Real Talk: Young Federal Workers Speak About Their Experiences

We’re blogging from the Next Generation of Government Training Summit. Follow along @NextGenGov and read more blog posts here.

Moderator Kelly Jin, co-founder, Consequi

Dawn Brown, Procurement Analyst, Environment Protection Agency

Noemie Levy, Policy Assistant, White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation

Kevin Richman, Communications lead, office of Integrated Services, FAS-GSA

Three young professionals spoke about their trials and tribulations, providing tips on navigating the Federal work force today.

What were some of your challenges at the beginning of your career?

Overcome struggle by adapting to situations very quickly, being open to new experiences, and different types of people. Being humble and open to whatever is assigned can really help in learning more about the field. It is more than just having a degree; the key to a successful career is learning from others and not being afraid to ask difficult questions.

Getting taken seriously as a young person can be difficult, even the title you have can impact you more than age in certain fields.

Being young as fresh slate and ask questions that others would necessarily think about, when you are young you need to take the initiative and volunteer for the projects that other people do not want to do, it shows you are willing to be flexible and grow.

What was a time you had to manage up and lead to get something done for your agency?

Dawn: From the beginning I was managing peers and colleagues on projects in order to get things done, developing camaraderie helped a lot.

Noemie: Managing up is a very important part of working for the Federal government.

Kevin: Most jobs require people to work together and figure out ways to influence your coworkers. It is a skill that has to be developed in time.

How do you manage a corporate culture as a younger person?

Noemie: Figure out how to influence from within, communicate with others who can help mentor you and give you the tools to succeed.

Kevin: Focus on your goals, and do the best that you can do in that situation.

It does not mean it will be easy, but it will be worth it.

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