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Old 03-27-2013, 11:20 AM
 
44 posts, read 91,622 times
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Hi, everyone,

I'm planning on relocating to the D.C. area in the near future. I've been applying to various places, including many school districts (I'm a seasoned ESL teacher.) I have a B.A. equivalent from a university in Russia (double major: TEFL and English Translating/Interpreting) and also two degrees (B.A. and M.A.) in Journalism earned at the U.S. university. However, my true passion lies in the linguistics (not necessarily teaching), and I am desperate to get into the field.
From my research so far it seems that I should be applying for a government job (being an educated native Russian speaker.) However, I am finding that it's nearly impossible to get in unless you already have lots of translating experience and/or a government-type clearance.
My question is: those of you already employed as linguists by the U.S. government, what does it take to get in?? Any piece of your advice will be wholeheartedly and sincerely appreciated!!

Thank you all who'll answer!
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:07 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,739 posts, read 8,950,593 times
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From what you've said, it sounds like you might have a good shot at teaching jobs and at translation jobs.

The latter are usually at the State Department and at the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which runs Voice of America.

Teaching jobs at the federal level would be harder to get, especially stateside. The DoD Education Activity hires teachers, but I believe only for overseas schools. State Department also has teaching jobs, at NFATC.

In either case, you would need a clearance--and since you're from Russia, that might take a long time.

If you set up your resume on USAJobs and make sure it contains most of the keywords for a job you're actually qualified for, then your odds of getting an interview are much higher.

Good luck.

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 03-27-2013 at 03:26 PM..
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Alexandria
142 posts, read 575,777 times
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Go a head and apply for government positions, if available. Once selected as a candidate, you'll go through the security clearance process which will utimately determine if get the job or not.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:37 PM
 
44 posts, read 91,622 times
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It may sound silly, but I've never had to go through such a clearance before (except the one required to be employed by public school district, which I did pass.) Should I (and can I?) get a security clearance before applying so that my chances to get a particular government job are better? Or it is the potential employer only who'll administer it?
In other words, can I go to a certain agency that specializes in security clearances and say, "Please screen me and give me a required clearance now, so that I'll be able to apply later?"

Thanks,
A.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:48 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,739 posts, read 8,950,593 times
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You can't get a federal job at all unless you're an American citizen. (Enlisting in the armed forces is the only exception I know of; one can join with a permanent-resident visa.) There's nothing anyone can do to get a clearance before getting a job offer. An offer of a job that requires a clearance will be contingent upon passing a clearance/background investigation. How long that takes depends on lots of things.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:29 PM
 
270 posts, read 802,095 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
You can't get a federal job at all unless you're an American citizen. (Enlisting in the armed forces is the only exception I know of; one can join with a permanent-resident visa.) There's nothing anyone can do to get a clearance before getting a job offer. An offer of a job that requires a clearance will be contingent upon passing a clearance/background investigation. How long that takes depends on lots of things.
The requirement to be a US Citizen to get a federal job is more complicated than that. While it's true only citizens can join the civil service, there are other federal jobs that can be filled by non-citizens including translators, international broadcasters, and jobs for nationals of countries allied with the United States in a defense effort (although this exception will certainly not apply to Russians, at least not now.) Also certain non-citizens can be hired with non-appropriated funds. These include Polish LPRs and LPRs from the Baltic States (former SSRs), Ireland, and the Philippines.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Alexandria
142 posts, read 575,777 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna_M View Post
It may sound silly, but I've never had to go through such a clearance before (except the one required to be employed by public school district, which I did pass.)
A.
My post was in reference to a federal position.

Most employers will do a background and credit check, but if you want to do linguistic work for the federal government, depending on the agency, you have to be vetted through a security clearance check. As stated in a few posts back, the agency which tenders a job offer will make it contigent upon you passing the clearance check, which will be funded by that particular agency.

It helps if you're a US citizen, but there are also linguistic/translation positions for non-US citizens. Just keep browsing through USAJobs and/or a particular government agency's website for more info.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:28 PM
 
44 posts, read 91,622 times
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Thank you for your answers!
I'm a naturalized U.S. citizen, and will keep on trying! :-)

May have more questions later :-).
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:38 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,739 posts, read 8,950,593 times
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OK! All you have to do is set up a resume in USAJOBS, then look for jobs with the word "Russian," then apply. I would bet you'd have a good shot at any requiring this particular language.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevbros View Post
The requirement to be a US Citizen to get a federal job is more complicated than that. While it's true only citizens can join the civil service, there are other federal jobs that can be filled by non-citizens including translators, international broadcasters, and jobs for nationals of countries allied with the United States in a defense effort (although this exception will certainly not apply to Russians, at least not now.) Also certain non-citizens can be hired with non-appropriated funds. These include Polish LPRs and LPRs from the Baltic States (former SSRs), Ireland, and the Philippines.
Good info; wasn't aware of this.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:45 PM
 
320 posts, read 400,957 times
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Pree-vyet!! (sp?)

Although you said you weren't interested in teaching, relevant professional associations (including MLA and AAAL, etc.) frequently include ads for non-academic jobs in their career publications.

Good luck!
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