routine process because of the difficulty in getting things done.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Fantastice Career

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

    I have been working at US Department of State

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Travel Education Tax Free Housing when overseas Upward mobility Overall working for the Department of State is a great career. Working and living is not for everyone but if you are adventurous at heart and have wonder lust, a career with the State Department is perfect. I have been doing this for over twenty years and the stories I have to tell would fill a book

    Cons

    Moving every few years. Some unprofessional/ incompetent bosses... The Department focuses on hiring academic elitists . Academic prowess does not transfer well to leadership and management skills. Hardship assignments

    Advice to Management

    The Department should review its hiring process and A-100 curriculum. If the Department truly wants its diplomats to be representative of America, it needs to change its culture of elitism. I think the elitism culture comes from the hiring process that culls non-elitists and the A-100 class encourages the same culture. A review of the CIA's and other Foreign Affair Agency hiring and training methods would provide good source material for reforming the process,


  10. Excellent employer, consistently one of the best government agencies to work for.

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

    I worked at US Department of State

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    No matter if your a government employee or government contractor you are treated fairly.

    Cons

    There wasn't much controversy or things I saw that they did wrong in my opionion.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what works and listening to all your employees for the things that will continue to get the job done.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Pathways Internship Program at the State Department

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

    I have been working at US Department of State

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The program has given me a ton of opportunities, including tours of the ops center, attending seminars and networking events, and opportunities for full time careers after I graduate. In the program, I have worked in 2 different offices, both of which have been great. It is also a very well paid internship program which is excellent considering most internships that offer these kinds of opportunities are unpaid.

    Cons

    Starting in the program involves a lot of paperwork and it takes forever to get everything set up.



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