Peace Corps - The mission is noble but the management of it is not | Glassdoor
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Helpful (3)

"The mission is noble but the management of it is not"

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Country Desk Officer in Washington, DC
Current Employee - Country Desk Officer in Washington, DC

Pros

The mission of Peace Corps, as first outlined by President Kennedy, remains true today. The noble acheivements and enthusiasm by Volunteers past and present are the fuel that keeps this organization alive. Interaction with volunteers can be invigorating and rewarding. The management here is understanding if you need some extra time off to deal with any issues, and there is enough downtime to get in a good vacation. The people that work here - from nurses to IT specialists, to desk jockeys to and consultants - are fantastic. While some are returned Peace Corps volunteers, many are not and yet still can identify with the underlying mission of providing to support to those who are supporting others. Peace Corps does good work and everyone here is so enthusiastic about what it is they do. It's a contagious feeling and a nice break from corporate go-get'em attitudes or the me-first attitude in other fed agencies.

Cons

Peace Corps is a "boutique" agency in the U.S. federal government - very refined towards a mission that contribute little to other agencies and departments outside of it. The Peace Corps is separated from the State Department, but the politics of where Peace Corps will operate is about as complicated and policy-driven as anything could be in Washington. If you love politicking and glad-handing, Peace Corps HQ is an ideal place for you. This place is loaded with political appointees - the White House treats this place as the consolation prize for people that couldn't get elected into office or simply know somebody that knows somebody. A downside of a boutique agency is its subsequent tiny budget. This place is about as cheap as they come.

A downside is the five-year rule - the requirement that you must leave the agency after 5 years, and cannot return to the agency until another 5 years have elapsed. This is supposed to offer fresh thinking in the agency but all it does is contribute to brain drain and loss of institutional knowledge. Furthermore, I am convinced that employees here are chewed up and spit out, without much attention to professional growth and preparation to leave the agency, which everyone must do (except for those appointees!).

Advice to Management

Empower your employees, share information, allow for continuing education, let your staff travel overseas more often, allow for enhanced responsibility and upward mobility. Reward your staff with bonuses or time off awards so they understand the value of their contributions. Finally - enough with the speeches about how we'll do everything to support the volunteer. How about supporting your own staff, who you see and work with everyday? It sure seems like you'd move mountains for people you don't even know, but when we ask for a raise or to go travel, you act like we shot your dog.

Other Employee Reviews for Peace Corps

  1. "Being a Volunteer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Volunteer in Guatemala (Guatemala)
    Former Employee - Volunteer in Guatemala (Guatemala)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Its the hardest job you'll ever love. That's what they tell you before you join the Peace Corps. Its as accurate of a description as you'll hear. This is a life changing experience and unlike anything else you'll ever do. Everyday is different and you'll be tested in your ability to be flexible and committed.

    Cons

    Country specific safety regulations can cut into your personal time and restrict your freedom to plan time off or what you do on weekends.


  2. "Postive Impact"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Programming and Training Specialist in Panamá (Panama)
    Current Employee - Programming and Training Specialist in Panamá (Panama)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexible work environment and postive direct impact of work

    Cons

    Low pay and little work life balance


There are newer employer reviews for Peace Corps
There are newer employer reviews for Peace Corps

See Most Recent

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