Posted on Monday, 11th December 2017 by

Print This Post Print This Post

This series includes all positions that involve providing mediation assistance to labor and management in the settlement or prevention of industrial labor disputes connected with the formulation, revision, termination or renewal of collective-bargaining agreements. The paramount qualification requirement of all positions in this series is ability and skill in applying the techniques of mediation in dealing with the parties to a dispute. The application of these techniques in the settlement of industrial labor disputes needs knowledge of the field of labor-management relations, particularly of collective-bargaining principles, practices, and processes; understanding of economic, industrial, and labor trends, and of current developments and problems in the field of labor relations; and knowledge of applicable labor laws and precedent decisions.

(This series applies only to mediator positions in the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and in the National Mediation Board.) There are approximately 183 mediators employed in this series.

Federal Government Requirements:         

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply
  • The yearly salary for a GS-13 is $89,285 to 116,068 per year

Typical Duties & Occupational Profile:

In the private sector a mediator is also referred to as arbitrators, and conciliators.

Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators facilitate negotiation and dialogue between disputing parties to help resolve conflicts outside of the court system.

Duties

Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators typically do the following:

  • Facilitate communication between disputants to guide parties toward mutual agreement
  • Clarify issues, concerns, needs, and interests of all parties involved
  • Conduct initial meetings with disputants to outline the arbitration process
  • Settle procedural matters such as fees, or determine details such as witness numbers and time requirements
  • Set up appointments for parties to meet for mediation or arbitration
  • Interview claimants, agents, or witnesses to obtain information about disputed issues
  • Prepare settlement agreements for disputants to sign
  • Apply relevant laws, regulations, policies, or precedents to reach conclusions
  • Evaluate information from documents such as claim applications, birth or death certificates, and physician or employer records

Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators help opposing parties settle disputes outside of court. They hold private, confidential hearings, which are less formal than a court trial.

Arbitrators are usually attorneys, business professionals, or retired judges with expertise in a particular field. As impartial third parties, they hear and decide disputes between opposing parties. Arbitrators may work alone or in a panel with other arbitrators. In some cases, arbitrators may decide procedural issues, such as what evidence may be submitted and when hearings will be held.

Arbitration may be required by law for some claims and disputes. When it is not required, the parties in dispute sometimes voluntarily agree to arbitration rather than proceed with litigation or a trial. In some cases, parties may appeal the arbitrator’s decision.

Mediators are neutral parties who help people resolve their disputes. However, unlike arbitrators, they do not render binding decisions. Rather, mediators help facilitate discussion and guide the parties toward a mutually acceptable agreement. If the opposing sides cannot reach a settlement with the mediator’s help, they are free to pursue other options.

Conciliators are similar to mediators. Although their role is to help guide opposing sides to a settlement, they typically meet with the parties separately. The opposing sides must decide in advance if they will be bound by the conciliator’s recommendations.

Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators are usually lawyers or business professionals with expertise in a particular field.

Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators learn their skills through a combination of education, training, and work experience.

Education

Education is one part of becoming an arbitrator, mediator, or conciliator.

Few candidates receive a degree specific to the field of arbitration, mediation, or conflict resolution. Rather, many positions require an educational degree appropriate to the applicant’s field of expertise, and a bachelor’s degree is often sufficient. Many other positions, however, require applicants to have a law degree, a master’s in business administration, or some other advanced degree.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators are usually lawyers, retired judges, or business professionals with expertise in a particular field, such as construction, finance, or insurance. They need to have knowledge of that industry and be able to relate well to people from different cultures and backgrounds.

Training

Mediators typically work under the supervision of an experienced mediator for a certain number of cases before working independently.

Training for arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators is available through independent mediation programs, national and local mediation membership organizations, and postsecondary schools. Training is also available by volunteering at a community mediation center.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

There is no national license for arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators. However, some states require arbitrators and mediators to become certified to work on certain types of cases. Qualifications, standards, and the number of training hours required vary by state or by court. Most states require mediators to complete 20 to 40 hours of training courses to become certified. Some states require additional hours of training in a specialty area.

Some states require licenses appropriate to the applicant’s field of expertise. For example, some courts may require applicants to be licensed attorneys or certified public accountants.

