National Geographic Reviews | Glassdoor

National Geographic Reviews

Updated September 21, 2017
193 reviews

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3.2
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Gary E. Knell
61 Ratings

193 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great work life balance, smart people (in 18 reviews)

  • Had a great mission when it was still a non profit (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • Low pay, lack of growth opportunity (in 11 reviews)

  • Non-profit: upward mobility a challenge (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great Place"

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

    I worked at National Geographic (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great company culture and great benefits.

    Cons

    Lots of meetings. In the middle of DC.

    Advice to Management

    Keep growing in a sustainable manner.


  2. "Client Services Director"

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

    I have been working at National Geographic full-time

    Pros

    Great benefits, good work-life balance, proud to work at NG

    Cons

    top heavy upper management, controlling

  3. "Inspiring Workplace"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at National Geographic (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing team, interesting and evolving workplace and responsibilities, inspiring publisher

    Cons

    Be ready for a constantly changing work environment!


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Rose colored glasses"

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

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

    Pros

    You'll come across very interesting and talented photographers and explorers. Some of your colleagues will be nice people and work hard... and it looks great on a resume (for now)

    Cons

    ... but, mostly, employees are not given authority to actually do their jobs. There are skirmishes at the top all the time, as overpaid (Knell makes $1.6M last I checked, and that doesn't include any board compensation or bonuses from the for-profit side) and under qualified executives fight for turf, which leaves the organization in a constant state of "strategic planning". And, they're so afraid of their irrelevancy being revealed that there is no room for anyone underneath them who is even remotely talented to grow. Moral is extremely low across departments and has been for years.

    Advice to Management

    Resign -- if you want the company to succeed, make room for people who know what they're doing.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Good People but Needs Some Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at National Geographic full-time

    Pros

    There are incredibly talented individuals at NGP and many love what they do. Overall, everyone is committed to the mission

    Cons

    Management needs work. People are overworked and are not equipped with enough resources. Some are set up to fail.


  6. "Producer"

    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 National Geographic (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great mission to work for! Good overall culture.

    Cons

    Lot's of change since 21CF acquired most of the business, so you have to go along for the ride. People get bogged down in internal politics though.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great Place If You Find the Right Fit"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    I worked at National Geographic full-time

    Pros

    Company Culture, Work Perks, Recognizable Brand, Great Food

    Cons

    Leadership and Lack of Transparency

  8. "Assistant"

    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 National Geographic full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Who doesn't want to work at National Geographic? My coworker's were among some of the best and brightest. The mission of NGS means everything to the majority of people who work there.

    Cons

    Since the Fox takeover there have been nothing but layoffs and tumult and "wait and see". Entire departments have been laid off because Fox has decided to outsource their function to companies that don't understand what is expected of them and have zero institutional knowledge. All of the budgeting and all of the priorities go towards the Channel. It doesn't feel like the media content, with the exception of the magazine, had anything to do with what's happening at NGS. It's beyond normal takeover growing pains. "Do more with less" is not sustainable. Budgets are never approved and finalized on time and constant internal restructurings do not offer transparency as to what the goals are.

    Advice to Management

    You can't keep laying people off indiscriminately. You need people with institutional knowledge of NGS.


  9. "Big changes ongoing, not sure if for the better since 21st Century Fox took over"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at National Geographic full-time

    Pros

    The collaborative work environment is great. I've never worked anywhere with as many intelligent co-workers who almost always seem willing to help with an issue or share knowledge. Management was never heavy-handed, so working from home due to inclement weather or commuting issues was never a problem so long as work was completed. I'm not sure about higher-ups who came from Fox, but if you work under a former National Geographic Society supervisor, that person will likely have a flexible and collaborative management style. You're free to pick up your laptop and hole up where you felt most productive, whether that's in a quiet room, in the courtyard, or in a nook in the library. The museum exhibitions, visiting Explorers symposiums, and parties are always a fantastic way to blow off steam and get excited about the work Nat Geo does. The benefits are generous, including a small sum added to your paycheck once a month as a reward for tracking ride-sharing miles.

    Cons

    The workload was often exceedingly heavy. At the time I was laid off, there were many, many contracted workers, I assume to cut costs. Promotions for upper management and finding executive positions for Fox insiders seemed to be a priority. Layoffs are ongoing, so I assume Nat Geo Partners is still trying to turn the company into whatever Fox wants it to be. Not long after a major rebranding effort kicked off, I (and everyone else) received an awesome swag box that included a Moleskin journal, a metal water bottle, a phone charger, and business cards all bearing the new, improved logo ... and I and many of my colleagues were laid off a month later. So here's my advice to prospective Nat Geo Partners employees: Expect the unexpected.


  10. "Great culture"

    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 National Geographic full-time

    Pros

    -Great team oriented company
    -Nice salaries

    Cons

    -Nothing to speak of that's detrimental to professional growth

    Advice to Management

    Stay true to the core values that have made the organization worth working for.


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