We all know the concept behind the movie or book "Around the World in 80 days". What if as a young Fed we could apply this concept to our career?
Gone are the old days when a Federal Employee spent their entire career in one agency. Previously, it was considered a sign of experience or loyalty. Today a young Fed can be seen equally as knowledgeable or experienced having done various stints at different agencies. In some cases, even be considered a subject matter expert after spending only 2 1\2 years at an agency. Gone are the days of appearing like a job hopper after spending as little as 2 to 5 years at an agency and then deciding to move to another.
With this in mind, I implore young Feds to take the chance and work at different agencies they have been dreaming about. It would be almost like traveling to different foreign countries you've always wanted to visit. There are hundreds of different agencies and sub-agencies. These agencies all have different missions, cultures and ways they serve the public.
Since leaving college in May of 2005, I have now spent almost three years in the Federal Government. I have worked for the Smithsonian Institution and I am currently working for the United States Coast Guard. I'm sure what I learned at the Smithsonian has helped me in my current position.
There are, however, many other exciting agencies: Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Comptroller of Currency, Peace Corps and the Department of State. I hope all young Feds take the time to prepare a list of dream agencies they would like to work for.
It is true spending an entire career in one agency is very safe. However, spicing it up and taking a risk of going "Around the Fed in 80 days" may be just the ticket to career advancement!
YGL Chapter Liaison, 2007-2008