U.S. Department of State Employee Reviews about "work life balance"
78% would recommend to a friend
(84 total reviews)
92% approve of CEO
Found 84 of over 2K reviews
Updated Dec 5, 2023
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Top Review Highlights by Sentiment
Excerpts from user reviews, not authored by Glassdoor
- "good benefits and" (in 148 reviews)
- "Great people; Intelligent and hardworking teammates on my team; State really pushes for optimum work" (in 119 reviews)
- "Smart colleagues Opportunity to meaningfully contribute" (in 94 reviews)
- "Great opportunity to get a clearance and exposure to the United States Government and Foreign Policy." (in 91 reviews)
- "The pay can be good." (in 44 reviews)
- "far from your own country, poor management, difficult for singles AND married couples." (in 47 reviews)
- "Long hours and the government bureaucracy" (in 40 reviews)
- "Federal bureaucracy and lots of red tape as a result; long security clearance process; internship was unpaid and abroad thereby incurring personal spending." (in 37 reviews)
- "Poor leadership and accountability from senior staff." (in 34 reviews)
- "Workaholic culture" (in 31 reviews)
Ratings by Demographics
This rating reflects the overall rating of U.S. Department of State and is not affected by filters.
Reviews about "work life balance"Return to all Reviews
- 4.0Aug 19, 2017Regional English Language OfficerCurrent Employee, more than 5 years
Great salary and benefits. interesting, fulfilling work.
limited freedom in personal life. moving every 2 to 3 yeas. very poor work life balance
- 4.0Aug 12, 2008Foreign Service OfficerCurrent EmployeeWashington, DC
The opportunity to travel and live in other countries and cultures and learn new languages. Employees with families are given a lot of benefits. Most of the employees are smart, good at their jobs, and decent people. Overseas, your housing is usually taken care of and you are given adequate amounts of time off. The work is usually challenging and interesting - no two days are the same.
I can basically sum up my personal major downside of working at DOS in the following sentence: they expect maximum flexibility and obedience from their employees, but do not show an ounce of flexibility or understanding in return. Work/life balance is messed up - you are basically available 24/7 and it can be exhausting. Working in Washington after living overseas can cause major financial difficulties b/c salaries are not commensurate with the cost of living in D.C. Singles are pretty much discriminated against across the board - positions and everything else favor tandem couples and families. One must put aside ethical and moral personal feelings if one does not agree with the current administration's policies. Favoritism is rampant. As it is a bureacracy, logic and reason and common sense do not always come into play when it comes to career opportunities - most of the time, you're just a body they need to plug into a position. Managers don't always recognize achievements and treat subordinates like automatons. The DOS is becoming more militarized, ie run like the DOD, particularly when it comes to assignments. We're not diplomats anymore; we're quasi-soldiers.5
- 3.0Jun 1, 2010Anonymous EmployeeFormer EmployeeQuito
Great work/life balance as long as you don't mind being in a foreign country Considering benefits and diplomatic perks compensation can be excellent depending on which country you are in
It's very difficult to measure performance since the goals of the organization don't involve any measurable cash flow as in the private sector. This also can make it hard to quantify the good you may or may not be doing and thus make it harder to find satisfaction in your work.2
- 1.0Nov 7, 2015Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee
Work hours can be limited to 40 hours so the positions do have a work life balance. IIP's main leadership group is innovative and has brought a number of positive changes to the organization. Location is central and the State Department is a great place to network.
The Office of Analytics's leadership has very little to no qualifications for leading a team of developers. Hence, the analytics leadership makes erratic project and hiring decisions. Multiple new candidates have been let go in the past few years due to "personal" disagreements. A core group of employees who have been has been on the team the longest tend to be threatened by new talent and treat new people poorly. Overall the work environment is negative and the projects uninteresting.2