United Nations Reviews

Updated June 24, 2015
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3.6
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moon
122 Ratings

Pros
  • I've found that the time can generally be worked into a good work-life balance (in 18 reviews)

  • Highly educated people from all around the world working together for a good cause (in 13 reviews)

Cons
  • Some loneliness, Less career growth opportunities, Very widely prevalent culture of color and creed (in 4 reviews)

  • little chance to full time transition (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

262 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    UN OIOS Audit Division

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

    I worked at United Nations full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great work environment, nice colleagues and supportive Management Team

    Cons

    P4-level positions are hard to get as there are not many positions available in the org structure


  2. Great place depending on your level

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Assistant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Program Assistant in New York, NY

    I have been working at United Nations

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    It is a great place to work with good health insurance benefits. It is a very international setting with people all over the world working in the same place. I am happy to go to work every day and make my contribution to the world. If you have a great supervisor, then you are very lucky and also you can keep your spirits high even though your salary may not be that high.

    Cons

    Do not set your expectations too high as you will not be getting huge promotions or bonuses. Depending on your level, you are majorly underpaid or paid accordingly. There are 2 levels in the system: G and P. The system of levels is similar to hospitals where nurses are never doctors and you will never get the same benefits and recognition.

    Advice to Management

    get rid of the G and P categories


  3. Internship with Department of Public Information

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Intern in New York, NY

    I worked at United Nations

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

    Pros

    Great working condition in an international environment;
    Opportunities of meeting various people every day;
    Opportunities of attending international meetings organized by UN;
    A great experience if you want to have an idea of what is the work at UN like.

    Cons

    Sometimes the work is not that challenging and there are very few full time opportunites


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Inept management and horrendous career development

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY

    I have been working at United Nations full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Most diverse workforce you will find anywhere; benefits; free language classes

    Cons

    This is probably the best place to work if you're generally unskilled and looking to stay and work in the US at US levels of pay. If you are actively looking to advance in your career and you are skilled, don't apply here because you will be stuck and unappreciated. The rules and procedures are too complex for staff to understand. Work processes are rote and unchangeable, thus innovation is almost impossible. Resources, such as IT equipment and software, are ancient. The biggest con is that senior managers are paid exorbitant amounts of money to do, in most cases, less work than their support staff do who are getting paid less than half as much, and even less. There are no true leaders here, no one that engenders inspiration.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to manage better--learn management principles and techniques, have a need to improve. Listen to staff concerns and actually take action. Allow 360 evaluations. Draft sound policies and follow them. Keep on pressure with Member States to take the right action with regard to staff needs. Keep better relations with staff unions.


  6. Security Officer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Information Security Officer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Information Security Officer in New York, NY

    I worked at United Nations

    Approves of CEO
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great place to work and grow.

    Cons

    Employment based on contract renewal and expiration


  7. Director (Director-General, or CEO)

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Director in New York, NY

    I worked at United Nations (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The United Nations is one of the most significant mission-driven organizations. Name recognition is phenominal. The opportunity to grow within the organization is excellent. Salaries are on par or better than many organizations. International travel possible, language training offered for free. Ability to influence change, depending on the position and level - extraordinary. Jobs world-wide, travel often possible. Women have a better chance now than ever for senior positions,

    Cons

    Large and bureaucratic organization, dependent on 193 countries to agree on change, funding and sustainable employment. Downsizing, with awkward transitions and an opaque process for change. Much built-in deadwood to work around. Country of origin often a preference in selection of candidates.

    Advice to Management

    Build in more opportunity for innovation and creativity. Provide incentives for same. Strongly recommend a complete John Deming-style review of all existing administrative procedures, rules and regulations, with a view to eliminating the bureaucratic, redundant and costly.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Internship

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Intern in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Intern in New York, NY

    I have been working at United Nations full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    An extremely exciting work environment in the midst of international affairs and. Never a boring day if you are self-sufficient and request tasks that relate to your skills and interests.

    Cons

    Some supervisors are reluctant to give interns much responsibility so in order to get much out of your internship one needs to be proactive in asking for tasks and taking on general UN volunteering possibilities at the Head Quarters.

    Advice to Management

    Involve the interns to a greater degree in everyday work. Have a conversation at the beginning of the internship telling the intern what is to be expected of him/her and projects that one can become involved in.


  9. Consulting with the UN

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - International Development Consultant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - International Development Consultant in New York, NY

    I have been working at United Nations

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Good for short term, interim contracts for substantive, relevant work in international development. If you have a clear expertise, opportunities are easier to come by versus if you are a generalist in international development.

    Cons

    There are some management issues and this is not unique to one agency. I've worked for several different agencies and all seem to have similar issues in management and leadership.


  10. Consultant

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at United Nations

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Nice people to work with, strong comprehensive ability to cultural difference

    Cons

    Slow work pace and lack of efficient working framework


  11. Helpful (1)

    Intern

    • 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

    I have been working at United Nations

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

    Pros

    Great working experience, staff from a diverse cultural background, you learn a lot of practical skills on the job.

    Cons

    Unpaid internship usually for 6 months, could be quite hard to cope in such an expensive city like New York.



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