I’ve met a lot of people in government that have hit a glass ceiling. They are doing great work but they tell me they can’t get more responsibility or a raise until someone retires.
Here’s a career tip – If you find yourself in that situation, try to change jobs and go to a growing agency. A new agency like DHS 7 years ago or CFPB right now will have ton of opportunities.
First thing, there is very little legacy infrastructure – so if you do a good job, you will get recognized.
Second, many people don’t like new startups and often can’t handle the lack of structure. So if you are there and stay around, in 2 years all of a sudden you will be a veteran with the institutional knowledge. And get promoted.
Third, simply new agencies continue to add new positions and openings. As they grow, they need new positions and will hire more.