Important Qualities

Critical-thinking skills. Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators must apply rules of law. They must remain neutral and not let their own personal assumptions interfere with the proceedings.

Decision-making skills. Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators must be able to weigh facts, apply the law or rules, and make a decision relatively quickly.

Interpersonal skills. Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators deal with disputing parties and must be able to facilitate discussion in a calm and respectful way.

Listening skills. Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators must pay close attention to what is being said in order for them to evaluate information.

Reading skills. Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators must be able to evaluate and distinguish important facts from large amounts of complex information.

The occupational profile was excerpted from the Occupational Handbook (OOH) published by the Department of Labor.

GS-0241-Mediator (Excerpted from USA Job Announcement)

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service promotes the development of sound and stable labor management relationships; prevents or minimizes work stoppages by assisting labor and management to settle their disputes through mediation; advocates collective bargaining, mediation and voluntary arbitration as the preferred process for settling issues between employers and representatives of employees; develops the art, science and practice of conflict resolution; assists government agencies in the effective use of alternative dispute resolution through support, training, and the provision of neutrals; and fostering the establishment and maintenance of constructive processes to improve labor-management relationships, employment security and organizational effectiveness.

Responsibilities

As a Mediator you will be responsible for promoting the development of sound and stable labor-management relationships by advocating the practice of collective bargaining, mediation and arbitration. You will also be responsible for fostering the establishment and maintenance of constructive joint processes to improve labor-management relationships and preventing or minimizing work stoppages through the use of mediation, relationship development training and other joint processes. Mediators also provide a wide range of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services to help government entities reduce litigation costs, including mediation of discrimination and other claims, workplace conflict management training, facilitation, systems design and negotiated rulemaking. Additional duties for the incumbent include:

  • Mediating labor-management disputes involving initial or successor collective bargaining agreements in situations which range from a moderate degree of difficulty to those which are highly complex due to their economic impact, the number and difficulty of issues involved, the existence of an actual work stoppage or the imminent threat of one, and/or a history of difficult labor-management relations.
  • Performing research necessary to understand the dispute, the industry or field involved, the labor relations history of the parties and all other pertinent facts or background information. Works with parties to develop an understanding of the issues involved, as well as their interests and positions. Utilizing factual information and analysis of the overall situation, as well as knowledge of the mediation process and techniques, to determine the action or approach to be taken. Assisting parties in dealing with the media on sensitive matters of public concern.
  • Identifying opportunities and responding to requests to mediate significant grievances arising during the term of a collective bargaining agreement. Helping parties resolve disputes that might otherwise present obstacles in future rounds of collective bargaining. Improving labor-management relationships through the process of resolving significant and/or backlogged grievances.
  • Providing relationship development training (RDT) designed to help labor and management jointly improve their working relationship and the overall day-to-day labor-management relations climate. Assessing relationship and works with parties to develop and deliver customized training programs designed to enhance efficiency, productivity and job security. Utilizing a variety of program delivery methods, including live and/or web-based online collaborative processes where appropriate.
  • Mediating and/or facilitating a variety of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) matters for government entities, including discrimination claims, other workplace conflicts, regulatory compliance, regulatory negotiations, multi-party conflicts and other disputes which are of a particularly unique, difficult, or complex nature. Identifying potential customers and negotiates reimbursable agreements in coordination with supervisor.
  • Engaging in education, outreach and advocacy activities to increase awareness of FMCS conflict resolution services and programs. Utilizing creative approaches to identify and/or create opportunities to inform public about FMCS dispute resolution services.
  • In all service delivery areas, utilizing current and creative means and approaches to help parties resolve disputes and manage conflict; maintaining current knowledge and awareness of major developments in field of labor-management relations, ADR and conflict management, generally; keeping apprised of developments involving specific industries, occupations, and bargaining issues, as well as new techniques and theories involving ADR; collaborating with managers and mediators to develop new and innovative approaches.
  • Utilizing technology resources to accomplish the administrative and service delivery functions of the position. As the resources develop, utilizing new technologies and electronic communications platforms to creatively and efficiently accomplish the work, including, but not limited to, researching, scheduling meetings and conferences, training and delivering certain services using the newest software and web-based platforms. In the format established by the Service, mediators are responsible for making factual and timely reports regarding collective bargaining mediation, grievance mediation, relationship development training, alternative dispute resolution services and education, advocacy and outreach activities.

