AARP Reviews | Glassdoor

AARP Reviews

Updated July 18, 2018
373 reviews

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3.6
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AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins
Jo Ann Jenkins
123 Ratings

373 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Wonderful colleagues and great work - life balance" (in 54 reviews)

  • "A very professional environment with great benefits" (in 37 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. "Amazing experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Community Outreach Intern in Baltimore, MD
    Current Employee - Community Outreach Intern in Baltimore, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at AARP (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Work with an inspiring team on huge projects
    -Get leadership in smaller projects
    -Flexibility: The ability to make the internship what you want it to be

    Cons

    - Not for people who want to slack off
    - Heavy work load
    - Fast paced environment (a pro and a con)

    Advice to Management

    Continue working with interns! This was an experience that was immersive and career-altering for me.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Negotiate well at the beginning"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Advisor in Oklahoma City, OK
    Current Employee - Advisor in Oklahoma City, OK
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    AARP has a pension and is mission based.

    Cons

    It’s very difficult to implement change, almost 75% of hires are from the outside, and the brightest bulbs are often covered by duller lights. Hard work isn’t rewarded. They will suck you dry if you let them.

    Advice to Management

    Hire from within. Stop hiring managers and directors from the outside. Have leadership development with career milestones, and reward hard work.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Where careers go to die"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AARP full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good salary; depending on which unit you work for, you might be doing work with a positive social impact.

    Cons

    This is a very top-heavy organization and at every turn you'll have to deal with redundant managers to get anything done. The association doesn't seem to have a clear idea of its priorities and every few months it will roll out a new campaign or long-term project that may or may not be abandoned in a matter of months. If you like having meetings with as much people as possible, this is your place. What I describe is extensive to most of the association. I worked on the editorial side of things and it certainly applied there, along with the fact that AARP relies heavily on contractors to do a lot of the work. These are people who are often paid no benefits or benefits that are substantially inferior to the ones that staff gets, and little or no paid vacation time, even though the place wouldn't function without them. As it is, it's pretty hypocritical that an organization that is supposed to fight for retirement security would hire so many people who don't have a 401(k) and can't even count on decent benefits.

    Advice to Management

    Streamline the operation. This doesn't mean you should fire people, but make sure everyone pulls their weight and justifies their presence. There are way too many - and I'm sure you know it - people there who are simply re-sending emails, attending meetings in silence, or "telecommuting" a few days a week (or even working from out of state) who are simply collecting a paycheck. This is not to say telecommuting is bad, just that there's a culture of abusing it at AARP. Also, stop using contractors who for all practical purposes are full-time employees albeit without the benefits of being staff.


  4. "Don't Let the Good Pay Fool You"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    good pay. clean working environment.

    Cons

    managers do nothing to lift the spirits of employees. lots of dysfunction. i've never witness such low morale.

    Advice to Management

    teach midlevel managers to be nicer and more supportive. most managers possess little or no skill at getting the best out of their workers. i wish i could give zero stars for senior management.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Good temporary job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AARP part-time

    Pros

    Free coffee , potlucks, quiet workplace

    Cons

    Very strict, no phone on workplace. Employee s drop like flies


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Worthy mission, but can be frustrating"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AARP full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great pay, excellent benefits, smart and committed colleagues. Top management will listen to employees and make some positive changes based on employee surveys.

    Cons

    Slow to make decisions; employees sometimes caught in turf wars among managers; association is becoming more bottom-line focused

    Advice to Management

    Value your longtime employees who have worked hard to make the organization great. Do not discard them because in your eyes they are more expensive to keep than younger people.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Editorial hires beware!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Editorial Staffer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Editorial Staffer in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AARP full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Leadership is spending millions on renovating the building - maybe not a good use of membership fees, but it will be a great facility.
    If you are in the right department, you're golden.
    Decent pay and benefits.

    Cons

    1. Editorial leadership is nasty, out-of-touch and not forthcoming.
    2. Content providers and lower-rung editors constantly ridiculed and abused by upper management.
    3. Ideas must conform to assorted agendas.
    4. Content producers are not valued.
     5. Managers have no idea how to motivate or reward staff.
    6. There's a Devil Wore Prada mentality among key senior editors.
    7. Too many meetings, which seem to serve the purpose of justifying many underwhelming jobs.

    Advice to Management

    Something stinks in the upper ranks of editorial leadership, which rules with an iron fist, is out of touch with readership and treats lower-rung employees like dirt.

  8. "Is it really worth the money?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AARP full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits.

    Cons

    Worked for many years in various roles, and can say hands down that the organization has grown increasingly dysfunctional with current management (in my department) displaying blatant acts of moral corruption - milking benefits with excessive travel and expensing while simultaneously exercising favoritism and suppressing creativity and upward mobility. Overall, most people working in the media department are miserable and too scared to say anything about it because they know they will be let go, or punished in some legitimatized way.

    Advice to Management

    To overarching upper management - get rid of top management in the Publications Department, and bring in a younger generation of leaders. Frankly, the people at the helm in the Pubs dept have no business managing, despite having connections to the Media industry,


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Outreach Director"

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

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

    Pros

    Fantastic social mission and outstanding benefits package.

    Cons

    Workload issues are not being adequately addressed. Increasing expectations of staff, spread very thin.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Not a company that values their workers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at AARP full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    flexible schedule and office location.

    Cons

    Tiny desks and work spaces if you're not management. Literally can't get your legs under your desk if you're taller than 6'0", and there's no room to store your stuff. Also, there's no cubicles, just open space -- so if you're disabled (like me) it's very uncomfortable, and very noisy, and very distracting.

    Perks like coffee, forks, knives, etc -- nonexistant. There is a constant sense that they will nickle and dime everything so as to save a buck. I have never worked somewhere that values their employees (especially their contractors) worse than they do here.

    They tend to hire most people as contractors in an attempt at getting around benefits. Don't fall for this. You get a tiny desk space, none of the benefits. For instance, training on using meeting spaces is only available to employees. If you want to use the gym, you have to be an employee. If you want to take a yoga class -- that will cost you far more than any local class in the area. It's pretty bad, and there are hundreds of more examples.

    Advice to Management

    Value your employees and quit treating contractors like 2nd class citizens.


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