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Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
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Aliblahba Offline
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Post: #26
RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
(03-04-2013 09:53 PM)Celtic Wrote:  As a government drone, I can tell you there is one huge benefit to government work- Leave. The government has generous leave packages and if you can be disciplined about saving your vacation days, You can take 2-3 week vacations pretty easily. That's about the time to give yourself a good shot on picking up a flag.

I would be careful about any position with too high a level of security clearance though. From what I have heard, traveling a lot and especially close connections with foreigners (read: sex) can cause you to lose your clearance.

You are required to disclose any future travel with your security dept. They will tell you whether or not there is a problem. I was going to Lebanon a few years back, and there wasn't a problem. China is a different story.

@HC- I was going to apply to an electronics job with the embassy way back. The reason I held off was the chance of being stuck in shitholes for the first couple tours due to my background. That came from a GS-15. At the time I was trying to get the fuck out of Iraq, and didn't see the point of going through the bureaucratic bullshit just to be right back, for lower pay. The benefits would have been pimp though.
03-04-2013 09:59 PM
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Hencredible Casanova Offline
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Post: #27
RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
(03-04-2013 09:53 PM)Celtic Wrote:  As a government drone, I can tell you there is one huge benefit to government work- Leave. The government has generous leave packages and if you can be disciplined about saving your vacation days, You can take 2-3 week vacations pretty easily. That's about the time to give yourself a good shot on picking up a flag.

I would be careful about any position with too high a level of security clearance though. From what I have heard, traveling a lot and especially close connections with foreigners (read: sex) can cause you to lose your clearance.

This is true. Many agencies also have a "use it or lose it" policy when it comes to leave so that by the end of the year you can take all your leave at once to avoid using it. Certain times of year are absolutely quiet in the government. DC is a ghost town in August and it's also very slow between Thanksgiving and mid-January.
03-04-2013 10:07 PM
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pros80 Offline
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Post: #28
RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
(03-04-2013 09:24 PM)Hencredible Casanova Wrote:  
(03-04-2013 02:19 PM)Aliblahba Wrote:  I know a lot of guys that have switched from contracting to guvmint jobs. They have begged me to join, but those jobs are too slow paced. I hate being around inefficiency, and that's the core of Uncle Sammy. But yeah, the pay, benefits, ect. make it a good gig. Some of my friends have been able to advance their degrees due to having so much time in front of a computer doing nothing on our dime. By now I'd be a GS-13 with some seniority and more education. Don't regret it though. Picking up a job as an embassy worker is another one to look into.

This is another good option for many guys on here. The State Department Foreign Service. Forget about the Foreign Service Officer track. I actually took the written exam twice some years ago and passed with flying colors both times but never got invited to orals. This is common apparently. They used to invite you to orals outright for passing the written but know they have this mysterious and bureaucratic process known as the Qualifications Evaluation Panel (QEP) where you answer some short essay questions about your experiences and they review that before deciding to invite you. Many FSOs went through the process multiple times before finally making it to orals and eventually becoming FSOs. You can only take the exam once per year.

However, there's an even better path sans the politics and relatively low pay of the FSO. There's Foreign Service Specialists (FSS). There are 22 different job specialities ranging from IT to Medicine. A guy I knew who used to be interested in the FSO track but also never got invited to orals decided to apply as an Information Management Officer and got accepted. There's no written exam. If your background is suitable they invite you to orals and depending on the specialty you may have an exam or additional steps beyond that.

Anyway, he's moving to Albania in June and the pay is in the low six figs I think. He's taking his wife and baby daughter and the State Dept pays for his living expenses, education for the daughter (even if the school tuition is like 40K a year they cover it), a maid, driver, etc. He will spend two years in that post and then get rotated just like an FSO. Further, the job he will be doing is the same as what he was doing in the private sector.

The thing is they recruit once a year or so and there's only three of the 22 specialties still open atm. You can sign up for e-mail alerts that let you know when a specialty of your preference becomes open. The sequester is likely to have an effect on the hiring needs of State though.

