International Justice Mission Reviews | Glassdoor

International Justice Mission Reviews

Updated December 29, 2017
61 reviews

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4.0
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Gary Haugen
46 Ratings

61 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Difficult work-life balance given the pressure to constantly exceed expectations with scarce resources (in 5 reviews)

  • Classic growing pains as IJM "graduates" to (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Review"

    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 International Justice Mission full-time

    Pros

    Amazing colleagues and positive work environment
    Mission-driven organization
    Dynamic growth and new opportunities

    Cons

    Difficult work-life balance given the pressure to constantly exceed expectations with scarce resources


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Compelling mission, stuffy culture, haphazard project & change mgmt"

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

    I worked at International Justice Mission full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Compelling mission with great benefits, and better than average pay for an NGO

    Cons

    Staff are almost always very stressed because there's an expectation to constantly bite off more than can be chewed due to the urgency of IJM's very compelling mission. As a result projects and change are poorly managed, lacking some very basic standard operating procedures, resulting in even more stress. IJM moves so quickly that it virtually never pauses to reflect, analyze, and learn. Lessons are not absorbed into the organization's knowledge & culture.

    IJM seems fairly typical of DC culture - the expectation to be straight-laced and type-A. Add to that the slightly conservative bent of it being a christian organization and the requirements to dress in business formal clothing every day, the result is a suffocating company culture. Only work here if this sounds attractive to you.

    IJM has grown very rapidly in recent years. As a result, their back-office operations have had tremendous growing pains, causing very high leadership turnover and chronically unfilled positions. Things feel constantly in-flux at IJM which takes its toll on everyone. If you interview at IJM, specifically in business or people operations, demand honest answers about leadership and management turnover before accepting an offer.

    IJM has approached a lot of these problems by just hiring more staff, hoping that more employees will plug the gaps in missing or inconsistent back-office processes. Unfortunately, this not only makes back-office processes more disjointed; it also means that a staff's job description is only accurate for the duration of the quick-fix project they were hired to work on, if ever. As a result, there is no clear career path for most staff.

    Even though IJM does commit a great deal of resources towards spiritual formation, quarterly retreats, daily prayer and sincerely pursues spiritual well-being in its work, I find that too often this results in dismissing pressing business operations problems with a "Just turn it over to the Lord," attitude, or outright hostility at being told where things need to improve. Comments on how to improve things disappear into the leadership void.

    It pains me to say, because the mission of IJM is so important, but my overall experience with IJM was very negative.

    Advice to Management

    Slow down your Advancement and Field operations long enough for them to develop reliable, consistently managed programs. Stop living project-to-project and demanding unrealistic timelines. Only then will Business operations be able to provide the proper support that IJM needs to thrive in the next several years. Senior management who do not deal with business operations nor have experience with innovative business practices badly need to increase their awareness of the role of proper business operations.
    Slow down long enough to reflect, analyze and learn.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Cost of Living in DC is a Challenge"

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

    I worked at International Justice Mission full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    IJM is a unique organization that is accomplishing amazing things in the world by the grace of God. IJM's success and its powerful vision and mission attract diligent, kind people who care for the poor and are willing to work long hours to help improve the lives of people across that world that they have never met.

    Cons

    At the same time, it can be easy to care about people that we've never met, and hard to care for people we see daily. There is a danger that some IJM staff can begin to rely on their own strength and achievements rather than trust in God, which can lead to pride and a disregard for colleagues who are at a lower rank or perceived as less important. There is also a huge wage gap that leaves lower-ranking employees barely able to afford rent and stigmatized so it's difficult for them to be promoted in the organization.

    Advice to Management

    Acknowledge that all glory belongs to God and it is a privilege to have the opportunity to join in his work of caring for the poor. As you care for the least of these across the world, open your eyes to the needs of your own staff who are not able to afford housing in the costly DC area. Make adjustments accordingly, such as acknowledging talent and increasing salaries, subsidizing housing or perhaps even moving HQ to another city with a lower cost of living.