In order to be found qualified for the GS-13 Mediator position with FMCS; your resume must clearly reflect your full-time collective bargaining process experience. This experience can be gained by having served as the Chief/Lead Spokesperson/Second Chair/Benefits Expert (representing labor or management) in the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements or while serving as a Mediator or Facilitator with parties engaged in the collective bargaining processes.

There is no education requirement for the government mediator job position.

Job Prospects (Excerpted from Occupational Handbook (OOH) published by the Department of Labor)

Because arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators deal extensively with legal issues and disputes, those with a law degree should have better job prospects. In addition, lawyers with expertise or experience in one or more particular legal areas, such as environmental, health, or corporate law, should have the best job prospects.

Credits

Helpful Career Planning Tools

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Civil Service Tests, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Interviews, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

Comments (0)| Print This Post Print This Post

Posted on Tuesday, 5th December 2017 by

Print This Post Print This Post

Individual Development Plans (or IDPs) are a critical piece of an employee’s career path. They are extremely beneficial in that they serve as a roadmap for career progression. Many organizations, to include the Federal Government, are making these a mandatory part of an employee’s overall performance plan. IDPs house anticipated training opportunities, goals, objectives and more; a personal career platform, employees have the ability to make it a sound projection. In addition, IDPs allow supervisors and managers to determine career expectations and provide supporting mentoring and/or coaching advice, as needed. IDPs are considered a partnership between the organization, the manager and the employee; expectations are provided, in writing, and goals and objectives are discussed and understood. Finally, IDPs candidly provide a strength and weakness assessment for individuals that are perhaps unsure of their career path and progression; they can then easily use the IDP to stay on track, develop and enhance skills, or acquire new ones.

Supervisors should encourage employees to develop IDPs, which leads to a thorough understanding of goals, needs, weaknesses, strengths, etc. It fosters motivation and encourages employees to take ownership and accountability of their careers. IDPs also serve as a talking point for managers and employees when reviewing skills, knowledge and abilities needed in order to perform particular work roles. Benefits of IDPs, overall, are vast; they enable identification and tracking of needs, goals, abilities and plans; they assist in the development of an organization’s training and manpower requirements; and they serve as the pillar in which an organization’s mission, goals and objectives are performed.

Managers and team leads, etc., can assess their skills and resources needed to perform particular tasks, missions and goals. The IDP serves many purposes as a resource tool; it can be used for hiring justifications to showcase the need for particular skills within the organization; it can be used for performance discussions with the employee; and it can serve as documentation in capturing milestones, achievements and benefits for both the employee and the organization.

Even though IDPs are not necessarily mandatory in all organizations, they are a critical and worthwhile tool for employees. Managers must do their due diligence with encouraging employees to take part in the opportunity; the value must be conveyed in addition to the myriad of opportunities for the employee.

IDPs don’t have to be formal; they can simply be crafted on a blank sheet of paper or email and discussed with the employee and their supervisor; the IDP, however, should serve as a living document so that employees can update as organizational goals and personal needs, change. At the minimum, an employee’s name, org, title and paygrade should be included along with short term and long term career goals. Dates should be included as milestone points throughout the IDP and linked to organizational objectives. Inclusion of training and personal development opportunities to include conferences, seminars, coursework, assignments, etc., are key; this roadmap should then be signed and dated by employee and supervisor. A complete set IDP planning forms and self assessment worksheets are available online that you can use in conjunction with any required employer program.

The IDP is your friend, it is a resource tool, a guideline and an opportunity for professional growth and development. For more information and assistance with taking part in an IDP process, visit www.fedcareerinfo.com. This site offers handouts, free downloadable forms and worksheets, IDP workbooks, presentations and personal discussion opportunities.