So there are only 3 actual positions left for FSS? It must be very competitive. Thats the hard part. All these exams and essays and you still may not even get an interview.
03-04-2013 10:19 PM
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Hencredible Casanova Offline
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Post: #29
RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
(03-04-2013 10:19 PM)pros80 Wrote:  So there are only 3 actual positions left for FSS? It must be very competitive. Thats the hard part. All these exams and essays and you still may not even get an interview.

Every specialty has a deadline for applications. All of them except for three closed sometime last year.

http://careers.state.gov/specialist/vaca...ouncements
03-04-2013 10:50 PM
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UrbanNerd Offline
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Post: #30
RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
I have been a federal government contractor (software engineering/I.T.) for 8 years...after doing 14 in the private sector. I have one of those high security clearances and the agency I contract for is that infamous federal agency in Fort Meade, MD.

I live less than 10 minutes from that agency which allows me to actually come home for lunch sometimes and SOMETIMES those lunches may last 2 hours (LOL). While I do work for "the man", I only work 40 hours a week (which may include those lunches I mentioned) and my salary is somewhere between $150K-$200K. Now if you get one of those "mission critical" projects, the work can be VERY INTERESTING but of course, that is all that I can say (and I might have already said too much, lol) and other times, it can be mundane. I do not mind it being mundane because as any software engineer will tell you, the key to longevity in this industry (govt or private sector) is learning new technology and the mundane times helps to get re-certified or pick up the next "big thing" like cloud computing. At my job, I am surrounded by some "sports heads" so we talk football, basketball and other sports all day.

As a contractor, you basically work when given work by your federal task lead. Since federal government workers get so much paid leave, you will work a lot of days with your task leader not even around.

While I do understand the whole "work for yourself" ambition, I always felt that unless I had a kick-ass business, I will continue to earn this "easy money" from the feds. I have friends who are trying one half-baked business idea after another half-baked business idea and they do not make the money I make. They have to network and missed damn-near every sporting event while I make almost double what they make and I barely work 40 hours a week.

Now there are some drawbacks. All-access travel is one issue. I have already inquired about going to Columbia and that infamous federal agency in Fort Meade has already said that "while we won't exactly say NO...we will put you through so much paperwork and interviews that you will cancel that thought anyway". Another drawback is that you cannot really get too too serious with a foreign girl because you don't want her on your mind when it is time to take that polygraph and you are being asked about your "foreign relationships".

Still, I am OK with "working for the man" because outside of this bogus sequestion...my job is pretty much guaranteed.
03-04-2013 11:09 PM
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pros80 Offline
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Post: #31
RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
(03-04-2013 11:09 PM)UrbanNerd Wrote:  I have been a federal government contractor (software engineering/I.T.) for 8 years...after doing 14 in the private sector. I have one of those high security clearances and the agency I contract for is that infamous federal agency in Fort Meade, MD.

I live less than 10 minutes from that agency which allows me to actually come home for lunch sometimes and SOMETIMES those lunches may last 2 hours (LOL). While I do work for "the man", I only work 40 hours a week (which may include those lunches I mentioned) and my salary is somewhere between $150K-$200K. Now if you get one of those "mission critical" projects, the work can be VERY INTERESTING but of course, that is all that I can say (and I might have already said too much, lol) and other times, it can be mundane. I do not mind it being mundane because as any software engineer will tell you, the key to longevity in this industry (govt or private sector) is learning new technology and the mundane times helps to get re-certified or pick up the next "big thing" like cloud computing. At my job, I am surrounded by some "sports heads" so we talk football, basketball and other sports all day.

As a contractor, you basically work when given work by your federal task lead. Since federal government workers get so much paid leave, you will work a lot of days with your task leader not even around.

While I do understand the whole "work for yourself" ambition, I always felt that unless I had a kick-ass business, I will continue to earn this "easy money" from the feds. I have friends who are trying one half-baked business idea after another half-baked business idea and they do not make the money I make. They have to network and missed damn-near every sporting event while I make almost double what they make and I barely work 40 hours a week.

