US Department of State Reviews

Updated August 29, 2015
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221 Employee Reviews

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  1. Civil Servant at State

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Advisor in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Advisor in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Fascinating Issues, fast paced environment variety of jobs, travel, respected institution, good federal benefits, serve your country, great learnign opportunities

    Cons

    Uncertain career paths for civil servants, inadequate human resources, can get stuck if you don't work hard to find your next position, lack of late career opportunities, hard to quantify importance to the general public,

    Advice to Management

    Refocus human resources, training opportunities, investment in employees


  2. Great place to work - if you are in the Foreign Service

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

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

    Pros

    Fantastic mission, decent benefits if you are a Foreign Service Officer.

    Cons

    Top echelon is mainly career FS and political appointees so little energy goes into other employee categories. Civil Service largely overlooked.

    Advice to Management

    Management should take an interest in other employee development.


  3. Intern, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at US Department of State as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    They really cared about interns having a good experience and doing substantive work. They let us participate in State Dept intern events like lectures and embassy tours too. People care a lot about what they are doing and are patient with interns.

    Cons

    Unpaid. It's a very formal office culture and people who having been working together for years don't seem to know each other very well.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Foreign Service

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

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great way to see the world and learn how international affairs work Free housing overseas Good pathway to NSC, Pentagon, USTR, Capitol Hill and other parts of U.S.G. Get paid to learn languages.

    Cons

    Promotions are relatively rare, and you have to be promoted periodically to stay in. Not family friendly. Crazy amount of bureaucracy. shrinking budget to deal with expanding workload.

    Advice to Management

    None - management doesn't listen to advice.


  6. State Department

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - District of Columbia in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - District of Columbia in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Values its human resources. Recognizes the importance of knowledge. Really trying to being about world peace.

    Cons

    Undervalued by the American public. Knowledge is difficult to quantify. Peace isn't s3xy.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize the valor of nonagression although the results may not always be visible. Public brainstorming and discussion is important in the transparent ere


  7. Operations Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Branch Chief in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Branch Chief in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Travel to locations that would cost $$$ to go to on your own. Embassy facility managers are mostly positive and appreciate the support I provide.

    Cons

    Lack of upward mobility. Salary is not commensurate with position responsibilities. Rotating Foreign Service leaders prevents consistent policies.

    Advice to Management

    Demonstrate value of long term value of quality facility management to Foreign Service executives. Create SES positions.


  8. Foriegn Affairs Officer

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

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

    Pros

    Interesting work and fast-paced work environment.

    Cons

    It's a large bureaucracy that moves slowly at times.

    Advice to Management

    Empower your employees, whenever possible.


  9. Great, opening doors to valuable policy experience

    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Fascinating work Amazing exposure to policy making

    Cons

    moving as a foreign service officer can be challenging for a family.


  10. Two Class System

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    You get to work on big picture problems, help American citizens, and learn about the world.

    Cons

    Two class system. If you are a foreign service officer, you are afforded more opportunities. Civil service employees are largely pigeonholed under the guise of 'continuity' and looked down upon. Worse so if you are a contractor.

    Advice to Management

    Streamline all processes. Whether it is getting clearances , writing EERs, or just getting approval to travel, there are horrible inefficiencies in the day to day operations. You need to empower your workers more - lots of smart people who are forced into a consensus model results in sub-optimal decision making.


  11. Bureaucratic but very supportive

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Political Officer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Political Officer in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Colleagues are intelligent and thoughtful. Ability to travel to anywhere in the world.

    Cons

    Necessity of serving anywhere in the world. The work can feel tedious and overly constraining at times.

    Advice to Management

    Provide younger employees with more challenging opportunities.



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