IDP & Career Planning Tools

References:

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs

Comments (0)| Print This Post Print This Post

Posted on Wednesday, 22nd November 2017 by

Print This Post Print This Post

Human resources (HR) specialists provide a variety of human resources management (HRM) services as well as consultation on the most effective alignment of HR systems to support strategic goals and objectives and produce the results that accomplish the agency mission. Management relies on these specialists and systems to help them apply merit system principles to attracting, developing, managing, and retaining a high quality and diverse workforce. Employees rely on these specialists and systems to provide information and assistance that sustain important features of the employer-employee relationship, such as employee benefits. These specialists provide products and services for a wide variety of employee categories that involve different systems with different statutory and regulatory authorities.

The federal government employs 27,736 human resource specialists of which 494 work overseas. The Department of the Army is the largest employer with 5,615 civilians employed followed by the Department of the VA with 3,492 and the Department of the Navy with 2,450. All cabinet level and large agencies employ this occupation in fairly large numbers.

The development of creative, results-driven approaches to recruitment and placement, strategic rewards, continuous learning, and employee and labor-management relations is an increasingly important function of the HR office. As a result of greater demand for strategic approaches, HR specialists have assumed an integral and critical role in planning and decision-making processes in addition to assuring that merit system principles are observed in executing HRM actions. Although this latter role is essential and fundamental, it has been significantly expanded in most HR offices to include advisory services essential to providing management with the tools necessary to properly plan, develop, organize, manage, and evaluate mission-oriented programs. This requires:

  • significantly heightened sensitivity on the part of the HR specialist to the mission and goals of the organization;
  • knowledge to identify HRM issues, problems, and opportunities potentially affecting the accomplishment of these goals; and
  • expertise with a wide spectrum of functional specializations and their interrelationships

Federal Government Requirements:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply
  • The yearly salary for a GS-12 is $72,168.00 to $93,821.00 per year

Typical Duties & Occupational Profile:

Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They often handle other human resources work, such as those related to employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training.

Duties

Human resources specialists typically do the following:

  • Consult with employers to identify employment needs
  • Interview applicants about their experience, education, and skills
  • Contact references and perform background checks on job applicants
  • Inform applicants about job details, such as duties, benefits, and working conditions
  • Hire or refer qualified candidates for employers
  • Conduct or help with new employee orientation
  • Keep employment records and process paperwork

Human resources specialists are often trained in all human resources disciplines and perform tasks throughout all areas of the department. In addition to recruiting and placing workers, human resources specialists help guide employees through all human resources procedures and answer questions about policies. They sometimes administer benefits, process payroll, and handle any associated questions or problems, although many specialists may focus more on strategic planning and hiring instead of administrative duties. They also ensure that all human resources functions comply with federal, state, and local regulations.

The following are examples of types of human resources specialists:

Human resources generalists handle all aspects of human resources work. They may have duties in all areas of human resources including recruitment, employee relations, compensation, benefits, training, as well as the administration of human resources policies, procedures, and programs.

Recruitment specialists, sometimes known as personnel recruiters or “head hunters,” find, screen, and interview applicants for job openings in an organization. They search for applicants by posting listings, attending job fairs, and visiting college campuses. They also may test applicants, contact references, and extend job offers.

Education

Applicants seeking positions as a human resources specialist usually must have a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business, or a related field.

Coursework typically includes business, industrial relations, psychology, professional writing, human resource management, and accounting.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Some positions, particularly human resources generalists, may require previous work experience. Candidates can gain experience as human resources assistants, in customer service positions, or in other related jobs.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Many professional associations that specialize in human resources offer courses intended to enhance the skills of their members, and some offer certification programs. For example, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) offers the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). In addition, the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) offers a range of certifications for varying levels of expertise.

Certification usually requires passing an exam, and candidates typically need to meet minimum education and experience requirements. Exams check for human resources knowledge and how candidates apply their knowledge and judgment to different situations.

Although certification is usually voluntary, some employers may prefer or require it. Human resources generalists, in particular, can benefit from certification because it shows knowledge and professional competence across all human resources areas.

Advancement

Human resources specialists who possess a thorough knowledge of their organization, as well as an understanding of regulatory compliance needs, can advance to become human resources managers. Specialists can increase their chance of advancement by completing voluntary certification programs.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Listening and speaking skills are essential for human resources specialists. They must convey information effectively, and pay careful attention to questions and concerns from job applicants and employees.

Decision making skills. Human resources specialists use decision making skills when reviewing candidates’ qualifications or when working to resolve disputes.

