What department or branch or level of the government would you most want to work in?

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This topic contains 23 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Peter G. Tuttle 10 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #85589

    Other than where you work right now, what department or branch or level of the government would you most want to work in? State, local, or federal? Civilian or military? Etc. Why?

  • #85635

    Peter G. Tuttle

    Great question. Obviously, the grass is not always greener on the other side, but, if the right opportunity arose, I think I’d add value by going back to the Federal Government into a senior-level acquisition policy position at an agency, department, such as GSA, VA, or at OFPP. Why? Policy is extremely important and those who promulgate it should have an appreciation for the practioners who have to execute it. I have a well-rounded background (at least in my opinion 🙂 ) which provides a good skill-set and experience baseline for dealing with matters of acqquisition policy, etc. Anyway, Jay, that’s my take at answering your question. Cheers.

  • #85633

    Tanya Hilleary

    Hi Jay-
    Very good question, indeed!

    Like Peter, I’m not currently in the government, however were I to pursue it, I’d want to be chin-deep in US Public Diplomacy. I have an international marketing background, and would like a sold crack at influencing the image of the USA abroad. Now more than ever, it seems there’s a dire need for it, too!


  • #85631

    Jeff Ing

    I work for Public Health – Seattle & King County as its Sr. Web Developer managing its site at http://www.kingcounty.gov/health — it’s a joint agency between the City of Seattle and King County so I get the best of both worlds from the largest city and the most populous county in Washington State serving 1.9 million constituents. I think I’d like to stay put here on the local levels of government because we are in direct contact with the public every day so there’s always a constant stream of feedback from the people we serve on how we’re best meeting their needs so we can continue to adapt and improve beyond their expectations.

  • #85629

    Pete, thanks for your insights and thanks for participating!

  • #85627

    Thanks for submitting your answer, Tanya. It’s interesting to see what grabs our attention and how we see where our skills and experiences may fit, isn’t it?

  • #85625

    Jeff, thanks for joining in. I can appreciate what you’re saying about the best of both worlds and the direct contact with the public at the local level. You have a great goal in seeking to “improve beyond their expectations”.

  • #85623

    Steve Ressler

    I’d love to work at a local level – I’ve worked for primarily large federal agencies and would love to have more direct impact on citizens. But for now, working on making Govloop awesome…

  • #85621

    Al Arnold

    I’m a local political lifer. I would love to serve in Congress if I didn’t have to go to Washington D.C. to do it.

  • #85619

    Okay, so you’re the 2nd person who has cited the direct impact on citizens at the local level. Keep up the great work on GovLoop!

  • #85617

    Interesting. Of course, since the capital of the United States hasn’t been moved in over 200 years, it’s doubtful! 😉 Thanks for participating in my question, Al.

  • #85615

    Kevin Lanahan

    Let’s see…my current job at Missouri Department of Conservation basically involves showing people how to go play outside (hunting, fishing, hiking, canoeing, etc).

    Nope, I think I’m good where I am.

    In 15 years with the State of Missouri, I’ve had a couple of opportunities to make significant contributions to the welfare of citizens, first with workers compensation reform and later with the web and accessibility. I don’t know that I’d get that opportunity working at the federal level, and the impact would be much less on the local level.

  • #85613

    Amanda Blount

    I want your job! LOL

  • #85611

    Amanda Blount

    I have different interests in life… so If I could do anything at all, I would work for different organizations for different reasons. NASA, FEMA, or I would love to have Kevin’s job at the Missouri Department of Conservation (or any outdoor type of job) :-). They all have great people, and I have great reasons to work for any of them.

    Great Question!

  • #85609

    A great perspective on your position and the impact you can have! It sounds like there may be more than one person who would like to swap places with you, Kevin!

  • #85607

    Thanks for participating, Amanda. It’s interesting to think how people can have jobs very much in line with an organization’s mission… at the same time, some have fascinating positions within what might appear to be mundane departments or lackluster roles in otherwise exciting agencies.

  • #85605

    Tracy Kerchkof

    I would like to second this. I’ve worked for 3 large federal agencies, and now that I am in DC I feel like I have no impact at all on anyone. I felt like I had a lot of impact on individuals working at the county office level at NRCS , but I wasn’t always sure it was the impact I wanted tomake, which is why I left. I’m curious what it would be like to work for state government, if it would provide the right balance of overall vision and immediate impact. Now if only there were any state government environmental jobs anymore… 😛

  • #85603

    Thanks for weighing in on this, Tracy. This must be a common source of frustration for those who have gone into public service. I’m going to give this some more thought; I may have to start a Forum discussion on this topic. It would be great if there could be a way (an internship or fellowship?) for people to assess these types of factors before committing to a certain job…

  • #85601

    Tom Vannoy

    National Park Service for a few years until retirement and then I will seek a spot in local government.

  • #85599

    Will Corbin

    As a graduating MPA student, I can testify that this is an extremely salient topic for my classmates and me. Although the lure of the federal government (especially under the aegis of an Obama administration that is actively recruiting) is strong, my experience in local county government (economic development) has been very satisfying, and I would certainly consider state or local government opportunities.

    There are pros and cons on either side, from size and impact to compensation. As the old saying goes, bigger is not necessarily better!

  • #85597

    That sounds like a great plan, Tom! Working with the outdoors seems to be a popular option in this discussion. Do you think Ken Burns’ latest work is having an impact?

  • #85595

    Thanks for weighing in. I’m pleased to know that my question is so relevant to your present situation and that you’re at a place where you’re thinking through this very topic. I wish you well as you wrap up your studies over the next few weeks, Will. Please keep me posted, and let me know where you wind up.

  • #85593

    Will Corbin


    Interestingly enough, about a month ago I accepted a job offer at Market Street Services, an economic and community development consulting firm here in Atlanta. We work with cities and communities across the country to help plan, build and execute economic strategies. It’s pretty cool – I do a lot of research and analysis.

    Although it is private, I still get to work with government entities, and I enjoy this proximity, without necessarily being involved in day-to-day government. Plus, I have the opportunity to work with and see how different communities live and work together. It’s very exciting. Check out our website here:




  • #85591

    Thanks for the follow up, Will. Sounds like interesting work. And congratulations on securing a position, particularly where you can be in this kind of role to assist communities!

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