I worked at JPL Integrated Communications full-time (More than a year)
1. The hours are pretty consistent. Sure, there are the occasional 50+ hour weeks, but when those happen, management is really good about pushing for more balance. It is an agency, after all, so when you’re on a deadline, sometimes you’ll have to work late or take work home; however, in my experience, management is quick to offer financial perks (gift cards, those JPL chip thingies, etc.) and offer the ability to leave early if you’ve been working crazy hours. They really want you to succeed and, in an industry with a lot of turnover, they really want you to stick around.
2. This is the most progressive, family-oriented organization I’ve ever worked at, and I’ve worked at other agencies and major corporations. The benefits for new mothers (ability to bring your child in for a few months after birth), the flexibility for working parents, the work from home policy — these are things that a working parent can only dream of at other companies. JPL isn’t pushing to be your family, like some other agencies in the area. There’s never a 50/50 work-life balance with any organization, but JPL really does try to help you right the scales.
3. The workflow is very organized and structured, especially compared to other marketing agencies. There's a formula for how work gets done at JPL and it makes it clear what your responsibilities are and when to raise a red flag -- people aren't running around in a panic trying to figure out how to produce what they sold the client.
4. The leaders in the company are quick to check themselves and note when things aren’t going as smoothly as possible. There’s a true open door policy here, and management is always open to feedback and opportunities to improve. That level of transparency and openness is refreshing.
1. Salaries are not competitive, not even for this market. When bills need to be paid, it can be tempting to look around at other opportunities. Despite this, the 401K contribution and profit sharing are great benefits. Sometimes the profit share can pad your salary nicely.
2. It can be hard to move up the ladder here. Maybe things have changed since I worked at JPL, but the previous HR manager made it clear that they promote based on years of experience within the company, whereas my manager was pushing for my promotion based on my contributions to the team. In the end, I left because talent and contributions should be weighted more heavily than years within a company. It can be a real letdown to see people that don’t work as hard or contribute as much get senior, manager and director titles just because “it’s their time.” I’ve never seen this happen anywhere else, but I truly hope that this has changed at JPL.
Despite these cons, I've recommended and will continue to recommend JPL to others looking to get into marketing and advertising -- especially entry-level employees and interns.
Advice to Management
Provide more opportunities for mid-level employees, and be sure to differentiate entry-level salaries from those with years of experience.
Continue to be open to improvements and to listening to your employees. JPL is truly something special.
I worked at JPL Integrated Communications full-time (More than 3 years)
good health benefits
Older employees are hostile to new employees
Focus is on moving clients through, not quality
Employee's past experience is never used, they do not engage team in strategies beyond those in a certain clique. Issues develop since managers are not open minded at the beginning which could avoid missteps
Sexual harassment issues - management unresponsive
Employee growth takes a back seat to short term profit
Management rather not rock the boat than deal with issues
Some managers promoted from within with little past management experience
Hostility between departments
No Diversity - negative comments or jokes when a person of color is hired. People of color never seem to stay at the company. Company blames it on the area even though other employers have much more diversity in the area.
Advice to Management
Listen to employees, allow seasoned new employees to provide input. Deal with issues when they arise instead of hiding them.
I have been working at JPL Integrated Communications full-time
good culture if you are a people person
need to fit their mold in order to advance (i guess this is kind of the norm with any company)
pay is ok
I have been working at JPL Integrated Communications full-time (More than 10 years)
JPL is very friendly to its employees in terms of work/life balance. Since we're in the world of marketing and advertising, yes there will be tough deadlines and late nights or early mornings every so often. For the most part, though, we get to come in at a decent time and leave in time to cook dinner and spend time with family.
The diversity of work and clients we get to experience here is awesome. It really keeps me enthusiastic about my job because no two days are the same.
Lastly, having worked on the corporate side, I can say employees here are extremely lucky to have the transparency into the business health and outlook. We get updates on this at every staff meeting and I feel like we are always able to ask questions. This helps us as employees understand the impact we're making on the overall business.
There are few cons. If you know this market, you know it's not NYC or Philly or LA, so the salaries are not going to be of that nature either. I think the company lowballs young, entry-level employees to see who is hungry.
Advice to Management
I would say don't grow too fat around the middle. I would also encourage JPL to really focus managers as managers of people and not just more doers who happen to manage a team. The team gets the short end of the stick when that happens.
I worked at JPL Integrated Communications full-time
Everyone is passionate and cares about the work they're doing. Managers genuinely want everyone to succeed and supply you with the tools to do it. Creative work environment, and values innovation.
It is a very structure work place, which can be a con if you don't like that.