Detail oriented. Specialists must be detail oriented when evaluating applicants’ qualifications, performing background checks, maintaining records of an employee grievance, and ensuring that a workplace is in compliance with labor standards.

Interpersonal skills. Specialists continually interact with new people and must be able to converse and connect with people from different backgrounds.

The occupational profile was excerpted from the Occupational Handbook (OOH) published by the Department of Labor

GS-0201-Human Resource Specialist (Excerpted from USA Jobs Announcement)

Responsibilities

As a Human Resources Specialist you will have responsibility for providing operational services in the areas of recruitment/placement, classification, performance management, benefits, employee relations, labor relations, employee development & training, and HR Information Systems.

Typical assignments may include:

Recruitment and Placement – Advising management on recruitment strategies, sources, and special programs that emphasize affirmative action.

Classification – Developing and evaluating job descriptions by applying position classification criteria and supplemental guidance to determine title, series, and grade.

Employee Benefits -Administration of the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), FEHB, FEGLI, Long Term Care Insurance, Flexible Spending Account and the Thrift Saving Plan (TSP) programs; administering the Federal Employee Compensation Act (FECA) Program.

Performance Management – Providing advice, assistance, technical and policy guidance to management concerning their responsibilities throughout the rating cycle for appraising employee performance.

Employee/Labor Relations- Providing a full range of advisory services, assistance, and policy guidance to management officials and employees concerning all aspects of the labor-management and employee relations programs that include labor relations, disciplinary and adverse actions, performance-based actions, grievances (negotiated and administrative), appeals, drug-testing, and premium pay entitlements; supporting managers and supervisors on identifying and resolving complex personnel issues and other supervisor-employee relationships that tend to cause dissatisfaction.

Human Resources Development – Providing advice and assistance to management concerning determination of training needs, sources of needed training, planning to meet identified needs, and evaluation of results.

HR Information Systems – Providing technical advice and assistance on the design, implementation and operation of human resources (HR) automated systems.

Qualifications

To qualify at the GS-12 grade level:

Applicants must possess at least one-year experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 grade level in researching, interpreting and applying appropriate Federal laws, regulations, policies and guidelines in at least one human resources functional areas (e.g., recruitment and placement, classification, employee relations, labor relations, including performance management and employee benefits, and employee development & training and HR information systems).

Job Prospects

Job prospects for human resources specialists are expected to be favorable, particularly in companies that provide human resources services to other organizations.

Overall, candidates with a bachelor’s degree and professional certification should have the best job prospects.

Credits

Helpful Career Planning Tools

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Civil Service Tests, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Interviews, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

Comments (0)| Print This Post Print This Post

Posted on Sunday, 29th October 2017 by

Print This Post Print This Post

There are many occupations in the federal government that require electronics technician skills both in the General and Wage Grade Schedules. The primary General Schedule (GS) occupation is the electronics technician GS-0856. The postal service also hires electronic technicians to service their mail delivery automation equipment.

The federal government employs 8,072 GS-0856 electronics technicians of which 222 work overseas. The Department of the Army, Air Force and Navy are the largest employers with 5,368 civilians followed by The Department of Justice with 806 and the Department of Transportation with 537. Many cabinet level agencies and a few large independent agencies such as NASA employ electronics technicians.

Many GS-0856 electronic technicians can qualify for related jobs such as system specialists with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the Transportation Specialist GS-2101 Series. These jobs require additional training at the FAA academy in Oklahoma city for each specialty. Randy Baldwin, featured in this article, and Dennis Damp, host of this service, spent many months in training at the academy throughout their careers first as a GS-0856 technician and later as GS-2101 system specialists. The GS-2101 series with the FAA offers work in automation, communications, navigation, and surveillance / radar occupations.

You will also find many opportunities in the WG-2600 Electronic Equipment Installation and Maintenance Family. This job family includes occupations involved in the installation, repair, overhaul, fabrication, tuning, alignment, modification, calibration, and testing of electronic equipment and related devices, such as radio, radar, loran, sonar, television, and other communications equipment; industrial controls; fire control, flight/landing control, bombing-navigation, and other integrated systems; and electronic computer systems and equipment.

