I have been working at SAGE Publications full-time
There is something very special about this place. Something ineffable. Educational Publishing can be a daunting and at times damnable profession. The challenges are great and a great many companies are withering and fading as a result. Mass layoffs, downsizing, wrong-headed product development and a whole lot of head-scratching is the norm. Many of the people I have grown up with in this industry have left it. Most of them, in fact.
Sage stands above this, somehow. We face the same challenges as everyone else does, but the approach is different. Sage has doubled down on what has made it so very special for more than fifty years, now. A commitment to disseminating knowledge and to facilitating learning that does not involve the development of very many bells and whistles, but rather to engaging with the best and the brightest authorship and researchers and delivering content at an abundantly fair and reasonable price for students and learners across the spectrum.
Sage is an organization that truly cares for - and about - its employees. They seem to pour as much care into the selection of employees as they do in the selection of their authors. It is not easy to land a job with Sage - they will examine you six ways to Sunday before finally, perhaps, offering you a position. You may interview unsuccessfully for multiple positions before you - and they - find that perfect "fit." But it is all worth it when and if you do make that formal connection!
I work in field sales, a position that involves a ton of travel and a whole lot of grunt-work. There is a great joy and freedom involved with this kind of position, but also a lot of risk and a great deal of sweat and effort. For the first time in my publishing career, I feel as if I am supported on all sides of the equation.
The base pay is competitive and the bonus potential has no rival in this industry today. Sales representatives with Sage routinely earn bonuses in the 30-40k range simply for achieving their annual sales goal, in an industry where comparable payouts dwell into the $15-25k range.
The health care plan is ridiculously good. As a single, I pay less than $40 per month and everything else is covered, save for the usual $20 co-pay for an office visit. Alternative medicine is included in the plan to a fantastic degree. Massages, chiropractic, acupuncture, etc. are all covered for us. Sage seems quite holistic in the care and feeding of its employees. They seem to feel that a healthy employee is a productive one, and they truly put their money where their mouth is in that regard.
At least once per month, my boss (who lives several states away from me) pauses to ask "are you having fun?"
Yes, working for Sage is truly fun. Not every day is a great one, of course, but I have to tell you -- knowing that your company stands squarely behind you and that they are bending over backward to support you and your efforts -- it would be very difficult to not have fun working with this company!
I can' t help but feel like Sage is like "the little engine that could" from childhood lore. The employees populating this little machine are all quite ordinary, the kind of folks you see at little league games or stand behind in the grocery line. Yet, somehow, they come together to debate, discuss, and to arrive at very correct decisions, time after time.
Here is the real difference: in my previous position, with a large and now-failing publishing company, I would have to fight and trick my way into gaining a couple of minutes with a college professor (our customers). Representing Sage, I am welcomed in - gladly - and offered a seat. My thoughts and advice are valued by our customers. I cannot begin to describe what a sea-change that has been in my professional life.
I was born with or raised to have a very strong work ethic, quite frankly. I find that I work twice as hard for Sage as I ever have simply because I know they are doing the same for me and the others like me out here , in the field, across the country.
If you seek employment that is as rewarding as it is challenging, if you want to work with the best and the brightest and if you seek to ease yourself into a very established and winning culture, I highly encourage you to look further into Sage. Just do your homework first.
As many others have observed, the 401K plan leaves a lot to be desired. Truly the one weak spot in an otherwise superb benefit package.
The PTO is average. Two weeks to start, eventually growing after a few years. Each employee is granted an extra week off -- and a company-sponsored trip to one of the cities where SAGE maintains an office -- however.
The Sage culture can be a bit opaque and mysterious to a newcomer. The onboarding process is more than careful and complete, but it can be difficult for a newcomer to assimilate quickly.
The vehicle situation for field-based employees is different than at most publishing companies. With most, one is handed a standard-issue sedan, a gas card, and an 800# to call for service needs. With Sage, you are given a $600 per month allowance plus mileage and it is up to you to rent, buy or lease and maintain a vehicle. One option is no better than the other, but with the company vehicle plan, transportation becomes a no-brainer. That can be valuable when you'd rather turn your attention to the work at hand for the day or week rather than wrestling with how to deal with this or that car problem that might crop up.
Advice to Management
I feel as if Sage management knows well what path it is on and they seem to be steering the ship quite successfully. Some improvement is needed on the publishing cycle and in retention of Editorial types, but the machine is running far too smoothly for me to begin offering advice at this point. Stay the course and do not fear innovation!
I applied online. The process took 3+ weeks. I interviewed at SAGE Publications in May 2017.
I had three rounds of interviews.
1st: Casual phone conversation with hiring manager. She was great, and made me feel very comfortable.
2nd: Video call with the person who I would be working closely with, were I to be offered the job. Also great, very comfortable.
3rd: In-person interview with person mentioned in second round, and their assistant. Really cool, I got to learn more about the position and what it entailed, as well as their experiences working with SAGE.
Let us know if we're missing any workplace or industry recognition –