As a professional career coach, I have helped over 250 professionals either get their first federal government job or get a new federal government job. But through resume revamps, job interview coaching and USAJobs.gov training most of my clients have been so excited to enter the federal government workforce. I worked for the federal government for over 15 years and decided to leave a focus on being an author, speaker and coach. I love helping others obtain the career they deserve.
On January 23, 2017, when the executive order was signed for the federal government hiring freeze, many professionals started to panic. Some college graduates and private sector professionals have been applying to federal government positions and began to feel discouraged. Not to mention, many current federal government employees have been eager to find a new federal government job and now they feel stuck.
I want professionals all over the world to know that this federal-hiring freeze cannot freeze their careers. During this federal-hiring freeze you still have the power to make your career great. This is not a time to feel discouraged or worried. This is a time to learn how to brand, market and sell yourself during adversity.
1. BRAND: Draft a Individual Development Plan (IDP)
Draft your Individual Development Plan (IDP) and get on your manager’s calendar to review your IDP. The development of an Individual Development Plan helps you the employee outline your professional goals, training needs and career performance. Also, it helps your manager to mentor and coach you in the right direction so you can grow professionally.
2. BRAND: Register for Professional Training
Most federal government agencies have a training budget every fiscal year. It is very important to list your projected training needs in your IDP and get the approval from your manager to register for work related professional seminars, training classes or college courses. During this federal hiring freeze you need to find out if your training budget is still available, so you can secure your spot. Each day things seem to feel more uncertain, please don’t waste time on getting the professional training you need and deserve. Most training vendors provide training discounts to federal employees.
3. MARKET: Sign up for FREE Conferences & Events
One of the great perks about being a federal government employee is you can sign up for free federal government conferences and events throughout the year. It’s so important to network with other professionals and government leaders during this hiring freeze, because when it’s over you can see if new opportunities exist at other agencies. Federal government networking can open doors to new jobs, cross agency details and new information.
GovLoop has a great list of upcoming federal government conferences.
Join GovLoop.com it’s a great online networking platform for federal government employees. When I was a federal employee, I was a top blogger, attended their events and met so many federal professionals from other government agencies.
4. SELL: Study for a Professional Certification
This is a great time to plan to sign up for professional certifications courses and self study for a professional certification. You can purchase self-study books on Amazon and begin to study for certifications like: PMP, CISSP, Security +, ScrumMaster, etc. Professional certifications help you sell yourself as a subject matter expert. Also, you can see if your organization has funding for you to purchase the books or you can purchase them on your own.
5. SELL: Update Your Cover Letter & Resume
If you have not updated your federal resume a hiring freeze is a great time to work on revamping your resume for new opportunities. The formatting and writing of a federal resume is not an easy job for some federal professionals. With the redesign of USAJobs.gov, federal employees can attend virtual resume writing training, create an account and upload their resumes into their profiles. Once this hiring freeze is over you want to be ready to apply to new positions and send your resume to those you have connected with at government conferences and events.
The next USAJobs virtual training is January 25, 2017 1 PM to 3 PM EST
Don’t waste time worrying about what you can’t control, rather spend this time preparing for the future. Your career is your responsibility; only you can freeze your career.
Become a CEO of your career by improving how you brand, market and sell yourself today.