Now there are some drawbacks. All-access travel is one issue. I have already inquired about going to Columbia and that infamous federal agency in Fort Meade has already said that "while we won't exactly say NO...we will put you through so much paperwork and interviews that you will cancel that thought anyway". Another drawback is that you cannot really get too too serious with a foreign girl because you don't want her on your mind when it is time to take that polygraph and you are being asked about your "foreign relationships".

Still, I am OK with "working for the man" because outside of this bogus sequestion...my job is pretty much guaranteed.

40 hours a week and $150-$200K a year???? wow. But it looks like your experience adds up to 22 years so you must have paid your dues.
03-04-2013 11:36 PM
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UrbanNerd Offline
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Post: #32
RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
(03-04-2013 11:36 PM)pros80 Wrote:  40 hours a week and $150-$200K a year???? wow. But it looks like your experience adds up to 22 years so you must have paid your dues.

I lucked out. I was hired right out of college by a big company in Pittsburgh, PA. I then came to the DC area...moved to the Philly area and then back to the DC area. Still, it was those 14 years in the private sector that helped me because government-related work is slower paced, so doing work to impress government folks is much easier and less stressful.

I made my career moves for money. I never bought into the "pick a college major that you will like so you will have a job that you will like" mumbo-jumbo. If the job does not include playing golf...only to come back a sip rum-punches with some naked local chick in your shower....THEN IT IS WORK. My goal is to make all job/career moves to make the best money I can...so I can use that money for travel. As most DC guys (who travel) say..."you practice with the DC chicks and then go kill it somewhere else".
03-04-2013 11:55 PM
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cool Offline
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RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
I have a top secret clearance, but would only get into government or contracting work on a year-to-year basis. I would rather work in the Middle East or Afghanistan for a year and make six figures than do the same work in the DC area for much less pay.
03-05-2013 12:00 AM
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Hencredible Casanova Offline
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Post: #34
RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
(03-05-2013 12:00 AM)cool Wrote:  I have a top secret clearance, but would only get into government or contracting work on a year-to-year basis. I would rather work in the Middle East or Afghanistan for a year and make six figures than do the same work in the DC area for much less pay.

I know some guys doing this in Afg. They are making great money and they love spending it on clothes and travel. They get a few weeks off every few months and they go wherever. Pipelining is a big part of their game since they don't do anything but work while in Afg so they spend a lot of their time working out, reading, and being online.

It's a big tradeoff. Personally, I prefer being in the States. I know those guys in Afg are looking to get nice contracts in Europe and places like that afterwards. That would be cool.
03-05-2013 12:09 AM
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Alpharius Offline
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Post: #35
RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
I'm taking the FSOT when I get back to the states. I could take it here in China but right now I'm studying for the HSK. Does anyone know what's on the computer/management part of the test? Or what you could use to study for those portions? The rest I feel pretty confident on.

The money most FSO's make isn't fantastic, but at the same time the benefits of the job are beyond compare. In addition to extensive language training, you get paid travel, decent (for America) vacation time, health benefits, first world accommodation even in 3rd world countries...

It is super competitive, most people don't get in. Even on their 3rd or 4th try. Somewhere in their recruitment materials it specifically states that you shouldn't plan on a career with them, because chances are you won't get in. Plan on a different career, then apply, you never know if you'll get lucky or not.

If you are going to impose your will on the world, you must have control over what you believe.

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03-05-2013 12:18 AM
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Hencredible Casanova Offline
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Post: #36
RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
The FSOT is pretty random but it's an easy test IMO. I would say the best way to prepare is to spend about a year staying up to date on current events. Read something like the WSJ or NYT everyday. Also, read one in-depth news magazine like Time or Newsweek.

I'd also recommend brushing up on some world geography and American history, as well as recent world history. You should also know the Constitution very well. There are decent online quizzes for these things that will help you master them.

Since you're focusing on the management track, a general book on management theory might be useful. They are going to ask you about how to motivate people and other mgmt theory questions. You may already know the answers intuitively but there are often two good choices though only one correct answer.

