I worked at Northern Virginia Magazine full-time (More than a year)
Some of the best things about working at Northern Virginia Magazine was the possibility of working many jobs. I worked in the sales department but also gained experience in admin duties, marketing, event planning/event networking, and even did some design input. It was nice because there was your everyday job of calling businesses and trying to make appointments but there were other things you could do to break the daily mold.
Another great thing was the environment. Everyone was nice to everyone; even though there were a few people no one liked. People would go out to lunch together, and you could easily hold a conversation with anyone in a different department, as well as your own. This being my first full time job, the pay was great since I never thought I would be able to make that much; and commission on top was just icing on the cake. For the area, I can see where it would be seen as not very much since the NoVA area is incredibly expensive. If I were single and living off that pay, I would complain as well.
One of the biggest downside for me was upper management. My immediate manager was fantastic and always super helpful, but upper management just sets these ridiculous goals and expects to come back in a couple hours and find it done. They kind of just expect you to pull miracles out of your butt. Another thing is that they tend to talk bad about people after they've left the company, and sometimes don't even wait until then! I was told often by upper management that I had before 'part of the problem' when I became friends with someone in marketing. They also hate it when people from different departments socialize. They do not promote a happy workplace and everyone is much more relaxed when they're gone for the afternoon or on vacation. Vacation and sick hours are a joke. You get a week of vacation and a week of sick leave, so if you take a long weekend in April, and get sick in July, don't expect to get your vacation in September paid off. I have insurance through my husband, so I can't speak for the insurance they offer, but most people have said it is not that great.
Advice to Management
I would definitely advise that you lower your expectations, no one is going to be able to sign $300,000 worth of advertising in their first month. You complain of people not working but you constantly change your mind of what you want and you're mean. You are the only person effecting the turn over rate.
I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Northern Virginia Magazine (Chantilly, VA) in November 2015.
After reviewing my resume, managing editor set up a time for an interview. I met with her and another editor in the office to discuss past employment, future goals and why I wanted to work there. The ME asked me questions about myself and my media and entertainment consumption.
Let us know if we're missing any workplace or industry recognition –