Avenues for Growth as a Government Employee

After working for a couple years, I definitely learned the importance of getting to know your agency, opportunities within it and the importance of learning the system. I would go as far as to say that learning about my agency and the opportunities available to me as a HHS employee has enhanced my work experience and overall job satisfaction. I no longer feel limited to my daily role and can see the larger picture.

It’s important to see the larger picture, not just for your career, but for your life. Working for the government allows you to move within your agency as well as between agencies. It also gives you the skillsets and a network that allows you to take a contracting and or a field-based position to strengthen your resume.

Below are five avenues of opportunities available to you as a government employee.

  1. Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Mobility Program: The IPA provides employees the opportunity to take a temporary assignment for up to two years at either a federal, state or local government organization. Additional placement opportunities include colleges and universities, Indian Tribal governments and federally funded research centers.
  2. Lateral Transfers: A lateral transfer entails a permanent move to another agency or division within the same department. Lateral transfers do not have to be official job announcements and can be a great way to work in a new environment while maintaining your GS level and certification.
  3. Temporary Promotions: Temporary promotion is when an employee takes a time-limited position of a higher grade level while agreeing to return to his or her permanent position after the expiration of the term-limited position. The employee must meet the same qualifications necessary for a permanent promotion. A temporary promotion is a great way to gain experience at a higher grade level. Temporary promotions can last anywhere from 120 days to five years. The initial 120 days of a temporary promotion may be noncompetitive. If the promotion extends beyond 120 days, the position can be made competitive. A temporary promotion may be made permanent without further competition and be made permanent for the employee.
  4. Permanent reassignment: A reassignment is when an employee changes from one position to another without a change in their GS-level. Reassignments can include: movement to a position in a new occupational series or another position in the same series, movement to a different position at the same GS level but with a change in salary due to locality pay, assignment to a position that has been revised due to the introduction of a new or revised classification, and an assignment to a position that has been revised as the result of a position review.
  5. Find a new job: Don’t be afraid to consider your options inside as well as outside of your current agency. It is not uncommon for a government employee to take a contracting position or a position outside of their agency to gain certain experiences and skill sets.

With an open mind, dedication to work ethic and a lot of exploration you can brighten your resume as well as your career journey. Best of luck and be sure to enjoy the ride!

Priyanka R. Oza is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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