US Department of State Reviews | Glassdoor

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US Department of State Reviews

Updated January 15, 2018
820 reviews

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820 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 58 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Special Agent positions with DoS"

    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
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Excellent compensation in comparison to other federal agent positions, extensive travel, management experience, excellent family benefits when living abroad, rewarding work

    Cons

    Often dangerous work with long and uncompensated hours due to congressional salary caps for employees. Plunging morale amongst employees due to Tillerson leadership decisions on HR issues.


  2. "Admin Not a Fan of Department"

    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

    Pros

    Great Mission, when enabled allows for real world impact on a global level

    Cons

    Current Admin, has a clear disdain for the mission, which lessens ability to accomplish work

    Advice to Management

    Vote

  3. "Travel the world"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - FSO in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - FSO in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    Great career if you like to travel the world and learn about US policy and foreign governments.

    Cons

    Be prepared to be away from home and for slow promotions if overseas.


  4. "Overall a Great Career"

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

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

    Pros

    Challenging, good benefits, opportunity for travel and living abroad.

    Cons

    Frequent moves can be hard on families. Current leadership is not supportive of the Foreign Service, it is even downright hostile.


  5. "Senior Advisor"

    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

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

    Pros

    Always interesting and challenging, particularly overseas

    Cons

    Maybe subject to the political winds.


  6. "A great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Community Liaison Office Coordinator
    Former Employee - Community Liaison Office Coordinator

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

    Pros

    My coworkers at the embassy were professionals in their field yet also very approachable and collaborative in the workplace.

    Cons

    Frequent reassignment in overseas postings make continuity among colleagues a constant yet unavoidable challenge.


  7. "State Department"

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

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

    Pros

    Structured way to go overseas. Job stability. Job satisfaction.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy and constant moving. Slow promotion.

  8. "Senior Policy Advisor"

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

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

    Pros

    Immediate impact. Work with purpose. Naturally driven high achievers.

    Cons

    Part of a bureaucracy, with all its pros and cons.

    Advice to Management

    Put people first.


  9. "Good place to work but mgmt should give more opportunities for advancement and learning"

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

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

    Pros

    Working with extremely bright and motivated individuals
    Can be flexible
    Challenging and exciting work environment

    Cons

    Difficult to advance from GS-12 to GS-13
    It can be too formal and extremely competitive

    Advice to Management

    Don't micromanage your employees and give them a chance to go on detail to explore and learn from other bureaus after they have been at the Department for a while. Certain offices at State didn't allow this.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "I had a good run, but it was time to go..."

    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 10 years)

    Pros

    From a Foreign Service Officer (FSO) point of view: varied overseas assignments, where the countries were always interesting even if the day-to-day work wasn't; language training as needed; dedicated colleagues; the opportunity to advance foreign policy/national security interests of the United States.

    Cons

    Frequent moves, which can be difficult for family members; long stretches away from friends/relatives in the US; bureaucratic obstacles (comes with the territory of any USG job!) and relatively low levels of compensation and benefits (as viewed over the course of a three decade career). A final worrisome "con" - the increasing hostility towards diplomacy from our own leadership...


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