I’m pretty sure my situation is not unique, so I thought I would reach out to this amazing community to ask, “What now?”
When I first came to DC to pursue my MPP I knew it was going to be a challenge. I had zero experience in government or politics and the closest I had ever been to the Hill was watching C-SPAN. Nevertheless, I worked hard in class, networked with professionals (insert shameless plug for AABPA here) and graduated with honors this past May. Through a stroke of luck I landed a SCEP internship with one of the best agencies to work for in the Federal government. In fact, this isn’t merely a highly regarded agency, it is the dream job I had been working towards.
But, not unlike most other agencies, budgets are tight and that makes hiring difficult for agencies while operating under CR. This week, I was forced to confront a truth I’d been wishing would turn out differently–my agency will likely not have the funds to convert me upon completion of my internship.
So, what do I do now?
I know most successful people took a winding road to get to where they are today, but I find myself struggling with all sorts of questions: From the broad, “How do I find a job that I’m equally excited about?” to the practical, “Who is going to even have money to hire people like me?” to the technical, “What does it mean to have Schedule A/non-competitive conversion status, and how can I make it work for me?”… I know everything will work out, but I feel as though I’m lost in one of the particularly dark portions of the scribbled line above and I don’t know how to get out again.
Can you help answer any of my questions–broad or technical? Are you/have you been in this boat before? What are your words of wisdom?