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Old 06-14-2010, 11:14 PM   #1
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Trying to get a Government Job

Alright so I want to make this short enough to keep people interested but detailed enough to get good advice. Anyway long story short I've been looking for a way to get a job that would allow me to work in NOVA. My parents have been pushing me to look at government jobs mainly because they pay well and offer a great work/life balance.

I used to be an accounting major but had a hard time keeping up with the course work so I switched to Marketing. Now I have a degree in Business Administration though these days I find myself regretting the switch.

My question is what jobs would be a good fit for me? I know there's some sort of general business job out there and I've taken classes in Accounting (15 credits), finance, marketing, logistics, stats, computer information systems, and management so I know I can can find a fit somewhere. However most of the jobs seem to want accounting majors.

My parents have suggested revenue agent for the IRS but I'm not sure I qualify for that position.
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:34 PM   #2
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Re: Trying to get a Government Job

USAJOBS - The Federal Government's Official Jobs Site - Fed's Job Listing Site. Go here first and do a search on those areas you listed above and see what comes out.

There are various Federal Government contractors and subcontractors that you should look into, as they will be a bit easier to navigate and get your foot in the door. Here is a list off the top of my head:

CSC, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, NetStar1, General Dynamics, SAIC, Raytheon, Booz Allen Hamilton, CACI

Go to their websites and look at the job openings in the NOVA area and apply for what you think you can do. And while it's not direct Federal Government work, if you get onto a contract, there is always the possibility that you get selected to be plucked from the contract to work directly for the government.

The company I work for hired me to work on a DoD contract, and I'm now getting transitioned to do work on a contract for USCIS. And while I will not have the direct contact with the client like I did when I worked for DoD, I love working for my company and they've taken very good care of me.
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:57 PM   #3
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Re: Trying to get a Government Job

What do you enjoy doing? An ideal job?
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Old 06-15-2010, 12:59 AM   #4
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Re: Trying to get a Government Job

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What do you enjoy doing? An ideal job?
My friends keep telling me I should do some sort of work with information technology. I'm not exactly a computer science major nor have I ever built my own computer but at the same time I'd say I'm pretty good with computers. It's funny to because before you asked me that question I hadn't even considered the IT field. Though with me it would probably have to be geared towards the business side of things. At the same time I'd love to have some sort of position that would allow me to interact with a lot of people on a regular basis.
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Old 06-15-2010, 01:12 AM   #5
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Re: Trying to get a Government Job

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My friends keep telling me I should do some sort of work with information technology. I'm not exactly a computer science major nor have I ever built my own computer but at the same time I'd say I'm pretty good with computers. It's funny to because before you asked me that question I hadn't even considered the IT field. Though with me it would probably have to be geared towards the business side of things. At the same time I'd love to have some sort of position that would allow me to interact with a lot of people on a regular basis.
I have zero experience with gov't jobs. I've been private sector my whole life, but I would suggest trying to get your foot in the door doing something with which you have experience, even if it's not ideal. Again, I know nothing of working for Uncle Sam, but I would think you could get a higher starting pay grade and level of respect if you enter into public sector work with something that's not totally ground level. That way doors can open up faster.

Whoever recommended surfing the gov't job listings, I would take that advice. Read as many job postings as you can. It may spark some interests. It sounds like you're not too sure of exactly what you want to do, but I wouldn't let your future employer know that.

Just my two cents.
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:17 AM   #6
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Re: Trying to get a Government Job

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My friends keep telling me I should do some sort of work with information technology. I'm not exactly a computer science major nor have I ever built my own computer but at the same time I'd say I'm pretty good with computers. It's funny to because before you asked me that question I hadn't even considered the IT field. Though with me it would probably have to be geared towards the business side of things. At the same time I'd love to have some sort of position that would allow me to interact with a lot of people on a regular basis.
I'm not sure what being pretty good with computers means, can you clarify? What computer skills do you have?

It seems to me Business Analyst or Project Management jobs would be something that might appeal to you. You get to work with computers and there's quite a bit of demand for these types of people in both the government and the private sector in NOVA area. As a business analyst you'll get to use a suite of software to do some number crunching and you can always get a project management job where you get to interact with people with a software/hardware government contractor.
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Old 06-15-2010, 03:11 AM   #7
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Re: Trying to get a Government Job

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I'm not sure what being pretty good with computers means, can you clarify? What computer skills do you have?

It seems to me Business Analyst or Project Management jobs would be something that might appeal to you. You get to work with computers and there's quite a bit of demand for these types of people in both the government and the private sector in NOVA area. As a business analyst you'll get to use a suite of software to do some number crunching and you can always get a project management job where you get to interact with people with a software/hardware government contractor.
Good with computers in that I'm very good with the basics in Microsoft Office (Access, Powerpoint, Word, Excel) especially when it comes to making queries, designing formulas, or dressing up powerpoint presentations. I also frequently get asked by my friends and family to set up programs and teach them how to use it. In the past month I've done task such as importing songs from an iPod onto a computer, increasing the sharpness on a scanned picture, converting files so we can play our avi home movies on my brothers 360, and importing files over a media server on a PS3. Basically a laundry list of odd jobs. Nothing along the lines of programming or physically installing RAM, though I do have a friend thats about to teach me how to install extra RAM.

