Am I Crazy to Leave My Federal Position?

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Jennifer Lynn 2 years, 10 months ago.

  • Author
  • #181267

    Tina Michelle Sims

    My relationship to the Department of Defense starts back in my childhood. My earliest memories involve on-base shopping and visiting the library on bases in Germany that have long since closed. My parents are both government employees and I have been working with DoD for 12 years until now. As of this Friday, I am resigning my position to work for myself and spend more time with my small children. Am I crazy?

    I don’t think I will regret the time I spend with my children, but will I regret giving up my position? My small business writing resumes, including federal resumes and federal job search assistance seems to be able to provide the missing income, but will I miss the security of the position I am leaving?

    It’s especially difficult to make this decision since I DO help people who are looking for a government job. I know how coveted a federal position can be. My director told me yesterday he has already received four calls for my job. So, I am definitely replaceable and if I change my mind in six months or a year, I will have all of those people to compete with.

    Being stuck at the GS11 position for almost 11 of my 12 years doesn’t make me feel confident of my ability to build a solid career with promotion potential, even though I live in the D.C. area. Therefore, I am a little jaded about the lack of opportunities to move up.

    I know I will be O.K. no matter what, but will I have an opportunity to jump back in if I want to in the future? I am not going to count on it. At the same time, I am not going to miss this chance to be closer to my children in these early years just because I am afraid.

    You know the biggest thing I’m going to miss? Access to the pools on the base in summertime! (O.K., and a consistent paycheck…well, I won’t count the furloughs.)

    If anyone has advice or guidance before I resign, I would love to hear it. When I called H.R. to ask if there is anything I need to be sure of before I leave, I was told it will all be sent in a packet a few weeks after my resignation. I am particularly interested in Reinstatement Eligibility and if anyone has experience with that, if it helps or if I should just throw in the towel for future federal opportunities.

    Thanks in advance for reading and offering feedback!

  • #181275

    Mark Hammer

    No contest AFAIC. It’s not a cult, you know, where you’ll be shunned if you ever “stray outside the fold”. Yes, you’ll lose some pensionable years, but whoop-de-doo. You can always find money somewhere. You’ll never experience your children’s childhood any other way. And when you come back, anyone who considers hiring you will know you are not likely going on maternity leave. I know folks aren’t supposed to discriminate on that basis, and they shouldn’t, but a little part of me suspects they sometimes do.

    An aunt of mine left federal employment to raise her kids, and re-entered the fray some 15 years later. Obviously the organization and technology had changed, but she didn’t miss a beat.

    Finally, my experience may not transfer to this context, but I’ll tell you that when I used to teach university, moms who had returned to school in their late 30s or early 40s were generally among my best students. Nobody has better time management skills than a mom, and they were juuuuuusssst unsure enough about whether they could cut it to actually do the work. I can’t imagine those perceptions are unique to me alone.

  • #181273

    Terrence Hill

    You can never fault someone who wants to spend more time with their children. Don’t worry about reinstatement, you have career tenure and can re-apply anytime. Not sure why you are still a GS-11 in the DC area, but it seems like you are going to continue working, at least parttime. It’s too bad that the government couldn’t accommodate your needs by offering more flexibility.

    None of us are irreplaceable, even the President, but it’s always sad when young employees resign. I lament the lost opportunities to retain dedicated employees!

    Good luck in your new career and I admire you for making your children a priority.

  • #181271

    Patricia Long

    Great questions. I have no doubt time spent with your children will be worth it. Of all my friends with young children, those who can afford to stay home with the kids, are doing so. I have one close friend here at my federal job, who has three boys at home. The youngest is 4. She works because she loves her job and she loves the salary. She also takes advantage of telework, as I do, which really helps when the job is a long commute from home. I think you will be fine when you are ready to return. As for why you haven’t been able to move to a GS 12, shame on your employer. They will lose you and your 12 years of experience. You will always have that and you will gain time with your kids that you can never replace.

  • #181269

    Tina Michelle Sims

    Thank you all for your comments. I really appreciate your feedback! I went through with it in the end. Wish me luck on my home business writing federal resumes! Already enjoying the extra time with the children. Thanks again!

    • #271311

      Jennifer Lynn

      I’m in a similar situation. 7 years of federal service. my current job drains the life out of me. I get paid very well and the retirement is excellent. I am considering a much less stressful job but it will be about a 12,000 cut in pay. My husband and I plan on having children in the near future and this is another reason for leaving my federal job. I am curious how your business is going writing federal resumes? I have been doing this for various friends of mine!

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by  Jennifer Lynn.
  • #263699

    Pamela Adala

    In 2013 I left a government position to spend time with a newborn my husband and I adopted at birth. It was one of the best moves I have ever made. I returned to the government a few months ago with a totally different agency. Before I separated I had no idea just how many government agencies were in my city. I took this current position with the understaning in mind that I will be moving on to a more suitable position soon. I would be interested in resume services you offer in hopes that you could help to improve my resume. By the way, you did the right thing, you followed your heart!

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