Initiative Employee Reviews | Glassdoor

Initiative Reviews

Updated February 15, 2017
202 reviews

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202 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • employees are happy to work there, they do a lot to ensure there is a great work/life balance (in 9 reviews)

  • Not sure how the work environment is now (in 15 reviews)

Cons
  • Long hours can affect work life balance (in 31 reviews)

  • Work life balance wasn't the greatest, but this is pretty much the norm at an agency (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Perfectly fine first job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Buyer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Assistant Buyer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Initiative (More than a year)

    Pros

    Coworkers were hard workers and friendly people. Cool office space. Flexible lateral movement (ie switch from print to digital teams). Easy interview process.

    Cons

    Frequent turnover. Print team was often passed over for digital plans with very little notice. No snacks/lunch. Slow to promote.


  2. "Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Media Planner in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Media Planner in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great exposure, used to be a big agency so people still respect it.

    Cons

    Long Hours, some of the worst pay in the industry, very corporate, upper management doesn't educate people on how to grow, growth is limited, lack of culture and HR keeps it that way

    Advice to Management

    Please quit. Most managers have not evolved in an evolving industry.


  3. "Get great experience, then move on"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Initiative full-time

    Pros

    -Great experience, grow quickly
    -Fun office environment (open seating, free beer, free coffee, lots of events)
    -Generous vacation policy

    Initiative has a great culture and a pretty flat hierarchy.
    Every pro about the place seems to come with a con...You will learn a lot in a short amount of time because you will be over-worked and over-scoped (however, you can use this experience to move up quickly at other agencies). The office is fun a lively, btu this can be a pain when you're just trying to finish up your work and go home.
    It's no secret that the media industry rewards treating each agency like a revolving door, so if you need to get your foot in the door at Initiative, it's as good a place as any to start your career.

    Cons

    -Lowest of the low pay
    -No overtime for extra hours worked, which is often
    -B-list clients can make for less creative/inspiring work

    Advice to Management

    Reward people for hard work to keep them! Shoot higher for better clients.


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  5. "Poor Work Life Balance"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Lots of vacation days, not like you can take them!

    Cons

    Terrible work life balance, highest turnover out of any agency in LA.

    Advice to Management

    Look at your management! Something needs to change.


  6. "Promoted from sweatshop only to go to high school"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Media Supervisor in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Media Supervisor in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Initiative full-time

    Pros

    New office with beer garden and coffee bar

    Promotions can happen quickly, if you get lucky and a spot opens up

    Managers are willing to cull the people who don't perform, but for those who have been here for over a year they will elongate that person's stay until they either find another job or get promoted off the team

    Most people are chill, there's a couple of bad apples here and there

    HR has gotten much better with staffing; spots wold be open for over half a year but now can be filled in within a month

    Cons

    Long hours, depending on the team and time of year

    Low pay - asking for more money is frowned upon and will likely result in some kind of repercussion later down the road

    Lockers instead of desks, which is a huge waste of time before and after work (the idea is for people to sit somewhere different everyday, but people end up in the same seat anyway)

    Lack of formal training so it really comes down to who will be teaching you the skills

    Managers come in late, work from home, or disappear most of the day all, giving the people below them the illusion that upper management doesn't care and therefore highly disconnected from the people who do the most work

    All managers need a lesson on how to manage, including upper management

    After becoming a manager, you are thrown into high school where upper management (the seniors) expects a lot from new managers (freshmen) but doesn't bother to show you the ropes. Communication only goes up, but trickles down at the pace of an IV - bitter cold and slow

    Managers strategically play favoritism, which means the same opportunities are not available to everyone

    Advice to Management

    Stop showing disrespect to your own bosses in front of the people below you, it just gives everyone else permission to bad mouth each other

    Stop encouraging gossip

    Don't get mad when people leave over money or being burnout if you can't offer more money or a positive change

    Step up the new business game


  7. "Associate, Local Investment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great media perks - tons of PTO, fun company outings

    Cons

    No room for growth ultimately at this location

    Advice to Management

    Please invest in the lower-level employees because ultimately, they are the foundation of the company


  8. "Director"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Free coffee. Decent location transportation-wise. Great receptionist. It's really hard to find anything else positive to say about the company.

    Cons

    As cheap as they come and particularly adept at eliminating more senior people that make too much money - which isn't a lot given experience and industry norms. New business is the life-blood of any agency and Initiative has been on a significant losing streak with only the most piddling new business wins for the past 5 years. Result: an ability to hire only the most junior, underpaid staff. The new overtime standards will throw a real wrench into the works here because the business model is to hire people making in the very low thirties and working them to death.

    Advice to Management

    The future is bleak if you think this can go on forever. Staff and clients deserve better and rotating senior people at the top to make folks think that change is on the way is disingenuous to say the least.


  9. "Cool People. Terrible Pay"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Media Strategist in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Media Strategist in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I liked my boss and my team. I learned a lot about overall strategy and was trusted to handle big projects

    Cons

    Pay is terrible. with the cost of living in LA I would make more at a restaurant job. Initiative only has huge accounts so it's difficult yo have your input heard and actually get presented to the clients

    Advice to Management

    Pay people more.


  10. "Directionless Organization"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Manager in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    There WERE some genuinely great, caring people in the management team. There are still a few left.

    Cons

    Relentlessly leaned on a handful of really smart people for just about every new business opportunity. Not surprisingly most are gone.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out your talent problem. You can't get good people, can't keep good people. Beer garden won't solve it.


  11. "Good Company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Great company with culture and values that anyone can appreciate

    Cons

    Compensation and executive management involvement could be better



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