J. Paul Getty Trust Reviews | Glassdoor

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J. Paul Getty Trust Reviews

Updated January 20, 2018
13 reviews

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James Cuno
6 Ratings

13 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great benefits once you complete the internship (in 14 reviews)

  • Also, great benefits, good work/life balance, beautiful place (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • No room for advancement, lack of visionary leadership, low pay, parking hassle, being stuck on the hill all day (in 5 reviews)

  • Moreover, it is run more like a for-profit than a non-profit such that communication and transparency are lacking (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Serious structural problems"

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

    I have been working at J. Paul Getty Trust full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Huge financial resources. Beautiful setting; many highly educated, talented, and creative people. Good benefits.

    Cons

    Huge financial resources -- because it undermines creative collaboration to make the best use of those resources. Without the bottom line of a for-profit to work toward, application of resources is often unbalanced and confusing and goals are unclear. Creativity is not allowed to flourish. Calcified, hierarchical structure with too many long- term employees in leadership positions who promote status quo and cling to their perks. Massive problem with micro-managers throughout. Lots of talent and ideas among mid-level managers, but many of the good ones leave in frustration because innovation often collapses under the weight of the administrative approval processes. Heavy workloads and responsibilities, but little authority to move projects forward without navigating a long list of approvers.

    Advice to Management

    Give staff an opportunity to review managers. Management training to encourage delegation and collaboration. Encourage more cross-program collaboration and team-building. Streamline administrative processes.


  2. "No Career opportunity /growth"

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

    I worked at J. Paul Getty Trust part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Beautiful place amazing artwork/architecture.
    Most of the people are friendly.
    Free coffee and tea in all the staff kitchens.
    Discounts for Getty staff members on food and coffee carts.

    Cons

    No career growth unless you plan on working in the same position for 5-10 years.
    No structural systems to help internal employees progress within or out of their departments, they tend to higher for new positions externally.

    Advice to Management

    Understand the structural problems within certain areas of specific departments to decrease the turnover rates of employees.
    Create a better work life balance throughout all departments allowing for employee growth and opportunity.

  3. "Nowhere to go"

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

    I worked at J. Paul Getty Trust part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The views, the visitors from around the world, most co-workers

    Cons

    No room for advancement, lack of visionary leadership, low pay, parking hassle, being stuck on the hill all day

    Advice to Management

    Learn to lead and inspire and stop treating staff like children


  4. Helpful (4)

    "The benefits aren't worth the downsides."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at J. Paul Getty Trust full-time

    Pros

    The benefits are great. Good health care, paid time off, etc.

    Cons

    Incredibly slow moving behemoth of an organization. Very old school, top down structure. No one is willing to take chances. Many employees seem constantly scared of losing their jobs so they work from a place of fear. Management does not instill confidence in staff. Very little opportunities for growth inside organization.


  5. Helpful (7)

    "Great in theory, not in reality"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at J. Paul Getty Trust full-time

    Pros

    Every other Friday off, retirement plan match, loads of sick time (which people exploit), some positions allow you to telework once a week, free on-site gym, discounted lunch for staff, subsidized public transportation for work

    Cons

    Huge discrepancy in vacation days between salaried and hourly staff, extremely poor management across all levels and departments, low pay unless you are a manager, HR is always on the side of the institution/no point in reaching out to them, lots of staff (including managers) sitting around (doing nothing or close to nothing) waiting for retirement, very unmotivated staff (except for a small handful), the cheapest healthcare is abysmal while the only good healthcare is extremely expensive and only affordable for managers and above, very poor morale across all departments, no sense of community, extremely white staff, no room for growth/career advancement, no mentors, huge egos, no accountability for poor workers

    Advice to Management

    Mandate yearly management classes for all managers/supervisors,whether they are new or "seasoned." Inspiring leaders can sometimes make up for low pay, poor morale, lack of community, lack of exciting projects, etc. - unfortunately, you lack several dozen inspiring leaders, and don't pay well, and don't contribute to higher morale, and, and, and. Be better at what you do.

    Stop calling the meager merit increase a "merit increase." It is a cost of living increase, not a merit increase. And give legitimate, livable merit increases. If you want to be a "leader in the field," be a true leader in the field by not perpetuating the supported by spouse/paycheck-to-paycheck reality of the nonprofit/arts realm. (A classic Getty retort is that you pay more than minimum wage, but please live in the reality that just "more than minimum" wage does not build a future.)

    Instead of following other museums/orgs after they do something new, try thinking of something new and actually legitimate on your own. You'll be a much more respected institution for doing so.

