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Old 08-18-2010, 01:03 PM
181 posts, read 740,521 times
Reputation: 61


A friend of mine has been looking for a federal government job in DC for months with zero luck (probably no surprise to anyone here). She is, however, close to accepting a job with the Social Security Administration in another state, under the premise that it’s better to take any federal government job than to pass one up.

Nevertheless, she wants to be in DC.

Has anyone else found themselves in this situation? What did you do? What’s the best strategy for moving from a federal job outside of DC to one in DC? Is it better to ‘get your foot in the door’ wherever an offer is made? or hope and pray that something works out in DC?

Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:14 PM
Location: Novastan
384 posts, read 831,522 times
Reputation: 167
It is absolutely a good idea to get a federal job in a regional office and then transfer to a job in DC. I worked with several people who did this. The agency I worked for encouraged this. So they worked for two years on a project and transferred to the HQ in the DC area. So, it is a great way to get your foot in the door.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:11 PM
8 posts, read 11,269 times
Reputation: 10
Your friend's employment opportunities with the federal govt may be reduced if DC is a hard requirement. Not always, but often, agencies will hand-pick those they want to come to their 'center of power' - they're getting a known quantity. Again, I said 'may be reduced' because there are many who start their careers in DC. Having said that, in today's job market, why would anyone intentionally limit their target market to a single city? You may want to encourage your friend to look at the OPM Locality Pay Tables - the tables provide pay based not only on grade, but location as well - and locality pay is not always logical - for example, assuming the same pay grade, your friend would earn more in Houston than DC - and the cost of living in DC is arguably higher than Houston. If your friend wants a federal job, I would argue that obtaining the job become the priority - location can always come later.
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:22 AM
2,632 posts, read 2,768,650 times
Reputation: 1658
Federal jobs are divided into two categories: 'Public' and 'Status'. Public jobs are opened to anyone; these are the gateways into the federal service. Status jobs are reserved for current federal employees, veterans, and the disabled. Public jobs are harder to get since there is a larger number of people applying for a smaller pool of jobs.
If your friend gets a Public job, then she will be eligible for Status jobs after she finishes her probation period. This will open up a lot of jobs in the DC area. One other area to consider is pay scale; DC is expensive. GS-12 is barely living wage here; a better way is to get hired at a lower rate elsewhere, then work your way up and get your step increases.
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