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Stay, Stay, Stay In Government: Insights from Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is famous for writing the songs to get you through a bad break-up, but you do not have to be a brokenhearted teenage girl to appreciate her wisdom. Looking back at 2013, it seems that federal employees have faced a rocky relationship with the government they serve. Fortunately, members of our GovLoop community have decided to stick with civil service through the ups and downs. Some days may be harder than others, so for that I would like to share 5 Taylor Swift lyrics that the public sector should keep in mind when the going gets rough.

For When You’re Not Deemed Essential

Lyric: “You call me up again just to break me like a promise/ so casually cruel in the name of being honest” (Song: All Too Well)

Rejection is always tough, especially when it is handed out so bluntly. While this lyric demonstrates how hurt the rejected person is, it is also a subtle dig at the person doling it out. Someone who breaks promises and excuses their cruelty for honesty is not someone who we should let define us, and that includes Congress. Try not to take furloughs and shutdowns personally. It’s not you, it’s them.

For When You Need Inspiration

Lyric: “Long live the walls we crashed through/All the kingdom lights shined just for me and you…/One day we will be remembered” (Song: Long Live)

What inspired you to get into government? Was it John F. Kennedy’s famous call to action, “What can you do for your government?” Was it a family member or friend who devoted his life to public service? At one point in your life, you felt inspired to join the ranks of the men and women who serve this country. However, at 4pm on a Friday when nothing seems to be going right, it is hard to remember that feeling. Try listening to this song and know that your service is appreciated.

For When You’re Pitching An Idea

Lyric: “Nothing safe is worth the drive” (Song: Treacherous)

Government will continue to be “risk-averse” as long as employees fear presenting risky proposals. There is definitely space in government for risk-taking innovation; it simply requires planning, effort and confidence. You may not find success every single time, but none of the great innovators (Taylor included) have let failures stand in their way.

Losing faith in government? Try listening to some T-Swift. [From Instagram}

For Networking

Lyric: “Cause all I know is we said hello/all I know is a simple name/everything has changed” (Song: Everything Has Changed)

Confession: I hate the word “networking” like many people hate the word “moist.” But some of the best opportunities I’ve discovered have been through making connections and talking to people about my career goals. When you are deciding whether to take the extra step and reach out to someone, think about the possibilities. Maybe you will have a nice conversation that leads to nowhere. Maybe you will find that a friend of a friend has your dream job and everything will change.

For Dealing With Cyber Attacks

Lyric: “And I realize the blame is on me/’Cause I knew you were trouble when you walked in” (Song: I Knew You Were Trouble)

Unfortunately for Taylor, there is no firewall for the heart. For government employees, however, there is a diverse array of cybersecurity programs out there to keep you away from trouble. Do your homework and read our cybersecurity resources. Because if not, the blame is on you.

Despite her ups and downs, Taylor Swift still believes in love. We hope you still believe in the power of public service as 2013 draws to a close. We will continue to provide you with the knowledge network to help you do your job better, but when your relationship with government seems exhausting Taylor’s lyrics might be the extra emotional support you need.

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