    Stop throwing your money at projects that reach a narrow audience; the world is a much bigger place than those 5-15 (often white, rich) people. You have the resources do be more meaningful to more and different people - why wouldn't you at least try? (Another classic Getty retort is the high number of Title 1 students you bring in, but you've been using that line for the past several years now. Try something adding something new.)

    Lastly, where is the diversity among staff/trustees? Stop the tokenism - it's obvious!! If you want to stay a stuffy, boring, white organization that people only visit once every three years to peer at the LA views and not go into the galleries, you are granting your own wish. Why should visitors/your community be committed to you if you're not committed to them?


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Staff Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at J. Paul Getty Trust (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    liberal holiday schedule & paid sick time
    Insurance coverage and good retirement benefits with a 403B (like a 401K)
    opportunity to see new art exhibits before the public
    nice fellow employees
    free gym for full time staff

    Cons

    condescending management
    has become extremely corporate
    no separate employee parking for hourly staff -wait for the employee bus-hope you get on top of the mountain in time for your shift.
    Staff forced to park on lower parking levels for the benefit of the public.
    Difficulty to depart in a timely manner with a rush of public departing from the same garage.
    overly complicated financial reporting systems, keeps ITS busy
    Mid level and lower level staff members fearful to confide in HR

    Advice to Management

    Be genuinely nice to your staff if you want to boost morale. There should not be an us against them mentality which sadly exists now.


  7. Helpful (8)

    "Think Before You Accept Work Here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Library Assistant in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Library Assistant in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The Getty grounds are beautiful. Views are exceptional. Employees get 24-hour access to an on-site gym.

    Cons

    First of all - the pay is terrible. Most GRI library staff know very little about art history and artists' books. I was incredibly surprised and disappointed by this. Job description was misleading, verbal description by supervisor was even more misleading. Reference means scanning all day and library assistant work means paging all day. I mean manual labor ALL DAY. You will be sore and disgruntled when you leave the office. Safety is not a priority here. I was injured on the job and the conditions under which I was injured have not changed 2 months later. Staff are still being asked to do heavy physical work with no accommodations. The Departments are very compartmentalized, so employees do not gain new skills, interact, or collaborate - therefore it is hard to move up or switch career paths. The physical location at the top of a hill means that the commute is terrible for ALL EMPLOYEES. Even if you can manage to live in Bel Air or Brentwood or Westwood, you still have to park in an overcrowded garage and make your way up the hill. Forget it if you live on the East side. The commute will ruin your life. This isolation means once you get up to the top you are stuck. There is no relief, no way to run errands, pop out for a quick doctors visit, lunch, or any other home life tasks. The food options for lunch are terrible. There is one café and the few times I ate there I got a stomach ache.

    Advice to Management

    I would make safety a priority. I would also carefully consider applicants and hire those with just enough qualifications. The Getty seems to hire VERY overqualified persons to do jobs that will not challenge them. Productivity here will suffer without the proper safety conditions and daily challenges that make persons interested and invested in their own work. I would make an art history background a priority for employees working in the largest art library in the United States.

  8. Helpful (5)

    "Top heavy, uninspired everything"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Designer in Brentwood, CA
    Current Employee - Designer in Brentwood, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great view
    Getty catalogues
    Nice equipment
    The coffee
    Tram is fun sometimes

    Cons

    Too much red-tape
    Top heavy management
    Decision making snail pace
    Conservative
    Snobbery

    Advice to Management

    Do LA a favor and work on succession policies as yall are way to past it


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Days feel like years."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Visitor Services Associate
    Former Employee - Visitor Services Associate
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at J. Paul Getty Trust full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Beautiful campus, free gym for employees, occasional celebrity sightings, did I mention beautiful gardens, good benefits, friendly coworkers, pay was very good.

    Cons

    A LOT of high class attitudes, management needs improvement in working together, little to no opportunity for advancement, scheduling department needs improvement, supervisors aren't always helpful, days can be VERY long, commute there is terrible no matter where you're coming from.

    Advice to Management

    Provide more advancement opportunities for those who are qualified!


  10. Helpful (7)

    "Corporate Non-Profit"

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

    I worked at J. Paul Getty Trust full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Nice facilities
    Steady pay
    Limited overtime
    Sick pay
    Standard vacation
    Average benefits
    Free training and advancement to help you find a better job after!
    Some other perks but not really worth while considering how much money the Trust has and how much better it could be.

    Cons

    If you started at the Getty back in the early 2000's it was great. Not so much anymore
    Very corporately structured for a non-profit
    Huge difference in pay from management positions to ground floor entry level.
    Limited advancement
    Incompetent people in manager and supervisor positions.
    Micromanagement
    Bureaucracy
    Unusual procedures and work policies only seen at Getty.
    Weird culture
    Revolving door workplace

    Advice to Management

    Too many cooks...stupid ones


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