Pros: nice cosmetically inside. location by a lake. nice cafeteria.
Cons: hypocrisy, back-stabbing, yoyo (you're on your own.)
I had many great co-workers, and some not-so-great. Your enjoyment of your job depends heavily on your manager, and his or her manager. I had many, many (over 20) years of experience there, most of it happy and challenging.
That all changed after my second manager left the company. All of the support, encouragement, and advice of my first two managers – more... dried up. I was left to fend for myself in a hyper-political world in which I did not flourish. I could see and understand the politics, but I could not behave in that way. I continued to manage in the way that we teach people who come to the Center to manage. They pay thousands of dollars per class. I could not last. The only way those teachings work is if everyone in the company participates.
My wedge of the Center eats people like me for breakfast. Are you an honest, able to hone in on the important matters in a situation, trustworthy, caring, practice-what-you-preach kind of person? Who cares? No one in upper management at the Center.
Are you comfortable doing whatever you need to please the bosses, even if it is half-assed and bends the rules? I'm not knocking this as it will keep you employed. But be used to cooking a chicken and calling it a goose. Be used to stroking egos. Above all else, you have to do what they want and hire who they want especially if they say it is up to you. Don't fall for it.
A few patterns I noticed over the years. I saw this over and over and over:
*If you have a major illness, like cancer, that costs the Center a lot of money, you will be gone not long after you return, certainly before a recurrence. The Center is self-insured.
*If you've been there over 20 years, your time is limited. If you make it that long to begin with, that is.
*If you don't have a Ph.D., your position is shaky. A Master's? Phft. A college degree? Ple-ase.
My experience left me with a feeling of betrayal except from my co-workers. Since I spent most of my life there, it's like a divorce or a death. I still grieve occasionally.
Good luck! – less