Take this practice exam. The real test will look a lot like this:

http://www.testprepreview.com/fsot_manag...actice.htm

Here is a study guide list of resources: http://fsotstudyguide.com/tag/resources/


(03-05-2013 12:18 AM)Osiris Wrote:  I'm taking the FSOT when I get back to the states. I could take it here in China but right now I'm studying for the HSK. Does anyone know what's on the computer/management part of the test? Or what you could use to study for those portions? The rest I feel pretty confident on.

The money most FSO's make isn't fantastic, but at the same time the benefits of the job are beyond compare. In addition to extensive language training, you get paid travel, decent (for America) vacation time, health benefits, first world accommodation even in 3rd world countries...

It is super competitive, most people don't get in. Even on their 3rd or 4th try. Somewhere in their recruitment materials it specifically states that you shouldn't plan on a career with them, because chances are you won't get in. Plan on a different career, then apply, you never know if you'll get lucky or not.
03-05-2013 12:30 AM
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EisenBarde Offline
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RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
Good luck getting past the QEP for the State Department. I've failed getting past that 3 times now. I think they won't hire white males that didn't go to Yale or Harvard.

To learn who rules over you, notice who you cannot criticize.
03-05-2013 01:01 AM
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Alpharius Offline
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RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
Good thing I'm not white?

(It's not often that I get to say that.)

If you are going to impose your will on the world, you must have control over what you believe.

Data Sheet Minneapolis / Data Sheet St. Paul / Data Sheet Northern MN/BWCA / Data Sheet Duluth
03-05-2013 01:52 AM
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cool Offline
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RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
(03-05-2013 12:09 AM)Hencredible Casanova Wrote:  
(03-05-2013 12:00 AM)cool Wrote:  I have a top secret clearance, but would only get into government or contracting work on a year-to-year basis. I would rather work in the Middle East or Afghanistan for a year and make six figures than do the same work in the DC area for much less pay.

I know some guys doing this in Afg. They are making great money and they love spending it on clothes and travel. They get a few weeks off every few months and they go wherever. Pipelining is a big part of their game since they don't do anything but work while in Afg so they spend a lot of their time working out, reading, and being online.

It's a big tradeoff. Personally, I prefer being in the States. I know those guys in Afg are looking to get nice contracts in Europe and places like that afterwards. That would be cool.

A friend of mine has been doing contract work in Iraq since 2007. Like you wrote, he grinds out a narrow existence in Iraq then takes a trip to cool out for a month. Since the work in Iraq is drying up, he's looking to make a lateral move to either Afghan or N. Africa.

FYI, the effects of sequestration are already being felt. There haven't been napkins in the cafeteria for weeks now. That's how petty this going to get funding slows to a trickle. I'm glad I'm getting out in 18 months because I see lean years ahead for servicemembers.
03-05-2013 03:56 AM
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Hencredible Casanova Offline
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RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
(03-05-2013 01:01 AM)EisenBarde Wrote:  Good luck getting past the QEP for the State Department. I've failed getting past that 3 times now. I think they won't hire white males that didn't go to Yale or Harvard.

Every entering FSO class has fewer white males than ever. That's actually the person with the "least" advantage these days. There was actually a white guy in my online group for people who passed the written exam that recently graduated from Princeton and got a perfect score on the written. Even he didn't make it past the QEP. I was at a house party in DC once and met these two girls who were FSO's. We talked about our backgrounds and prior to joining the Foreign Service neither of them had traveled abroad. One of them only went as far as taking a road trip to Canada with her family when she was young. They also weren't fluent in a second language.

It's truly difficult to understand the logic in who gets to advance in the FSO process these days. Makes little sense.
(This post was last modified: 03-05-2013 11:09 AM by Hencredible Casanova.)
03-05-2013 11:06 AM
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EisenBarde Offline
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RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
(03-05-2013 11:06 AM)Hencredible Casanova Wrote:  It's truly difficult to understand the logic in who gets to advance in the FSO process these days. Makes little sense.
It's not difficult at all, next time I'm just going to pull an Elizabeth Warren and claim my primary ancestry is that of my great-great-maternal-paternal-grandfather.

Though to be honest, I should try the consular track next time, that's the easiest in from what I know.

