Advancing your career in the Federal Government. Well, that is easy to say, isn’t it? But is it so easy to accomplish?
It’s hard enough to get a Federal Government job, so once you are in, you certainly don’t want to leave it too quickly. But are you going to be happy remaining in that one job for your entire career? Most people look to change jobs at least two or three times, if not more, in their career, so it’s very likely that you will want to make a change sooner or later. So, how do you advance in your career without leaving a very good Federal Government job?
There are a number of things that you can do to work towards that promotion.
- Research your Section or Unit for advancement opportunities that naturally flow from the job which you are currently doing. Can you work towards becoming the Unit Supervisor? Or are there other positions within your Section or Unit that would be deemed a promotion?
- Research on a broader level, going outside your immediate Unit. Are there any Sections to which you can move where your skills will be transferrable? Once you identify a unit that you feel would be a good fit. reach out and let them know that you are potentially interested in a change.
- Research other Federal Departments and see if there are any Deployment opportunities. Although Deployments are lateral in nature, they might ultimately lead to more opportunities. And check with your Human Resources office and let them know that you might be interested in a deployment opportunity. Check the job site and see if anything has been advertised.
- Look for Secondment or Assignment opportunities that will help you develop new skills and explore new opportunities. Again, let HR know you are looking for a change.
- Explore the possibility of an Acting Assignment. This will help develop more advanced skills and prepare you for a promotion.
- Utilize your training budget. Find out if you are lacking any required training and start taking courses that would ultimately help you work towards your promotional goal. If there are no courses that you require, then use your training budget to help you prepare for the job application process. Get help with your resume and cover letter. Will there be any testing? Will you have to do an In-Basket? Find an expert in Federal Government interviews and get some interview coaching. Just because you don’t need to take a course doesn’t mean there isn’t another use for your training budget.
As you can see, there are a number of steps you can take to explore possible career advancement opportunities within the Federal Government. The thing to remember is that this is your career. No one else is going to manage it for you. So if you don’t take steps to move in the direction that you would like to go, then you won’t go anywhere.
And if you feel you need additional help on the way, don’t be afraid to reach out to an experienced Certified Professional Career Coach who has expertise in Federal staffing. Being well prepared to make the change will go a long way to making the transition smoother.
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