Title:Why Work for the Federal Government?
Author:Barbara Adams, CPRW, CEIP, MFRW, MMRW, MFCA-T
First, the federal government is the country's largest single employer, with approximately 2.8M employees and 20K jobs posted worldwide on any given day. Even during times of economic hardship, when the news is always talking about federal hiring freezes and pay cuts, the federal government remains a fairly solid place to work.
On-line, in the newspapers and on TV we hear about the furloughs, hiring freezes, downsizing and other distressing news taking place regarding federal employment. But, the federal government needs to be staffed and employees are terminated, quit, transfer and/or receive promotions. Therefore there are thousands of positions open at any given time. Yes, it is discouraging to hear the down side of federal hiring via all media outlets, however if a federal job is something you wish to obtain and you have a veteran's preference; then you should apply. Jobs are available and posted everyday at usajobs.opm.gov.com.
Just like with anything else, you can probably find varying opinions on this subject. For example, you might find people who are somewhat disgruntled with the federal government after losing a job. On the other hand, you may find other people who were being promoted right up to federal ranks, even during economic crises. That all depends on where you work, which government agency you work for, and your own personal circumstances within that organization. There is no one right answer.
Having said all that, the federal government is huge and diverse, and it's not going anywhere. There are also a number of advantages for veterans who want to work for the federal government. First, you may be eligible for 'Veterans' Preference. This means you get a certain amount of points added to your application when you go through the detailed federal hiring process. How many points you get for Veterans' Preference depends on whether you separated under honorable conditions, when you served, how long you served, whether you're in a combat veteran, and whether you have a disability and how much.
For more information on Veterans' Preference, go to the OPM's website: opm.gov/staffingPortal/Vetguide.asp.