Purpose Reviews | Glassdoor

Purpose Reviews

Updated April 20, 2017
15 reviews

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3.0
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Purpose CEO & Co-Founder Jeremy Heimans
Jeremy Heimans
11 Ratings

15 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Working on stuff that matters"

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

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

    Pros

    Close-knit team of really smart and committed people who care for each other and about the work. Flexibility to innovate and try new things. Global team and projects which create opportunities for travel and exploration. Organization is working on many of the biggest issues right now: labor, health issues, climate, refugees, the "resistance" more generally.

    Cons

    Work is sometimes emotionally taxing. There have been significant (and mainly positive) changes in last 18 months to structure and processes which have made a big difference to day-to-day experience.

    Advice to Management

    increase regular communication; keep up current focus on increasing diversity


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Exceptional people, multi-issue, strong real-world impact"

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

    I have been working at Purpose full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people are extraordinary at all levels of the company - some of the most strategic, creative minds I've come across and easily the kindest/most fun. Purpose attracts people from a diversity of professional backgrounds with complementary skillsets (digital organizers, creatives, techies, movement strategists, etc.), so it's a great opportunity to better understand (and apply) some of these different lenses. A great home for multi-issue/cross-sectoral people who are eager to work on more than one issue at once: climate change, the refugee crisis, global LGBT rights, gun violence, workers' rights, etc. Real opportunity to innovate across sectors or on causes that sometimes suffer from lack of experimentation.

    Cons

    Depending upon the project, hours can be longer - important to apply real time management and to speak up early when deadlines seem unreasonable. It's sometimes hard to measure the success of our movement-buliding work - could benefit from finding more ways to track and evaluate what's working and what's not across campaigns/work. Benefit from strong self-direction; sometimes not a ton of consistent top-down management, depending upon the project.

  3. Helpful (6)

    "Passionate + Disorganized"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Staff is strong on smart people, dedicated to making change.

    Cons

    Management is convoluted and incompetent. Seems no one has any sense how to run a business. The result is long hours and late nights to make up for the lack of organization.

    Advice to Management

    Restructure from the ground up. Hire someone with experience building an agency and let them do it. Keep the people who bring genuinely creative ideas.


  4. Helpful (4)

    "good people. chaos."

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

    I worked at Purpose (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The people. Hands down a wonderful group of humans.

    Cons

    Long hours, constantly changing staff, difficult management structure.

    Advice to Management

    Allow for other leadership to emerge and value other skills.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Purpose overworks its employees and underpays them and does not set them up for success."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Strategist in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Strategist in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend

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

    Pros

    Interesting work; Strong strategic element

    Cons

    Hard to move up; Don't equip their teams or managers with the right capacities to succeed; High turnover and burnout rates; Values don't align with actions or how the company is run.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your employees more and hire more people so that teams are not constantly understaffed.


  6. Helpful (7)

    "Prepare to be a martyr"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Strategist in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Strategist in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Co-workers who are brilliant and have amazing stories, the potential to work with big-name clients, leaders are visionaries,

    Cons

    incredibly long hours (weekends & many nights - prepare to have your relationships stressed), low pay, ridiculous turnover, unrealistic project timelines, culture is geared to the Type A personality, burnout is prevalent, consultant culture is stifling - you are encouraged to work and work and work - and praised if you just spent the entire weekend on a proposal and left your family in the dust, hard to move up

    Advice to Management

    Find out why there's nearly a 60% turnover rate at the company and ADDRESS those issues, don't just throw an additional vacation day at someone who has been working 80+hour weeks for a month.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Great to be working in NYC"

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

    I worked at Purpose full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You have to be creative when working here. You are likely to make new friends and meet interesting people.

    Cons

    Working long hours for little money, also weekends. There is a lot of pressure all the time.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "General"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Purpose full-time

    Pros

    innovative, care for employees, mission driven

    Cons

    disorganized, lack of deliberate culture


  9. Helpful (7)

    "You'll probably learn lots, because you'll probably have zero support."

    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

    Pros

    - You'll probably work with very smart, interesting and passionate people
    - Interesting and ambitious projects have a way of coming through Purpose's doors
    - You'll most likely be challenged in ways that you haven't been before
    - While you'll have a substantial work load and meeting commitments with your clients and team, there is a good amount of flexibility in terms of when and where you do your work
    - Many former Purpose employees have moved on to interesting and diverse new gigs, so it can help you to build your network
    - Lots of PTO
    - I would have given Purpose a higher rating about a year ago, things have gone down hill since then, but maybe they can turn around

    Cons

    - Staff morale is horribly low right now
    - There is a massive disconnect between the senior leadership team and the rest of the company. It's unclear on whether they are so removed from the experience of the people that actually do the work, that they can't figure out the relatively simple things that will make the experience better, or if they are wholly uninterested in talent retention (which breeds resentment among staff)
    - Staff often feel frustrated by not having the team and resources to execute high-quality, high-impact work
    - Without the appropriate team, resources or support from leadership, junior staff frequently end up doing the work at significant personal cost. Leadership both turns a blind eye to unsustainably long hours and never meaningfully rewards the personal commitment.
    - Process isn't a thing at Purpose
    - Senior leadership lacks expertise in management and operations
    - Time is allocated based on a 50-hour work week
    - The company has a diversity problem that they have been lazy to address
    - That Purpose seems to place very little value on human capital and the experience of their employees feels at odds with the progressive ideals the company touts publicly which tends to breed resentment among staff over time
    - A good chunk of people leave Purpose feeling devalued and less passionate then when they entered :(

    Advice to Management

    Value your people. Invest in them. Nurture them. Respect them. Support them. They are all you've got.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Toughest job I ever had but I don't regret it for one minute"

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

    Pros

    I got to work on stuff I really cared about and got to launch things that matter. I walked away after a coupe of years feeling really proud of the projects I was involved with.

    I met, worked with and became friends with some of the finest humans on the planet. Times weren't always easy but we were always in it together.

    I learned a lot about campaigning, movement theory and what it takes to make stuff happen. Given the choice between two years at grad school or two years at Purpose, I would choose Purpose each time.

    I left with experiences and contacts that have helped propel me to new challenges and opportunities that I otherwise wouldn't have found.

    Cons

    It's no pleasure cruise. You have the resource constraints of nonprofit clients mixed with the business model of a NYC agency with a management team that struggles to find the sweet spot between the two. On top of that, the focus is squarely on the work while company culture and things like long-term career planning take a backseat.

    If you are flexible, resilient and are able to switch off when you leave the office, you can make it work. But if you're coming from organizations with great culture, outstanding mentoring or structural stability, you will find this environment challenging.

    Advice to Management

    Find a way to have the CEO do what he does best (campaigning, thought leadership, networking) and build an experienced management team that is empowered to run the business properly. Oh, and run it like a nonprofit instead of a consultancy because you can't afford to carry so much overhead.


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