In the Market for a Federal Job? Get Advice From an Expert

In the Market for a Federal Job? Get Advice From an Expert
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If you’re searching for your ideal federal job, you’ll want to join me and members of MOAA’s Career Transition and Member Service teams on June 14 (Flag Day!) at 2 p.m. Eastern for an hourlong webinar: Top 10 Tips for Finding a Federal Job.


Wondering whether the webinar is for you? Here are two tips to consider – join us June 14 for the rest:


1. Don't Focus on One Agency

There are more than 160 federal agencies, from the largest (DoD) to the smallest (the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, with four employees). After leaving the service, many officers focus on their uniformed service or a similar organization, like a defense agency. Doing so limits your possibilities.


While DOD has a waiting period for rehiring military retirees, that waiting period does not apply to other agencies, so you may be able to go to work sooner outside DoD.


[TAKE ACTION: Urge Your Legislators to Repeal the ‘180-Day Rule’]


Don't limit your search when you use USAJOBS to find a position. Be sure you have reviewed all the occupational series, which are like a military occupational specialty or the Air Force specialty code (More on that below). You'll be surprised that the job you want is in a small independent agency or someplace you may never have expected.


One example is the director of aviation at the Department of the Interior. While I worked at Interior, I met the incumbent – a retired F-14 naval aviator. And who knew there are health care administrators at the Department of Housing and Urban Development working with hospitals nationwide?


In my experience working in five different cabinet-level agencies, each has its own culture, and sometimes you may fit better in one than another. To help you understand an organization, read about them in the annual Federal Best Places to Work report on the Partnership for Public Service's website.




2. Explore the Occupational Series

Once you have an idea of the work you would like to do, or even if you are just exploring possibilities, scroll through the hundreds of occupations listed on USAJOBS to see which ones interest you, or the ones for which you are qualified. Those are two different perspectives – you might want to do something you are marginally qualified for, or you may not have a preference for a particular occupation but want work that matches your skill set.


Both are valid approaches, but when you review the list of occupational series, note the ones you will use for your job search and build them into the USAJOBs search function in your account.


More to Know

Register today for the June 14 webinar and learn more about your federal job search. Life Members of MOAA are also eligible for a federal résumé review; learn more about that process, and other career consultation services offered to MOAA members, at this link


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About the Author

Ralph Charlip, LFACHE
Ralph Charlip, LFACHE

Lt. Col. Ralph Charlip, USAF (Ret), DPA, LFACHE, is a retired member of the federal Senior Executive Service and the president/CEO of his own company, Inspiration Creek Management Consulting LLC, a Small Business Administration-certified, Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business.