Should You Get a Job in Government?

You’re one of the unfortunate people left without a job in the current economy, and you’ve heard that there are a lot of jobs in government right now as part of Obama’s stimulus package.  These jobs have quite a few advantages, but before you apply, make sure you’re getting into it for the right reasons.

Do You Meet Job in Government Requirements?

The unemployment rate is absurdly high right now, so even with all the job openings, there will be hundreds or thousands of people applying for the same position.  You’re applying to work for the entire country, essentially, and to be paid with taxpayer money.  If you don’t meet all or at least the vast majority of the requirements listed, stop right here.  Whereas private employees may be willing to take a chance on someone who doesn’t fit all the requirements but shows promise due to other experience, the government has too many applicants and no time or money to waste on someone who “might” be able to do the job.

If you know you’re a good fit, make sure your resume stands out.  For example, can your abilities be identified quickly and easily?  Once in the interview, be ready to prove your experience with PAR stories-explain a problem you encountered, the approach you decided on, and the final resolution and tangible results.  You’ll need to be extra-impressive.

Advantages of Getting a Job in Government

Jobs in government come with great benefits.  You’ll have good work hours, and if you do end up with overtime, you’re sure to be compensated for it.  You’ll have off on all the national holidays-no more jealousy towards the postal workers for having off to “celebrate” Columbus Day.  You can take comfort knowing your job is secure.  You don’t have to worry about your employer shutting down if they don’t make a profit-you’re being paid by taxpayers.  There’s also no need to worry about losing your job due to a merger, or your job being sent overseas to cheaper laborers.  You can also take pride knowing that your job directly or indirectly impacts your fellow citizens and their well-being.

Disadvantages of Getting a Job in Government

However, you’ll have to be comfortable following strict procedures to the letter, even if you disagree with them or think you know of a better way to do something.  Once elected officials change, their rules and procedures may change, too, and you’re expected to go along with it.  The new official may think less of your department or change a perfectly good procedure, but there will be little for you to do about it.  The road to change from your end will be long and filled with hierarchy.  On the same note, promotions and the recognition you crave may be few and far between.

If the advantages outweigh the potential disadvantages for you and you are eager for a job in government, there are many fields available, and you’ll likely find something in your own community, as not all the jobs are in D.C.  The government is looking for people to work in renewable energy, the environment, IT experts, financial experts, and people who understand Middle Eastern culture and language.  Polish off your resume and get going!

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