To learn who rules over you, notice who you cannot criticize.
03-05-2013 11:42 AM
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Mr.Barbarian Offline
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RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
Anyone have ideas for good gigs in state government? I'm in there and would love to land someplace better, but since I already have time in here it would be ideal for it to be at the state level.

I am seeking employment in Oslo, Norway. Any assistance is appreciated.
03-05-2013 12:14 PM
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Hencredible Casanova Offline
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RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
I know why you think that but it's a lot more complicated than race. My first application after murdering the written exam could honestly not have been any better. Not only am I a minority but I had extraordinary experiences in North Africa and the Middle East to brag about. One of my "verifiers" for my essay answer was the actual person chosen to represent Egypt for the State Department's entrepreneurship program that Obama announced in his "Cairo speech" back in 2009.

On top of that, I'm not the only one. I know of other superbly qualified minorities who crushed the written exam but did not even get invited to orals because of QEP.

When the results of who passed/failed the QEP came out in our Yahoo group, we inquired for the background stories of those who moved on and those who didn't, it truly made no sense. Many of the people who made it to orals had lower test scores and less exceptional backgrounds to those that weren't invited. It had little if anything to do with race.

(03-05-2013 11:42 AM)EisenBarde Wrote:  
(03-05-2013 11:06 AM)Hencredible Casanova Wrote:  It's truly difficult to understand the logic in who gets to advance in the FSO process these days. Makes little sense.
It's not difficult at all, next time I'm just going to pull an Elizabeth Warren and claim my primary ancestry is that of my great-great-maternal-paternal-grandfather.

Though to be honest, I should try the consular track next time, that's the easiest in from what I know.
03-05-2013 12:34 PM
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RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
That's what I dislike about the modern "meritocracy". There is no transparency and even less accountability. If I wanted to foment racial distrust, I'd keep the system as it is.

It makes no sense to stand behind a metric and then not demonstrate how it is used.

To learn who rules over you, notice who you cannot criticize.
03-05-2013 12:48 PM
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RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
(03-05-2013 12:14 PM)Mr.Barbarian Wrote:  Anyone have ideas for good gigs in state government? I'm in there and would love to land someplace better, but since I already have time in here it would be ideal for it to be at the state level.

All depends on what State are you talking about. Some States like NY and NJ have very strong Civil Service protection and benefits that rival or exceed those of the federal goverment. Also, its easier to get hired none of that resume/panel interview/polygraph bullshit. You take a test and get a lists number. Once your number gets reached, you are hired outside of some statutory disqualifiers. There are literally 100' s of job titles in State and below govt.

If you are a licensed trademan (electrician, plubmer, etc) NYC has what they call "prevaling wage"rules which means the State has to pay you what your peers makes in private industry. So, you'll gets all of the benefits of private industry and none of the downsides(job security, pension, unlimited overtime). Thats what Charlie Sheen calls WINNING!!

For my NY players there is this newspaper called "The Chief " which basically has every test in State, City and County govt in the NY Tri State Area. Take as many test as you can regardless if you are interested in the job or not. Once you have your foot in the door you can tranfer laterally elsewhere.
03-06-2013 01:36 AM
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Aliblahba Offline
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Post: #46
RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
Some of the dumbest mother fuckers I've ever had the displeasure to deal with work for state governments. It'll make your nose bleed talking to the ones in GA. I'm convinced most end up there because they washed out from everywhere else.

As for going one step up. The way to get in through CPOL was in indicator for me that I wasn't a fit. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest comes to mind. 98% will become drones. The sad part is once they reach that point, they don't even know it.

The irony is the military taught me to think outside the box, and I took that ball and ran with it.
03-07-2013 05:55 PM
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j r Offline
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RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
(03-05-2013 12:34 PM)Hencredible Casanova Wrote:  I know why you think that but it's a lot more complicated than race. My first application after murdering the written exam could honestly not have been any better. Not only am I a minority but I had extraordinary experiences in North Africa and the Middle East to brag about. One of my "verifiers" for my essay answer was the actual person chosen to represent Egypt for the State Department's entrepreneurship program that Obama announced in his "Cairo speech" back in 2009.

On top of that, I'm not the only one. I know of other superbly qualified minorities who crushed the written exam but did not even get invited to orals because of QEP.

