The central incentive for me is service. One must want to serve the Nation and be prepared for a marathon, not a sprint. Being a public servant means enduring lots of baseless accusations and stereotyping from politicians, the media, our neighbors, and comedians. However, once one considers the impact on the lives of Americans of any government position, it is a humbling thought. A career in government equates to perseverance, excellence, and hard work. Of course one can find lots of examples of people that are caricatures of incompetence, laziness, and bureaucracy in government, but you can find them in private industry as well. If service is the central incentive, then being a part of the solution becomes the challenge. I know far more competent, innovative, and energetic civil servants than caricatures. The great work that occurs across the Federal government affects each of us from the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep. Think of the alarm clocks, stoves, highways, and safety features that have been approved or inspected through government standards and by civil servants. Consider the compassionate servants at HHS, USAIDS, NIH, and SSA who help the elderly, sick, hungry, and disabled in America as well as across the globe live better lives. Public service is not just a job, it is a journey, calling, and a career of opportunity to help people. You may not get rich, but you will probably be enriched by the experiences.
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