Critical Mass Reviews in Chicago, IL | Glassdoor

Critical Mass Chicago Reviews

Updated March 14, 2017
36 reviews

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Chicago, IL Area

3.2
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Critical Mass CEO Dianne Wilkins
Dianne Wilkins
23 Ratings

36 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • People would talk about crazy long hours, burning people out (in 7 reviews)

  • Lack of formalized review process (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Strategy Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great company culture. Solid client roster.

    Cons

    Runs lean on staffing (but who doesn't).


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Project Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Critical Mass full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good work/life balance, fun people to work with, occasional outings, breakfast on Fridays

    Cons

    Moved to the California office for new opportunity with Apple client, but expectations did not meet reality. Management should be real/keep promises to their employees.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Critical Mass"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Illinois in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Illinois in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Critical Mass full-time

    Pros

    Agency has variety of different accounts. Agency has good company culture.

    Cons

    Typical agency hours. Long hours depending on department and projects.


  4. Helpful (16)

    "Pass"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    Pros

    Free Dunkin Donuts Friday mornings (if there is any left when you arrive at 9am). Decent beer in the fridge. Nice outings once in awhile.

    Cons

    No decent work. They began hemorrhaging clients when new leadership came in a few years ago. The culture suffered significantly and they began firing one person a month. Many others left on their own.

    Pet projects go to the pets. Do you interrupt people in a meeting and tell them they’re wrong? You’re #1 on the it list. This mentality scares off some of the best talent. Their review process is such that they beat you down so you question your worth. Unless you’re a pet, then you get the world.

    The group is incredibly cliquey. They will make up their minds about you and you somehow have a bizarre reputation for no reason. You will be left off of important meetings, emails, and given grunt work.

    Direction and expectations are not clear. They allow associate managers bully their talent and turn a blind eye. Sexism is rampant and the boys won’t even allow some people to help concept for new ideas or pitches.

    Creatives, especially leads, are incredibly difficult to approach or communicate with. Some are lazy, some don’t want to lead or have time or care enough to even talk to you, some go in and change your work and don’t tell you. No communication, too busy, too cool.

    No process whatsoever. Management and leadership as a whole is lacking, conniving, elitist. I’ve seen them build false cases against people just to get them to quit or have a “reason” to fire them. No value in their employees. HR is a joke.

    Advice to Management

    Leadership courses for associate level and director level. Anyone managing people.
    If you keep putting the same talent in the room you aren’t going to innovate.
    Stop playing favorites.


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Senior Art Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Art Director in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Art Director in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Critical Mass (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Nice work space. Free drinks and snacks.

    Cons

    Poorly managed. Lack of leadership.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great social culture, lack of growth opporunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great co-workers, who genuinely enjoy socializing and working together. Fun social gatherings offered: Beer:30, happy hours, etc

    Cons

    Difficult to move up and grow in positions.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Experience Architect"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Experience Architect in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Experience Architect in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend

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

    Pros

    Note this is for Chicago Office:

    Fun Culture, Free Breakfast Fridays, Catered lunches monthly, Monthly Town Halls, Fun atmosphere, Laid back environment; Beer 30 Fridays; Whiskey Club; Wine Club; Nice Work Outings;

    Cons

    Unorganized Processes; Too many politics; Takes years to get promoted; Terrible resourcing - some people were completely spread thin, while others had absolutely nothing to do; If you weren't in the "social" circle, you weren't being recognized or promoted, or even given any projects; Too much favoritism; The place is extremely cliquey; Way too many layoffs and turnovers; Career Development needs a lot of work; I think the agency overall has gotten too cocky

    Advice to Management

    Value your employees more. Instead of laying people off and hiring new ones, stick to your current employees.
    Also, if you want to be "transparent" with your employees, then be completely transparent.
    Career Development needs a lot of work.
    Onboarding needs a lot of work - both with the company and with each project

  8. "PD"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Program Director in Tinley Park, IL
    Former Employee - Program Director in Tinley Park, IL
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Critical Mass full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    the people, culture, accounts, good for promoting from within, good bonuses if you work hard, and good digital process.

    Cons

    the leads, the politics and clicks


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Can't seem to get it together"

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

    I have been working at Critical Mass (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Smart people, location, career development/mentorship program.

    Cons

    Since they changed management they don't seem to be able to find their rhythm nor connect with their employees. The culture was amazing about 3 years ago, but they didn't make any effort to retain the talent and personalities that made the company what it was. So now, it's a ghost of what it used to be.

    Advice to Management

    Listen.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great support and teamwork from everyone. Really smart people to work with!!

    Cons

    Really enjoyed worked here, every place has its challenges, but CM is always trying to improve!


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