There are 10,299 federal wage grade workers employed in the WG-2600 group of which 68 work overseas or in the U.S. Territories. The largest employers are the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force with 8,411 civilians employed.  The Veterans Administration employs 233, and the Treasury Department 144. Other cabinet level and a few large independent agencies employ small numbers of this group.

Additionally there are 866 civilians that work in the WG-3300 Instrument Work Family.

Interview with Randy Baldwin

Randy Baldwin started his federal government civilian career with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an electronics technician (GS-0856) after discharge from the U.S. Air Force and ended his career as a Special Projects Officer, GS-14, in Leesburg, VA. He was interviewed for this article to provide insight into this occupation.

 

Randy Baldwin

Mr. Baldwin had an extensive and diverse career with the federal government and after retiring he went on to start several successful companies including Just Write Laser Engraving.

He started his career in 1971 originally working for the Navy as an electronics Wage Grade technician. Since there were limited advancement prospects, he searched for positions in the GS-0856 job series. Randy applied for FAA positions in both the Eastern and Southern regions. He was originally hired in Athens, GA as a GS-856-09 electronics trainee. Randy said this was the best decision he could have made for career progression and to take care of his family. He retired at the GS-14 pay grade.

Randy’s last position, before retiring, was special projects officer. He states that every day was different from the next and a challenge. He represented the Eastern Region’s engineering organization. One of the projects he handled was initiating computer control monitoring of various  environmental systems, such as air, heat, and fuel. Another major project was coordinating the upgrade of all underground fuel storage tanks to both Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state standards.

Randy’s greatest challenge was successfully completing an Engineering Mathematics for Engineering Technicians home study course. Randy said that you had to pass the course. If you did not pass it, “you might as well look for another job.” Another course Fundamentals of Radar, was a four-month course in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Again, this was a make or break course for your career, as before he passed it and went on to bigger and better opportunities in the FAA.

The FAA invests considerable time and resources to training their specialists. To retain your position initially trainees must pass fundamental courses that impart the knowledge they will need for advanced systems training.

Randy emphasizes, to be successful “work hard and you will be rewarded. Apply yourself, do a good job and take pride in that. The reward may not come at once, and not even by the same people you currently work for.” Working hard is the best advice that Randy has to offer others.

Electronic Technician (GS-0856) Qualifications

The electronic technician series covers technical positions supervising, leading, or performing work involving applying:

  • knowledge of the techniques and theories characteristic of electronics, such as a knowledge of basic electricity and electronic theory, algebra, and elementary physics;
  • knowledge of electronic equipment design, development, evaluation, testing, installation, and maintenance; and
  • knowledge of the capabilities, limitations, operations, design, characteristics, and functional use of a variety of types and models of electronic equipment and systems related to, but less than, a full professional knowledge of electronic engineering.

Federal Government Requirements:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply
  • The yearly salary for a GS-12 is $79,720 to $103,639 per year

Typical Duties & Occupational Profile:

For this article we will cover electrical and electronics engineering technicians for the private sector.

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians help engineers design and develop computers and other electrical and electronic equipment.

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians help engineers design and develop computers, communications equipment, medical monitoring devices, navigational equipment, and other electrical and electronic equipment. They often work in product evaluation and testing, using measuring and diagnostic devices to adjust, test, and repair equipment. They are also involved in the manufacture and deployment of equipment for automation.

Duties

Electrical engineering technicians typically do the following:

  • Put together electrical and electronic systems and prototypes
  • Build, calibrate, and repair electrical instruments or testing equipment
  • Visit construction sites to observe conditions affecting design
  • Identify solutions to technical design problems that arise during the construction of electrical systems
  • Inspect designs for quality control, report findings, and make recommendations
  • Draw diagrams and write specifications to clarify design details of experimental electronics units

Electrical engineering technicians install and maintain electrical control systems and equipment, and modify electrical prototypes, parts, and assemblies to correct problems. When testing systems, they set up test equipment and evaluate the performance of developmental parts, assemblies, or systems under simulated conditions. They then analyze test information to resolve design-related problems.

