US Department of State Reviews | Glassdoor

US Department of State Reviews

Updated April 20, 2017
175 reviews

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3.0
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US Department of State Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
Rex Tillerson
1 Rating

175 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • work/life balance; very formal culture (in 25 reviews)

  • You have to move every two years as part of the foreign service (in 49 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Deputy Assistant Secretary"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Deputy Assistant Secretary in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Deputy Assistant Secretary in Washington, DC
    Recommends

    I worked at US Department of State full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    High visibility; gratifying work; smart and capable teams of people; expands professional network

    Cons

    work/life balance; very formal culture

    Advice to Management

    Create more opportunities for incoming, younger staff


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Poor training, poor managers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Living overseas, travel, free language school

    Cons

    Too many egos, lower quality employees often hired to maintain some mythical "diversity" as if capability alone is not sufficient.

    Advice to Management

    Reach out to minorities but don't hire on the basis of quotas. Stop telling new FSOs that they are the best and the brightest - they're not.


  3. "English Language Officer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Foreign Language Teacher/Contractor/Concierge in Washington, DC
    Former Contractor - Foreign Language Teacher/Contractor/Concierge in Washington, DC

    I worked at US Department of State as a contractor (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I met some very interesting professionals and I traveled.

    Cons

    Was not clear why they just abruptly stopped giving me assignments.


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  5. "Great Mission, Does Not Care About Employees"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at US Department of State full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Traveling, adventure, new languages, interesting portfolios, meaningful work, participating in history.

    Cons

    Lack of diversity, HR rules and regs outdated, no care given to developing employees, large bureaucracy, does not leverage employee skill sets or talents, virtually no work life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Need to restructure entry level experience so employees become engaged and remain enthusiastic about the career.


  6. "Foreign Service Officer"

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

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

    Pros

    Some interesting postings; international travel; excellent salary and benefits. Some postings are meaningful.

    Cons

    Salary is not competitive if on domestic assignment. Some postings are to dangerous or hazardous locations. Incredible bureacracy and many many stupid colleagues and bosses who are back stabbers.

    Advice to Management

    Cultivate creative thinking and weed out the old time thinkers. Promote the focus on public diplomacy that Secretary Clinton advocated, as the cadre of FSOs that entered in this period were a breath of fresh air.


  7. "Intern at Department of State"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I worked at US Department of State (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great experience for university students

    Cons

    There is no pipeline to full time position after


  8. "Training Assistant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA

    Pros

    You get to work in a diverse setting surrounded by those that really care about international relations.

    Cons

    you must leave to get promoted.

    Advice to Management

    Don't single out contractors


  9. "Work is satisfying, management is lacking"

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

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

    Pros

    Satisfying work - what you do can change the world
    Lots of autonomy, especially at less senior levels
    Salary and benefits are good and reliable
    Pension upon retirement

    Cons

    Too many people concerned with career advancement at the expense of the work, especially at senior levels. Doing the right thing is not valued or rewarded, and not even supported by management if it rocks the boat. Burgeoning number of political appointees undermine the mission even further. By definition they have no horizon beyond the current administration's priorities and legacy so they undermine the integrity of the decision-making process.

    Advice to Management

    Care about the work more than yourselves. Reward risk-taking and truth-tellers.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Personnel Security"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Personnel Security in Rosslyn, VA
    Current Employee - Personnel Security in Rosslyn, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    friendly environment, flexible hour, teleworker one day a week, safe, and professional.

    Cons

    no growing opportunity, too much entitle, very little integrity, no trust worthy, and no loyalty.

    Advice to Management

    To be fair, equal opportunity to all races and ethnicity.


  11. "Very mixed"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - FSO in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - FSO in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    See the world, free housing, awesome benefits, very occasionally getting to be a part of policymaking of import

    Cons

    Zero mentorship. Folks are promoted on the basis of their individual abilities and not their leadership capacity. Not a well led organization. No one will ever critique you or help you to identify and improve your "developmental area"

    Advice to Management

    Fire people who need firing. Accelerate promotions for rock stars.


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