A few tips, tricks and sympathy on breaking into the security cleared workforce, from one of our contributors:
So, you want to get into the clearance world? As someone who has faced this challenge the past couple of years, I do not claim to have all the answers but I have observed a number of successful and not-so-successful cases and I believe I have a few insights to share. I have seen others experience and have gone through myself the frustration of applying, waiting, and sometimes getting rejection for cleared positions. In a worst-case scenario, I knew someone that waited over three years for his clearance! (He finally got it and has a great job at Booz Allen)
The best analogy I have for job searching, generally, is that of the busy parking lot. Finding a job is like finding a spot in a full parking lot on a Friday evening. Getting that spot sometimes means being at the right place at the right time. The lucky ones might get a spot immediately while others are left to search on and on. Sure, the aggressive drivers might have a leg up, but in the end sometimes you are better lucky than good. This explains why I have seen individuals with average credentials obtain higher-paying or more substantial jobs over other, more qualified applicants.
While the current economy and budgetary environment are problematic, do not be discouraged! There are still a number of things one can do to increase one’s marketability.
How did you break into your first job or a new industry? Any tips or analogies to share?