Electronics engineering technicians typically do the following:

  • Design basic circuitry and draft sketches to clarify details of design documentation, under engineers’ direction
  • Build prototypes from rough sketches or plans
  • Assemble, test, and maintain circuitry or electronic components according to engineering instructions, technical manuals, and knowledge of electronics
  • Adjust and replace defective circuitry and electronic components
  • Make parts, such as coils and terminal boards, by using bench lathes, drills, or other machine tools

Electronics engineering technicians identify and resolve equipment malfunctions and then work with manufacturers to get replacement parts. They also calibrate and perform preventative maintenance on equipment and systems.

These technicians often need to read blueprints, schematic drawings, and engineering instructions for assembling electronic units. They also write reports and record data on testing techniques, laboratory equipment, and specifications

Education

Programs for electrical and electronics engineering technicians usually lead to an associate’s degree in electrical or electronics engineering technology. Vocational–technical schools include postsecondary institutions that serve local students and emphasize training needed by local employers.

Community colleges offer programs similar to those in technical institutes but include more theory-based and liberal arts coursework. Some of these colleges allow students to concentrate in computer electronics, industrial electronics, or communications electronics.

Prospective electrical and electronics engineering technicians usually take courses in ANSI C, C++ programming, Java programming, physics, microprocessors, and circuitry. The Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET accredits programs that include at least college algebra, trigonometry, and basic science courses.

Important Qualities

Logical-thinking skills. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians must isolate and then identify problems for the engineering staff to work on. They need good reasoning skills to identify and fix problems. Technicians must also be able to follow a logical sequence or specific set of rules to carry out engineers’ designs, inspect designs for quality control, and put together prototypes.

Math skills. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians use math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Mechanical skills. Electronics engineering technicians in particular must be able to use hand tools and soldering irons on small circuitry and electronic parts to create detailed electronic components by hand.

Observational skills. Electrical engineering technicians sometimes visit construction sites to make sure that electrical engineers’ designs are being carried out correctly. They are responsible for evaluating projects onsite and reporting problems to engineers.

Problem-solving skills. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians create what engineers have designed and often test the designs to make sure that they work. Technicians help to resolve any problems that come up in carrying out the engineers’ designs.

Writing skills. These technicians must write reports about onsite construction, the results of testing, or problems they find when carrying out designs. Their writing must be clear and well organized so that the engineers they work with can understand the reports.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) offers certification in electrical power testing. This certification would benefit those technicians working in the electric power generation, transmission, and distribution industry.

ETA International also offers certifications in several fields, including basic electronics, biomedical, and renewable energy.

The International Society of Automation offers certification as a Control Systems Technician. To gain such certification, technicians must show skills in pneumatic, mechanical, and electronic instrumentation. In addition, they must demonstrate an

understanding of process control loops and process control systems.

The occupational profile information was excerpted from the Occupational Handbook (OOH) published by the Department of Labor.

GS-0856 Electronics Technician (Excerpted from USA Job Announcement)

Specialized Experience

These duties are relevant to a GS-09 to GS-13, and you must have at least one year of experience for the next successive grade.

GS-09

  • providing assistance with collecting and evaluating electronics equipment performance data.

GS-10

  • providing assistance with collecting and evaluating electronics equipment performance data
  • interpreting and analyzing designs, diagrams, and schematics to evaluate feasibility.

GS-11

  • providing assistance with collecting and evaluating electronics equipment performance data
  • interpreting and analyzing designs, diagrams, and schematics to evaluate feasibility
  • evaluating faults in the operational configuration of electronic systems and equipment.

GS-12

  • providing assistance with collecting and evaluating electronics equipment performance data
  • interpreting and analyzing designs, diagrams, and schematics to evaluate feasibility
  • evaluating faults in the operational configuration of electronic systems and equipment
  • developing designs, diagrams, and schematics for technical feasibility

GS-13

  • providing assistance with collecting and evaluating electronics equipment performance data
  • interpreting and analyzing designs, diagrams, and schematics to evaluate feasibility
  • evaluating faults in the operational configuration of electronic systems and equipment
  • developing designs, diagrams, and schematics for technical feasibility
  • analyzing and diagnosing faults in the operational configuration of electronic systems and equipment.

 

Job Prospects:

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections Program)

Employment of electrical and electronics engineering technicians is projected to decline 2 percent from 2014 to 2024.