Still if my job relied on learning navigating and learning a certain type of software theI'm fairly confident that I would be able to pick it up quickly. To put it in more relateable terms, if there was a such thing as a technology IQ mines would be around 130.

Still I like the idea of Business Analyst or Project Manager. Those actually sound a lot like the type of jobs I would be suited for. Thanks Saden. When I was training for accounting it was so much easier to know what types of jobs would be waiting after school since if worse comes to worse you go to Monster and simply type accounting. With a business administration degree it's a little bit wider in terms of scope but it's harder to search for jobs and right now the ones listed on our schools career net aren't exactly the type of jobs I'd consider.
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:35 AM   #8
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Re: Trying to get a Government Job

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Originally Posted by GMScud View Post
I have zero experience with gov't jobs. I've been private sector my whole life, but I would suggest trying to get your foot in the door doing something with which you have experience, even if it's not ideal. Again, I know nothing of working for Uncle Sam, but I would think you could get a higher starting pay grade and level of respect if you enter into public sector work with something that's not totally ground level. That way doors can open up faster.

Whoever recommended surfing the gov't job listings, I would take that advice. Read as many job postings as you can. It may spark some interests. It sounds like you're not too sure of exactly what you want to do, but I wouldn't let your future employer know that.

Just my two cents.
This.. plus once you get a foot in it's A LOT easier to transfer even to another department.
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:20 AM   #9
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Re: Trying to get a Government Job

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Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
I'm not sure what being pretty good with computers means, can you clarify? What computer skills do you have?

It seems to me Business Analyst or Project Management jobs would be something that might appeal to you. You get to work with computers and there's quite a bit of demand for these types of people in both the government and the private sector in NOVA area. As a business analyst you'll get to use a suite of software to do some number crunching and you can always get a project management job where you get to interact with people with a software/hardware government contractor.

Helps to have a security clearance as well but he won't get that until he has his foot in the door. It took me two years at my current job before they gave me one plus it took another 6 months for it to go through but once you get one it may trump my education. I swear if you have a top secert with poly (I don't) you could have a high school education and be in demand for high paying jobs.

My wife has one friend that got out of the army with her secret clearence and just HS education went to work for a contractor, thus contractor paid for her education both BS and Masters and now she has a pretty high up job making bank, took 10 years but it paid off.
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:39 AM   #10
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Re: Trying to get a Government Job

The big pain with gov't jobs is they tend to have very specific education and experience requirements. I've been looking at gov't and state jobs for a while now, finally got to sit for my first civil service exam a few months ago. Even then I had to make a few phone calls to argue my experience to just get my foot in the door for the exam. Very frustrating. Still don't even know what I got on the test yet, it can be a very drawn out process.
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Old 06-15-2010, 10:21 AM   #11
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Re: Trying to get a Government Job

The hard part is getting a goverment job the easy part is keeping it. Good luck.
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Old 06-15-2010, 10:23 AM   #12
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Re: Trying to get a Government Job

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The hard part is getting a goverment job the easy part is keeping it. Good luck.

Very true!!! I work for a contractor and we basically carry the government office that we support.
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Old 06-15-2010, 10:29 AM   #13
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Re: Trying to get a Government Job

Do what Bohnzie said above. Send your resume out to a bunch of contractors and see if anything sticks. A job with a good contractor is just as good as a job with the government.

I started out with Booz Allen Hamilton 8 years ago and turned that into a federal job with the client that I supported. I got lucky, though. Booz pursued me, as did the government after 6 years with Booz. I took the government job because of a guaranteed promotion after the first year (equaling a $30k raise in pay). If that hadn't been offered, I probably wouldn't have taken the job. I do the exact same thing I did as a contractor. There have only been two negatives with being a federal employee; 1) health insurance isn't as good as what I had with Booz, and 2) I don't have as much room to grow financially (GS scale, I'm near the top these days) as I would have with Booz.
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Old 06-15-2010, 10:30 AM   #14
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Re: Trying to get a Government Job

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The hard part is getting a goverment job the easy part is keeping it. Good luck.
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Old 06-15-2010, 10:36 AM   #15
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Re: Trying to get a Government Job

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Do what Bohnzie said above. Send your resume out to a bunch of contractors and see if anything sticks. A job with a good contractor is just as good as a job with the government.

I started out with Booz Allen Hamilton 8 years ago and turned that into a federal job with the client that I supported. I got lucky, though. Booz pursued me, as did the government after 6 years with Booz. I took the government job because of a guaranteed promotion after the first year (equaling a $30k raise in pay). If that hadn't been offered, I probably wouldn't have taken the job. I do the exact same thing I did as a contractor. There have only been two negatives with being a federal employee; 1) health insurance isn't as good as what I had with Booz, and 2) I don't have as much room to grow financially (GS scale, I'm near the top these days) as I would have with Booz.

There are a lot of openings for Booz jobs in Annapolis Junction/ Ft Meade right now, just say'n.
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