Politico Reviews | Glassdoor

Politico Reviews

Updated February 12, 2019
114 reviews

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Politico CEO Patrick Steel
Patrick Steel
22 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Plus the free snacks can't be beat" (in 18 reviews)

  • "Work-life balance has greatly improved from what it was a few years ago" (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • "Not really much work-life balance, or consideration to the needs of family" (in 5 reviews)

  • "high stress, lack of communication between management and staff" (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great Place to Work"

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

    I worked at Politico full-time

    Pros

    -Great team culture and lots of flexibility
    -I was encouraged to develop and make use of the educational assistance program
    -Free snacks

    Cons

    -Very few Finance team building events

    Advice to Management

    -Make more opportunities for people to get exposure to other groups
    -Consider a rotation program


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Tough working environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Business Development Associate
    Former Employee - Business Development Associate

    I worked at Politico full-time

    Pros

    Good networking opportunities
    Trains you well on Salesforce
    Lots of free food and perks

    Cons

    unprofessional
    an extension of college- this job will not prepare you for a position that requires genuine thought, strategy and creativity
    the expectations are unrealistic- they play favorites, it doesn't matter how intelligent you are, you just need to be scrappy to work here

    Advice to Management

    I'm glad to see the head guy moved to another dept.. he was horrible for the culture and quite honestly creeped most of the women out

  3. Helpful (1)

    "A great news machine, but it grinds the staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Journalist in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Journalist in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    An awesome news gathering machine. Reporters of all ages can really grow and hone their trade here. It has an impeccable reputation. Plus free snacks.

    Cons

    Not really much work-life balance, or consideration to the needs of family. I'm thinking most of the senior staff have their children raised by spouses or nannies. Plus middle management tends to get squeezed between demanding bosses and ambitious (& sometimes scheming) underlings


  4. "Be ready for competition - but the experience you gain is worth it."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Politico full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You will learn more in six months at POLITICO than most other newspapers in the world. The friends you make here will define your career, and the stories you chase will be the envy of all.

    Cons

    The level of turnover is higher than average, but nothing to be concerned about.


  5. "Exciting place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    At epicenter of world politics surrounded by very dedicated people

    Cons

    Need to have an entrepreneurial skill set


  6. Helpful (6)

    "It's like a Tesla that runs on gas"

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

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

    Pros

    I recommend a job here if you plan to work in the following departments (the Teslas of the organization, if you will):

    Technology
    Audience Solutions (Advertising)
    Product
    Events
    HR
    Finance(1)
    Business Ops

    Each one of these teams has phenomenal managers, employees, department heads(2), support teams, and LOW TURNOVER.

    The organization is on a better path (as a whole). HR is putting the pedal to the metal when it comes to diversity, workplace conduct and culture. The only big things left to work on are pay and turnover in Pro Sales and editorial.

    Whatever team you choose, you'll make some great friends - I can guarantee that.

    The cafe is awesome.

    (1) The CFO isn't very personable or empathetic.
    (2) Shout out to Jack on Audience Solutions - dude is so awesome.

    Cons

    I DO NOT recommend employment here if you plan on working in the following departments (the gas):

    Pro Sales (New Business, explicitly)
    Editorial

    Pro Sales:

    You will be underpaid, overworked, and out-the-door in 6 months.

    Sales jobs are tough and sales teams have high turnover, I get it. However, Politico pays well below the industry standard for the experience you'll have.

    I mentioned in my 'Pros' that the cafe is awesome but it's grandeur is dwarfed by sales associates crying while their development managers(1) scrutinize them, audibly, about how poor they're performing(2). Why are they in such a heavily-trafficked area and not a private room for such an intimate conversation? Because, not kidding, there are not enough conference or call rooms for the amount of people at the organization. The kicker: they want to grow exponentially. Not sure how that's going to work with an already inadequately-sized office space.

    If you make it past the 6-month mark as a Pro Sales associate then you're a veteran. Get to a year and then you can start having talks about switching departments. The transition won't be easy, especially if it takes some time for them to fill your soon-to-be vacant position. When I moved departments (was originally on pro sales) I was given an insurmountable goal prior to my departure. It felt like I was being punished for advancing my career. When I'd speak up on it, I would be chastised for not being positive or a believer in the mission. It caused a great deal of stress and took a toll on my mental health.

    If you must take a job on Pro Sales, choose the Account Management (AM) team. NEVER CHOOSE NEW BUSINESS. I'm serious. I'd have friends reach out to me about a job at Politico and I'd say "yeah, I can get you a job on Pro Sales but I will not allow you to apply for New Business." I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. That team is cut-throat. When you see someone crying in the cafe because of stress, 99% of the time it's a Business Development Associate.

    The AM team has a great VP who really cares about her subordinates and Politico customers. I can see her as CEO some day.