  4. "Program Manager"

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

    I worked at International Justice Mission full-time

    Pros

    Mission oriented, purposeful work, and great benefits.

    Cons

    Lacks diversity in leadership. No clear career track once you've been hired.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Assistant"

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

    I worked at International Justice Mission part-time

    Pros

    Wonderful co-workers and wonderful mission

    Cons

    Lots of overworked employees


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Overall, it was a rich experience"

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

    I worked at International Justice Mission full-time

    Pros

    The community provided by staff is amazing. This is a hard-working and kind bunch of employees. Benefits are strong, and pay is relatively competitive (although non-profit pay in the DC area is always a little tough to make ends meet)

    Cons

    The culture was a little TOO strong, and leadership seemed to be unwilling to let go of some of the parts that made it unhealthy. As I left, the tide seemed to be moving towards using people as a means to an end, rather than truly valuing individuals. While peers were amazing, some of the leadership didn't want any diversity of thought.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to people with expertise, both inside and outside the organization. When you disagree with feedback, don't chalk it up to "well, they just don't understand IJM." Instead, try to hear the truth and opportunity for improvement in the feedback.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to work for a few years"

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

    I worked at International Justice Mission full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great people, wonderful mission. Work at IJM is exciting, management is sharp, passionate, and fun.

    Cons

    It's difficult to build a career at IJM. Advancement happens for some but you have to make your own path.

    Advice to Management

    Find ways to retain and reward employees who have been there a while - give the veterans a reason to stay.

  8. "Terrific place to work"

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

    I have been working at International Justice Mission full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    IJM's mission to end slavery and protect the poor from violence is incredibly motivating. The staff are passionate about their work and take very good care of one another.

    Cons

    IJM is going through a lot of change and this has at times been overwhelming to some.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Inspiring & Learning to Innovate"

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

    I have been working at International Justice Mission full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The same things that attracted me to work at IJM are still true every day: the vision is inspiring, the accomplishments are rewarding, the colleagues are hilarious and brilliant, and the other benefits (pay, spiritual formation, community) are fantastic.

    Even on the days when my job can feel tedious or frustrating, we get to see the real impact of our work: children and families are rescued from slavery and violence, and we're creating massive change to better protect the poor long-term. I've gotten great experience as a young professional to grow and develop.

    Cons

    IJM has gone through a lot of growing pains over the last few years as we transition from a small organization to a medium one. It's meant a lot of shifting priorities and structures, which has felt very painful at times. Within the last year, though, leaders have done an intentional job of communicating clearly and helping manage change to keep us on track.

    In the day-to-day, I think we struggle with many of the same challenges of other non-profits: keeping things lean enough to be cost-effective while not having enough staff and resources to always innovate the ways we'd like. Our work in the field is very cutting edge, but we're still learning how to do that in our U.S. office and it can feel frustrating for some people coming from resource-rich corporate backgrounds.


  10. "Great People, Great Mission"

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

    I have been working at International Justice Mission full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    My coworkers are my favorite part of my job. I've been at IJM for over 4 years now and have continued to build great friendships with my colleagues no matter what team I'm on. IJM attracts some of the most driven, hard working, brilliant talent and it is an honor to work with them. Also, I don't think you can beat the mission if you are passionate about social justice issues. IJM is the leader in many of their casework areas and always trying to find new ways to fight violence against the poor.

    Cons

    IJM has grown a lot in their casework and workforce over the last few years and I think the growing pains have hit the HQ office hard. I don't think the current infrastructure is big enough or strong enough to support the new initiatives and goals of the organization. I cannot remember the last time I worked a 40 hour week and from what I gather, I'm not alone. I know leadership is working to hire new, strategic positions but it's been a slow process and I think many people have experienced burnout waiting for the environment to change.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to make external hires for our leadership positions. The diversity in experience provides a fresh and balanced perspective.


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