When the results of who passed/failed the QEP came out in our Yahoo group, we inquired for the background stories of those who moved on and those who didn't, it truly made no sense. Many of the people who made it to orals had lower test scores and less exceptional backgrounds to those that weren't invited. It had little if anything to do with race.

(03-05-2013 11:42 AM)EisenBarde Wrote:  
(03-05-2013 11:06 AM)Hencredible Casanova Wrote:  It's truly difficult to understand the logic in who gets to advance in the FSO process these days. Makes little sense.
It's not difficult at all, next time I'm just going to pull an Elizabeth Warren and claim my primary ancestry is that of my great-great-maternal-paternal-grandfather.

Though to be honest, I should try the consular track next time, that's the easiest in from what I know.

Between work and school, I must have met at least a hundred foreign service officers. I can think of three who were black, a few more who we're Hispanic and less than half were women. My experience could be skewed because almost every FSO I've met is in a specific track.

From what I know there's no discerbable rhyme or reason to it. I've heard that they want a certain profile, people who are outgoing enough to go out and make contacts, savvy enough to protect classified information, and square enough to fit into the State Department hierarchy. I have no idea what that really means though.
03-07-2013 07:59 PM
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RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
(03-03-2013 06:47 PM)kenny_powers Wrote:  Serious questions:
What GOV job pays $250k?
What job if you do for the GOV 5 years you can go to the Private Sector and make $250k?
I am in DC and I am very curious to where you are getting these numbers.

Attorneys who go from regulatory agencies to work for the slime they were regulating--anti-trust etc.
But I don't think they get to 250k in 5 years -- while they're in government. It's called "the revolving door." Lobbyists make a LOT keeping things static for the rich.

Who do you think tells Congress what to do? For them it's even more blatant than regular Federal employees:

http://www.republicreport.org/2012/make-...ving-door/


From the above article:

"...Unlike some other forms of money in politics, politicians never have to disclose job negotiations while in office, and never have to disclose how much they’re paid after leaving office. ..."

So it would actually be for all practical purposes legal for a congressman to vote in favor of the f-99 Boondoggle bomber while accepting "hints" of a 4 Million per year "consulting" contract after he gets out of office....Just show him the roster of former gubmint dudes who are on that company's payroll at the time of the "negotiations."

All legal.
(This post was last modified: 03-26-2013 08:56 PM by iknowexactly.)
03-26-2013 08:49 PM
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iknowexactly Offline
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Post: #49
RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
(03-05-2013 12:48 PM)EisenBarde Wrote:  That's what I dislike about the modern "meritocracy". There is no transparency and even less accountability. If I wanted to foment racial distrust, I'd keep the system as it is.

It makes no sense to stand behind a metric and then not demonstrate how it is used.

I know a guy whose father was very high up in the State department. His father was the guy right under the ambassador in a major ( first rate important) US embassy in a foreign ally country.

When he finished graduate school, he immediately got a Federal job that led to tons of connections.

You don't think his dad was calling people when that application was being considered?

Why do you think people kill to get their kids into Harvard and Yale?

If you don't know why you didn't get the job, it means you had no connections to tell you what was going on. Maybe that wasn't the reason, but...

To balance that however, I worked in some of the shittiest State jobs before I retired early.
Midway through my career I went to an interview for a really good job in the State capitol.

By chance, no one connected was going for it. So I got it. At least there is a process and the rich kids have to fill out an application, in a big private firm they just hire the partner's son and no one even hears about the opening.

Gubmint work is a good way for a working class or lower middle class person to get a job where they are much less likely to get screwed over and left with no pension after 20 years.
(This post was last modified: 03-26-2013 09:14 PM by iknowexactly.)
03-26-2013 09:10 PM
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worldwidetraveler Offline
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Post: #50
RE: Benefits of a Droney Government job to lifestyle
Hell, you can be like this government worker who will retire making 400k a year for life. What is even more funny, this is a California government worker.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/priv...43471.html

Gman, she said she wasn't happy you left California and stopped paying the higher taxes.
03-26-2013 09:13 PM
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