IMF Reviews | Glassdoor

IMF Reviews

Updated April 17, 2017
165 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

165 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • This is a place where work-life balance is valued (in 22 reviews)

  • Great benefits and fun environment (in 16 reviews)

Cons
  • Depending on the assignment, work life balance is a challenge (in 7 reviews)

  • Dominated by Europeans, a lot of discrimination, you have to be part of networks to have career advancement (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great Employer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Human Resources in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Human Resources in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Very diverse staff, enriching culturally and professionally.

    Cons

    The institution is too bureaucratic.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Do your homework and know why you're coming"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technology in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Technology in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at IMF full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Benefits for staff like allowances for home leave, education and generous annual leave (by US standards). Contractuals don't get any home leave or education benefits. Diversity of staff from various countries and cultures. Your colleagues are genuinely nice people who are intelligent, driven, highly qualified and skilled. Non-managerial staff are passionate and committed to doing the right thing and contributing their best.

    Cons

    Ridiculously bureaucratic with consensus driven decision making. Significant number of areas lack good leadership. No accountability, which sets the culture for politics and enables egos and individual agendas. Length of service generally 15 years plus and open-ended staff waiting on generous retirement benefits. Other employment types basically waiting in line to become open-ended staff so that they can also enjoy benefits. If you're a non-economist, your career's over. Don't bother. Staff turnover is low. With everyone hanging around waiting for retirement, there are no opportunities for career growth or promotion. If you're contemplating giving up a career and home in another country, know why you're coming to the US (a temporary stay to travel and explore, experience the American culture, etc.) It should not be to develop your career. You better negotiate a hefty salary increase to make it worth your while. You won't be promoted and your salary won't grow (except for 1% annual inflationary increase).

    Advice to Management

    Listen to feedback captured in various staff surveys. This organization is devoid of leadership and accountability. It's your fiduciary responsibility to ensure this non-profit international organization operates effectively, incorporates strategic planning, staff are engaged and their skills utilized to the fullest.


  3. "Great Place to work in"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at IMF full-time

    Pros

    - Very active work environment
    - Great place to learn

    Cons

    - Not everyone can work on research


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Chief"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Chief in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Chief in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at IMF full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Interesting work, intellectual and stimulating environment

    Cons

    Challenging environment to work in, very closed

    Advice to Management

    Be leaders, expect high standards from each other and mangers
    Facilitate the culture change that needs to happen


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Every stereotype about bureaucrats"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Amazing number of vacation days
    Pension benefits (if you can stomach being there that long)

    Cons

    Horrible management
    Very insular
    "You're here to do what I say, not to think"

    Advice to Management

    Use the skills of ALL your employees, not just the managers


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to work, if you're an economist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Diverse, intelligent, educated workforce. Challenging work. Interesting assignments. Management is working hard to change the culture, to embrace more risk-taking, more soft-skills, better people-management.

    Cons

    The institutional culture is management-by-consensus, which takes a very long time and much work to achieve. If you like to act quickly, this is not the place to work.

    Money is always an issue. We are well-funded for our key role of surveillance, but funding is tough to come by for new or untested ideas.

    Advice to Management

    Keep pitching new ideas at the institution. Some of it is catching on down in the ranks.


  8. "Senior Security Officer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Corporate Security in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Corporate Security in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at IMF full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great Benefits and Pension Fund

    Cons

    Extremely Bureaucratic and demanding organization which can lead to contentious work environments


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Good for out of grad school, great for Econ (RA)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    IMF is a brand name in economics. Like Coca-Cola to the beverage industry. As a Research Analyst (RA) you'll get a great opportunity to learn the ins and outs of country economics and data setups in Excel. You'll get to work with a good number of people and meet enough to build a decent network. You'll probably never get fired. It's 9-5 with every other Friday off. The salary is not bad r even good for junior people like RAs, although DC is expensive. Location is fine or good, depending on what you think of downtown DC. Looks good on a resume, and sounds good when you talk to someone at a bar in DC, but move to another city and no one will have ever heard of the IMF unless they have a background in policy, multilaterals, or economics/finance. Bosses were all very nice.

    Cons

    There are not many opportunities for advancement at the IMF if you are an RA. You can become an economist if you have a lot of experience, preferably also outside the Fund at a Central Bank or Treasury Department, but it is difficult to get this promotion unless you are seasoned and/or very very good at economics. RA jobs get a little repetitive after a while, since most of what you do is make charts and graphs, and download data, all day. If you are there long enough, you can start to get involved with research or things that economists do, but that didn't appeal too much to me. If you want to make more money, go to a bank but pay the price in hours, stress, and poor management.

    Advice to Management

    None really. I don't follow the policy stuff so no comments on that. I'd say create more internal opportunities for RAs but that's ultimately the employees job vis-a-vis their own career.


  10. "Interview questions for management position"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Consultant in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Friendly group of interviewers.
    Sharp questions, to the point:
    How to manage in different environments, different ways of communicating in multicultural environments?
    Change management, previous experiences
    Identifying priorities to hit the ground running.
    How to go about motivating staff when promotional opportunities are scare?

    Cons

    Too much politics, can be quite demanding during work peak times.


  11. "IMF"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Information Security Risk Manager in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Information Security Risk Manager in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    Good and smart people at the FUND

    Cons

    So far so good s



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