I have been working at JPL Integrated Communications full-time (More than 5 years)
They pay attention to what employees say and are transparent around where the company is going. Profit share is good. You get a training budget to stay on top of learning about your craft, and there is a sense that you can affect the company through the relationships you have with clients and each other. I've stayed here as long as I have because the work is interesting, everyone is fair and the people are great.
You can work from home and there's flexibility in schedules so that you don't live at the office. The bring your baby to work program is helpful to new moms, too. Pretty even split of women-men in most roles.
Getting in the door can take a while and they are careful about who they hire. Clients are demanding.
Great company that cares about its employees
Great talent working within the company
Sometimes when big projects come there seems to not be enough time to complete all of the work.
I have been working at JPL Integrated Communications (Less than a year)
Great casual environment, nice people, fun employee learning campaigns (TED talks at lunch, Employee Short Film festivals and much more), extremely smart coworkers, true team environment, caring management, 14 years making the Best Places to Work List, and finally truly a fun environment. Its truly one of the best companies I have worked with. Company has a salad bar Monday through Thursday to encourage healthy eating. They also pick a take out restaurant daily to coordinate orders so that employees can get lunch faster and easier. When its sunny people will be walking outside during lunch or playing Four Square. Other times, employees are playing ping pong during lunch. Always ways to become closer as a group at JPL.
Other reviews seem to have been people who did not fit in with the work hard - play hard culture of JPL. Working in this competitive field requires individuals who turn work around quickly and cost effectively by understanding the client's needs quickly and working well with others as a team.
They have set my standards for a dream job too high (that's good).
Advice to Management
Keep valuing employees and looking for ways to grow the business while encouraging employees to add new skills in the fast paced market.
I worked at JPL Integrated Communications full-time (More than 8 years)
It was a great place to learn best practices. They are a very process driven and produce some amazing work. Staff really tries to push the boundaries when it comes to creative. There is a sense of collaboration and idea/creative freedom. Personally, I felt my ideas had value and they listened. It is a fun place to work and designed well for younger audiences.
Management is smart. Very seasoned marketing people who know how to set up a successful organization that will be around for a long time. I am thankful for the time I spent there. I just spent too much time before moving on.
There seems to be more focus on the monetary values of the business than doing the right thing. Legacy employees of early JPL years remember when the focus was on doing the right thing for our clients.
Instead of doing what is sometimes best for the client, it's often about what is the most billable. Individual billable percentages directly connects to your raises and your future value. This leads to either over billing the clients or over estimating projects or campaigns. While this is not discussed in-house, it is done often.
Upward mobility within the company is virtually nonexistent. There are a few examples of young staff after 10+ years moving up one level. The culture is focused too much on the work place fun instead of helping actual staff members create a fair wage and long term career with this company. They sell the company on the fun culture and hope you don't notice the low pay, long hours and minimal raises.
In short, if you're young, come in, learn, gain experience and move on. Invest no more than 5-years here and don't be tempted by all the "fun."
Advice to Management
Management should understand that employees are not a commodity. They have future ambitions. They will work hard for you and work extra hours if needed. They want to find a place that actually values them as individuals who will grow with the company. Also, cut back on the shinny fun stuff and stop caring about the Best Places to Work awards. Theses awards seem to matter more to management than the staff.
I worked at JPL Integrated Communications full-time (More than 5 years)
I've worked at a number of marketing organizations, and JPL is a rare find in the industry.
For me, it starts with the leadership. JPL is led by people who actually care about their employees. In an industry notorious for sweatshop work environments, JPL is a refreshing option. This is due not only to the fun, creative perks provided by the company, but also to the focus that they place on supporting and developing strong employees. And, the leadership is very transparent with employees. Everyone knows where the company stands: the good, the bad and the ugly. That gives teammates a feeling of ownership of the company, which is highly motivating.
In addition, JPL is turning out strategic work unlike any other firm of it's kind in the region. Clients consistently turn to JPL to provide the strategic guidance and direction that they aren't getting from their "big" agencies. That's because JPL has strong, business-minded, strategic staff that understands that it's all about helping clients achieve their goals. This means that JPL is also professionally rewarding to those who are looking to be challenged and grow in their careers.
Lastly, the people of JPL are, for the most part, fully committed to the success of the company, and egos are not a factor. Again, refreshing in this industry. If you've ever worked in an agency where Art Directors tell Account Managers not to talk to them, you know what I mean. The open collaboration at JPL leads to a great working environment, and great work.
No place is perfect. If someone finds the perfect place, please let me know.
I could nitpick little things, but that doesn't seem productive, as they are hardly things that affect the overall experience at JPL.
Advice to Management
Continue to be transparent with the team. Continue to reward great employees and provide opportunities for growth.
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