The Optical Society Reviews | Glassdoor

The Optical Society Reviews

20 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-timePart-time

2.9
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Elizabeth A. Rogan
8 Ratings

20 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

  1. "Pretty good"

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

    I worked at The Optical Society full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The organization is growing steadily, but not explosively. By and large, the elected officers and volunteer leaders of the membership really appreciate the paid staff. Some people have been working there for many, many years. Retirement plan through TIAA is technically a 403(b) but pretty generous. The society owns its own building in DC, so it's not going to suddenly move anywhere.

    Cons

    You get PTO rather than "vacation" and "sick days." Senior management does what senior management wants.

    Advice to Management

    Break up those cliques.


  2. "Not Awful"

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

    I worked at The Optical Society full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Decent salary and benefits (though not quite competitive), great vacation/leave policy, fun atmosphere

    Cons

    Not innovative, staff is fired on the CEO's whim and she plays favorites. HR is completely in her pocket. Board loves her though.

    Advice to Management

    Try to be more innovative and proactive.

  3. "Strong association, leader in its field"

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

    Pros

    - Good benefits
    - Good location
    - Good reputation in in its field
    - Financially healthy;
    - Intelligent people (both members and employees)
    - Opportunities to stand out if you're willing to take on special projects

    Cons

    For someone not used to working for a professional association, it can sometimes feel like there are lots of "bosses" and that job responsibilities and association objectives are at times fluid. All associations are like this to some extent, because they have to be flexible and responsive to the membership. Some people thrive in this environment, but it's not for everyone.

    Advice to Management

    There are always things that can be improved on, but overall it's a well run organization.


  4. "Industry relations"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Good company and they do a good job for what they stand for.
    People respond to calls and emails from OSA.
    Great managers

    Cons

    I have nothing negative to say

    Advice to Management

    hire more contractors, freelancers


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Good Place To Work"

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

    Pros

    I find it interesting that there is this negative talk about OSA. What company is perfect? Really... Many companies deal with the same stuff that is listed on this site. I have been at OSA for 5+ years, is it perfect no, but I will say there salaries are great, benefits pretty competitive for DC, they provide training, spend monies for you to go to conferences, there are staff engagement activities, and recently there has been more staff engagement with culture, and getting employees involved in helping shape the culture.
    I chuckle reading these negative posts on here, because it really seems like some of these people have not worked very long in the real world, or must be fresh out of college or immature.
    As mentioned above, is OSA perfect, no but I've worked at places that are much worse than OSA.

    Cons

    1. Does OSA have high expectations, yes and why shouldn't they have expectations. They do pay you well.
    2. There are negative posts on about worklife balance, and high expectations? Yes there are high expectations, but our quality has been recognized around the world. I rather work for a company that has high expectations than a medico company that settles. Worklife balance is not an issue Society wide. This place is a ghost town after 5:30 pm. You see senior management still, but isn't that what they are suppose to. make us stay healthy and work the more hours?

    Advice to Management

    I will admit there are times of micro management that happens. But it's more when its a new product, volunteer focused, or implementing a new procedure. I have seen it getting better, but i think it can be dropped a few notches. In my tenure here I have seen some managers get burned, so that is why i thing the micro management has been around for a while.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Not Worth The Pay & Benefits"

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

    Pros

    Well above average benefits and pay
    Many nice people and members
    Nice office location

    Cons

    Complete, utter disorganization. All decisions are made on the CEO's current whim. As other reviewers have noted there are constant reorgs and changes in priorities. The senior level staff is always running around like the world is going to end if something isn't done RIGHT NOW but then this super urgent project turns out to be another one of the CEO's whims and no one uses it anyway. It's impossible to prioritize.
    With regards to the CEO, she has favorites and if you're not one of them she literally acts like you don't exist. This is convenient if your job is secure, for example you work in publishing and you are essential but terrifying to most others. She is truly married to the organization and expects all staff to put OSA above their personal lives in the same manner that she does. There's a reason why the entire senior level staff are unmarried and live within very short commuting distance of the office.
    I've been in the workforce for a long time, I'm nearing the end of my career, and this is far and away the most disturbingly inefficient and unprofessional place of business I've ever experienced.

    Advice to Management

    Staff notices when you walk around looking stressed and angry all the time and then they feel stressed and angry. Try to be better leaders instead of focusing on yourselves all the time.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Great place to work if you are a gay man"

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

    I worked at The Optical Society full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good pay
    Good benefits
    A lot of friendly people to work with
    If you could put us with awful management, you could gain a lot of experience

    Cons

    High turnover
    Reorganizations every 6 month
    Incapable upper management
    Only promote people who are childless, single or gay men.
    There were departments within organization that only had gay men from VP to the specialist level.

    Advice to Management

    promote people who really care about the organization. stop promoting people who are incompetent managers.

  8. Helpful (7)

    "Depends..."

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

    I worked at The Optical Society full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There are some fantastic and smart people here. And the Society members are wonderful people by in large. Generally work-life balance is good too, though it varies by department.

    Cons

    Very top heavy, with little room to grow. The handful of people at the very top tend to drive away talent with a mix of too much micromanagement, bad attitudes, and unrealistic expectations. There has been a lot of turn over, and more discouraging, re-organizations (aka "lay offs"), in the name of budget cuts, but the people at the very top make hundreds of thousands of dollars (and the only new jobs added seem to be at the top, while jobs cut are at the bottom). Leads to bad morale.


  9. Helpful (7)

    "CEO has a bad reputation for a reason"

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

    I worked at The Optical Society full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    10% retirement contribution. Salary is average. Good work-life balance although sometimes you have to stay late or work weekends. The members of the society are very intelligent and nice to work with. It's a small company, so you will have a chance to get to know all aspects of the business and work on diverse projects.

    Cons

    CEO is a weak leader and micromanages her team. Multiple COOs and CFOs in and out the door in a short time span. CEO hires her friends to consult at lucrative rates. CEO used to be controller and it is still her mindset to be involved in details of all projects rather than focusing on big picture strategy. Her micromanaging has chased away smart and talented employees. She seems to be aware of her problem with micromanaging and she once tried showing that she can be completely hands off; however, her hands off approach was applied to a COO who was incompetent. The incompetent COO was good at appearances and communication, but lacked basic business knowledge. The quality of your work life here will depend on your manager so overall I do recommend OSA with the caveat that it depends on what your job is and who your manager is. Keep your head down and do your job and if everyone is faking about how late they stay, make sure to fake it too. The CEO is a workaholic (no life, no family) and greatly values people staying late even if it is useless and no actual work is getting done; that way management can all pat each other on the back and talk about how hard they worked. Some managers are bullies, and no one will care about you getting bullied. As a general rule of thumb, if your manager has no life and is single, probably there is something wrong with them and they will be a horrible boss to you. Also, just plan to stay for a few years because there likely is no room for growth.

    Advice to Management

    Advice to board is to fire Liz (CEO). Hire a trusted 3rd party to do an investigation.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Director"

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

    Pros

    Their offices are located in DuPont Circle.

    Cons

    There is a reason that there is high turnover in staff.


Showing 20 of 20 reviews
Reset Filters