Foreign and Commonwealth Office Reviews

Updated 24 Jun 2020

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4.0
79%
Recommend to a Friend
85%
Approve of CEO
Foreign and Commonwealth Office Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson
34 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "Limited career growth for locally engaged staff but that is to be expected(in 13 reviews)

  • "Salaries are not competitive compared to other diplomatic missions and international organizations(in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Enabling, inclusive envoirenment with very established working principles"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager/Programmer in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Foreign and Commonwealth Office full-time

    Pros

    Inclusive, progressive, committed to impact

    Cons

    Cumbersome assurance processes, Limited coordination accross different departments

    Continue reading
  2. "Great, but..."

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Civil Servant in Bristol, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Foreign and Commonwealth Office full-time

    Pros

    Fantastic opportunities to travel, varied work, and some very bright colleagues.

    Cons

    Slow progression, poorly paid relative to others in comparable roles, poor IT, HR, and training.

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  3. "A world class organisation, protecting and expanding British national interests around the world"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Commercial Team Leader in London, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Foreign and Commonwealth Office full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Excellent training opportunities available to the Civil Service and specifically tailored to the FCO is available, a wide range of opportunities to grow in roles and experiences available to most resources in most departments (not all resources and all departments). Exciting work to do and opportunities for travelling for those who like in work travels.

    Cons

    Not all departments are very clear about the spectrum of personal and professional development for their staff. Must work on those. annual income is very little for most roles apart from top level director/executive director roles. You should learn to live with little money for years unless selected in above roles or coming from a more privileged background. As such low level and mid level entry is best for young people apprentice or graduate only, not for people with more financial commitments, rents and rates and mortgages to pay.

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  4. "An amazing place to work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Economic Advisor 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Foreign and Commonwealth Office full-time

    Pros

    Work on the most important topical questions of the day. You will learn lots incredibly quickly. Given large amounts of responsibility to undertake important high profile pieces of analysis.

    Cons

    Some travel but less than you might expect. Work life balance is not like other civil service jobs - you do need to put in hours, but is rewarding. IT is slow and clunky.

  5. "Great"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Policy Adviser in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Foreign and Commonwealth Office full-time

    Pros

    Interesting, international, challenging, exciting, engaging.

    Cons

    Can be difficult to get into.

  6. Helpful (1)

    "Worst Government Department in Whitehall to work for."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - A2 Officer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Foreign and Commonwealth Office full-time

    Pros

    Access to the centre of British foreign policy.

    Cons

    Lack of diversity. Poor and uncompetitive pay. Lack of progression for those outside of the Fast Stream.

  7. "Unlike any other job"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Diplomat in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Foreign and Commonwealth Office full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Challenging and interesting work, travel, clever and talented colleagues, creative flexible and remote working policies

    Cons

    Lifestyle commitment, bureaucracy, resources, low pay

  8. "Great job but the burnout is real"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - CSM in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Foreign and Commonwealth Office full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Good perks, travel, benefits, great team

    Cons

    Always cutting back trying to do more for less Turnover is getting higher Do not always feel valued

  9. Helpful (3)

    "Your experience can vary wildly"

    1.0
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    Former Employee - Senior Executive Officer in London, England

    I worked at Foreign and Commonwealth Office full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Your experience will look good on your resume. You will be able to leave at 5 pm. I was able to work from home when it was convenient. I was able to travel to conferences in other countries. The building is nice.

    Cons

    If you don't click with your team then you will have no recourse, whether you perform well in your job or not. This can be a minefield for some people. If the senior employees in your area don't like you, you are better off resigning, as I did. The Civil Service is so detached from the outside world that it is hard to see how your work makes a real difference. Some of the high level departmental metrics are questionable. My area was overstaffed with overbearing and cliquey middle managers. HM Treasury has a reputation for having whiz kids who are given high levels of responsibility. I don't know if that is true or not but the exact opposite is the case in the FCO. There are many plodders who wallow in bureaucracy.

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  10. "Great place to work"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Prosperity Executive 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Foreign and Commonwealth Office full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Best place I’ve ever worked

    Cons

    A bit too Bureaucratic, slow moving career

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