U.S. Department of State Reviews | Glassdoor

U.S. Department of State Reviews

Updated October 18, 2018
924 reviews

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3.8
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U.S. Department of State Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo
21 Ratings

924 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "The management i very flexible and understanding for work life balance" (in 42 reviews)

  • "You get opportunities to see the world, to be involved in policy decisions, and occasionally to work on high-profile issues with high-level people" (in 32 reviews)

Cons
  • "Having a work/life balance is a major challenge" (in 34 reviews)

  • "No opportunities to join if not foreign service" (in 63 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great job"

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

    I have been working at U.S. Department of State full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Travel, benefits, housing overseas, exciting work

    Cons

    Bureaucracy, Bureaucracy, Bureaucracy, Bureaucracy, Bureaucracy


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Decent starting salary"

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

    I worked at U.S. Department of State full-time

    Pros

    There is room for growth. You are able to move from one department to another easily if you have a good manager.

    Cons

    Even though there is room to grow, but you have to deal with racism. Growth is only there if you have a good manager/supervisor, not someone who is racist and discriminate against people based on whether or not the person has a bachelor`s degree or less than that.

  3. "Strong values, uneven implementation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at U.S. Department of State full-time

    Pros

    You represent the United States and our values to the world.

    Cons

    Parochial culture, much like the military, that rewards those who have come up in the system from a young age. It is not an ideal mid-career move if you have skills and talents you are eager to use. Virtually no training or career development, aside from languages. You must also endure a 2- or 3-month internal bidding process every 2-3 years to compete for positions you are interested in. It's ridden with bias and subjectivity. There is also a lack of ethnic diversity.

    Advice to Management

    Manage talent and skills more effectively. The Foreign Service has developed an army of generalists who know a little about everything, but are not able to specialize or use their existing skills well.


  4. "Director of Customer Service"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director of Customer Service in Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Director of Customer Service in Dulles, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at U.S. Department of State full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    housing benefit; no monthly bills; security; retirement benefit

    Cons

    An environment that doesn't award employees who introduce new and more efficient ways of thinking and innovative ideas

    Advice to Management

    Management officers themselves need to get training on disruptive strategies and be up to date with newer more efficient platforms.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Sounds more interesting than it is..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Economic Officer; Foreign Affairs Officer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Economic Officer; Foreign Affairs Officer in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at U.S. Department of State full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    State Department officials are right in the middle of some historic events and the work environment tends to be intellectually stimulating.

    Cons

    The State Department is enormous, so it's difficult to generalize, but in my experience, the actual work can be unfulfilling. And as an institution State felt archaic and reactionary.


  6. "EFM job in San Jose, Costa Rica"

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

    I worked at U.S. Department of State full-time

    Pros

    EFM jobs are lightly competed, so your chance of getting a position are high

    Cons

    Delays in security clearance can be long, over six months is common. Worse if you are foreign-born. Salary is low, but EPAP mechanism allows for much higher salaries, if you can convince employing office and post management to fight for this.

    Advice to Management

    Use EPAP more aggressively


  7. "Special Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Special Assistant in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Special Assistant in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at U.S. Department of State full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    This job has good health benefits

    Cons

    No cons so far for me

  8. "Great place to make a career"

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

    I have been working at U.S. Department of State full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great place to work. Great benefits, TSP match, and leave policy.

    Cons

    Overseas posts vary from post to post. Research your post and set your expectations accordingly.


  9. "Intern"

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

    Pros

    -Got to work with wonderful people who were encouraging and treated you as an equal
    -Lived abroad
    -Was given interesting and relevant work to complete
    -Got to attend celebrations at other countries' embassies

    Cons

    -Since it is only an internship there was no pay

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work


  10. "Foreign Service"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at U.S. Department of State full-time

    Pros

    Excellent travel opportunities, diverse work environment and decent pay for a government position.

    Cons

    Consistently moving every two to three years. Ambiguity in assignment process.


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