US Department of State Reviews | Glassdoor

US Department of State Reviews

Updated September 18, 2017
770 reviews

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3.9
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Approve of CEO
US Department of State Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
Rex Tillerson
38 Ratings

770 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • work/life balance; very formal culture (in 30 reviews)

  • You have to move every two years as part of the foreign service (in 55 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Deputy Assistant Secretary"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time

    Pros

    Represent my country, advance its interests, variety of work

    Cons

    Administrative support and IT behind the times.


  2. "Special Agent"

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

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Worldwide availibility allows you to grow beyond your peers

    Cons

    Worldwide availability makes it difficult to raise children/family.

  3. "Foreign Service Officer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Foreign Service Officer
    Current Employee - Foreign Service Officer
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Everyone is patriotic and devoted to good public service. Everyone is polite, professional and cordial. Everyone is smart, well-educated, cultured and has a broad frame of reference. Good benefits and compensation. If I had it to do all over again, I'd do it all over again.

    Cons

    Up or out system, mandatory retirement at 65. Some big egos to deal with and brown nosing is widespread.


  4. "Warehouse and Transportation Manager"

    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

    I worked at US Department of State full-time

    Pros

    Job security and exciting (depending on what your roll is and where you are based out of .

    Cons

    If you want to become wealthy, there might be a chance that working for the State Department will not be the right place for you.


  5. "Meaningful, important work."

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

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Meaningful work, represent my contry

    Cons

    Bureaucracy, lack of innovation, "the swamp"


  6. "Good job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Passport Specialist
    Current Employee - Passport Specialist
    Recommends

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible scheduling, relaxed management, friendly co-workers

    Cons

    Lack of communication, disorganized at times, boring


  7. "Foreign Service Officer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Foreign Service Officer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Foreign Service Officer in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at US Department of State full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The projects and assignments you work on truly make a difference for the country and people's lives around the world.

    Cons

    HR actively works against your interest in cases where the needs of the service do not align 100% with individual personal/professional preferences.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your rank and file, and don't typecast FSOs. Everyone's the best and brightest, and they all draw from incredibly different backgrounds. Don't assume that someone can't perform because they're too young or too old, or don't have a Harvard/Harvard bachelor's/master's combo.

  8. "Needs to modernize more"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Special Agent
    Current Employee - Special Agent

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

    Pros

    The work is constantly varied and you have opportunities to assume high levels of responsibility even as a junior employee.

    Cons

    The Department pays little attention to retention issues in general including in Diplomatic Security. Modern workforce management practices and including incorporating flexible work options are non-existent. Most of the technology used is out of date. The Bureau of Diplomatic Security particularly suffers from an identity crisis. They are not entirely sure what their core mission is and their workforce planning is poor.

    Advice to Management

    Increase cost savings by working to better retain employees in whom you have already received significant amounts of money through training, security clearances, etc. Determine what your core mission is then adjust the workforce accordingly.


  9. "IT Analyst"

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

    I worked at US Department of State full-time

    Pros

    Professional environment compared to other agencies

    Cons

    The Foreign Service gets most of the training and resources


  10. "Poor management and zero leadership"

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

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Chance to serve country, good overseas living experiences, relaxed work environment.

    Cons

    Lack of vision by Department and post leadership, little emphasis on results, overemphasis on paperwork (the dreaded Briefing CheckList), poor feedback by bosses, email overload, overly conservative work culture.

    Advice to Management

    Managers need to mentor and lead those below them--not just worry about what information their bosses need.


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