    (1) Sales associates have 2-3 managers, two they'll schedule meetings for and one that is used to coerce them to make more calls and schedule more meetings (meaning that one sales associate is answering to three people).

    (2) You WILL be given unachievable goals.

    ----------------------
    Editorial:

    I didn't work in editorial, but I knew a lot of people that did. It's sad that when someone hears 'Politico' they think 'sweatshop' because, from 2nd-hand knowledge, reporters are underpaid and overworked. However, Politico is a great stepping stone to a job at WaPo or the New York Times.

    Advice to Management

    When I say 'a Tesla that runs on gas' what I mean is that there are some great parts of the organization that a prospective employee would love to be in, but, the 'gas' (Pro Sales is the largest revenue generator for the company and Editorial being the reason the company exists) just don't fit well with the rest of the vehicle. Their culture and practices are incompatible with the shiny, attractive, and stylish parts of the organization.

    The CEO is a super-personable guy but I never felt like he actually listened to me or truly learned about the company (or media in general).


  7. "Revenue Team"

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

    I worked at Politico full-time

    Pros

    Endless Opportunity, Incredible Brand, Motivated People

    Cons

    Lack of Clear Strategic Direction for Company, Crowded Market

  8. Helpful (5)

    "There's a reason for the huge turnover"

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

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

    Pros

    -Generous benefits
    -The end product is generally high quality

    Cons

    -The editorial standards have fallen in the past 12 months or so. There are a lot of stories that go up with a single source, sometimes a random Hill aide that is written to speak for an entire political party.

    -As a whole, a lot of the stories have an overtly liberal bend. POLITICO has always been a left-leaning outlet, there's nothing wrong with that generally speaking, but it's a bit obnoxious when you can read most of the site's content and bet your savings account on which party the writer votes for. This has been a recent thing with the company and it's difficult to see if it's the writers or the editors.

    -Young people in the company are treated terribly. We all put in our dues, but there are producers, young writers and editors that have been regularly screamed at, not given a lot of opprtunities and told aren't allowed to talk to people outside there teams. I never saw it personally, but that's the talk of the office. It seems to have gotten a bit better lately, I beleive there has been some turnover on their management, but if you're going into an entry level position here I recommend trying to get another offer or two first before making a decision.

    -Management is weirdly secretive. There's not a lot of innovation within the company.

    -I mostly left just because another company made me a better offer. POLITICO is known for having some of the lowest pay in the biz. Most of POLTICO's star talent has left in the past 2-3 years. I'm sure they all have reasons. This is a hostile work environment that holds opportunities for employees for arbitrary reasons and the entry level staff has high turnover too.

    -If there's high turnover on senior writers and entry level employees, something stinks.

    -HR writes reviews on Glassdoor. It's weird.

    Advice to Management

    Keep your senior staff
    Stop abusing your younger staff
    Try to innovate as a company more - the product is getting old


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Lots of Pros, Lots of Cons"

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

    I have been working at Politico full-time

    Pros

    Obviously the free snacks, but the health benefits are fantastic and very affordable. The organization has a lot of opportunity for growth with the right people in charge. The majority of the people are a joy to work with and the brand recognition is great for your resume. I also find the journalists to be very honest, intelligent, and hard working people which translates into their thoughtful and impactful reporting. I enjoy the interesting work and I often feel challenged in my role.

    Cons

    The company's leadership is not bought into their own values or goals. Many of the top executives do not trust each other, and often have competing agendas. There is a clique of white males at the executive level. The white males always get what they want, while the leaders of color and female leaders have to fight tooth and nail to even get 50% of what they are asking for. It sends a very sad message that white male privilege is alive and well in this organization.

    The HR department is, as other reviews have stated, dysfunctional. The department does not operate with the appropriate degree of discretion that should be practiced by an HR department, which from my perspective is enabled by the head of that group. Diversity and Inclusion efforts are a thinly veiled attempt at checking a corporate social responsibility box.

    Leadership often says that it values balance, but I tend to feel heavily scrutinized if I am not checking my email after hours and on the weekends. I know many people on both the editorial and business sides that have to pull a minimum of 50 hours to stay afloat and in the good graces of their managers. Meanwhile, some executives get to take multiple week-long vacations while their sales goals are not being met without so much as a word. I have also heard of people needing to take medical leave and when they return to work their boss expects them to be up to speed as if they have not been away attending to a personal issue. Although I have not experienced this myself.

    Advice to Management

    With all that I have said, I have high hopes for the organization. I think the leaders have the best of intentions as individuals, but their actions as a group discourage and frustrate employees. Maybe they should do some team building so that they can work better as a group and better see things from each others' perspectives?


  10. "Great company"

    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 Politico full-time

    Pros

    advancement opportunities

    investment in quality journalism

    editors care about employee growth

    Cons

    The office can feel siloed off and new employees might have a hard time meeting coworkers beyond their own teammates.