Some of these technicians work in traditional manufacturing industries, many of which are declining or growing slowly. In addition, employment of these technicians in the federal government is projected to decline. However, employment growth for electrical and electronics engineering technicians will likely occur in engineering services firms as companies seek to contract out these services as a way to lower costs.

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians also work closely with electrical and electronics engineers and computer hardware engineers in the computer systems design services industry. Demand for these technicians overall is expected to be sustained by demand for workers in this industry because of the continuing integration of computer and electronics systems. For example, computer, cellular phone, and global positioning system (GPS) technologies are being included in automobiles and various portable and household electronics systems.

Job Vacancy Announcements

Helpful Career Planning Tools

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Civil Service Tests, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

Comments (0)| Print This Post Print This Post

Posted on Tuesday, 24th October 2017 by

Print This Post Print This Post

How can we look to history to help guide us on how we approach our professional career, now? In a world of uncertainty, complexity and confusion, how can we remain steadfast in what it is that ‘we’ want to do…how will we contribute to society while satisfying our own needs. How can we obtain the skills, knowledge and abilities to poise ourselves to make good, sound decisions when it comes to our career and professional training, etc?  These are questions that can be answered if we look to our ancestors…how did they do it? How did they become satisfied in their careers; should we do what we love, first, and figure out how to get paid for it?

With many professionals today looking for career growth in a technologically changing world, how are they to do it, like their mothers and fathers did, and ensure sustainment and happiness? Currently, many folks feel that a year in one job is ‘too long’….which, in reality, isn’t a long time, but sometimes it just feels that way. Managers, then, are a key component to job satisfaction; they need to ensure they are mentoring and assisting employees with their wants, needs, desires, while equally assessing and enhancing their knowledge, skills, and abilities to do so. Given this scenario, the employee too, needs to determine what their particular ‘success’ looks like; money is not a motivator for everyone so the worst thing you can do is base success on how much you make. Instead, each individual needs to determine, on their own, what satisfaction is for them, and then success will follow. Maybe you are looking for more time off with your family or an opportunity to go back to school or do some traveling with your company…whatever it is, this is what your approach should be, instead of chasing the dollars. A job that maybe doesn’t pay as well as you’d like, but offers a great work/life balance with good benefits and opportunities to advance is maybe what you really want.

Being independent and focusing on the contributions you will make to the company will bring forth collaboration and goal setting with your manager. Your willingness to be happy in the moment and commit to the “now” will showcase your satisfaction to your leadership; it’s not that you don’t want to advance, of course you do, and you will…but you need to take a stoic stand at some point and ‘enjoy’ your success, regardless of where you are. By realizing that you are in between the current and desired state is a necessary part of moving forward; many of us don’t do this. Instead, we are constantly looking for more…more ways to change, more things to do, more ways to increase salary, etc.; relax….it’ll come. The key to remaining steadfast in a crazy and changing world is to stay calm; make contributions to society and to your position, take an interest in yourself, enjoy the happy. It’s okay to embark on professional development, training, etc. to better yourself…you are working on your desired state, just be sure that you leave some time to realize where you are and what you have achieved, thus far. In order to love what you do, you have to give yourself time to enjoy what you have accomplished…it’s okay, you will get to the next goal…and its okay to take your time.

Reference:

Career Planning Tools 

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

Comments (0)| Print This Post Print This Post

Posted on Tuesday, 17th October 2017 by

Print This Post Print This Post

It comes when you least expect it. It comes when you can least afford it. It comes when you thought your “safe” job was forever. Usually the event takes place at about 3 PM on an ordinary work day when your boss calls you in for a “friendly” chat. It can happen anywhere: in an office setting, on a construction site, or in a retail store.  Where and when it happens does not matter. The results are the same for every worker; a president, a retail clerk, an editor, a truck driver, a sales representative, or an IT director.

This event is being fired or laid off by your employer and it has many different names; fired, laid off, downsized, reorged out, rightsized, riffed, whacked, kicked out, canned or just plain “let go.”  How often does it happen? Each day 50,000 American workers lose their jobs. That’s over 20 million workers per year!

LOSING YOUR PERSONAL IDENTITY

The ramifications of job loss are staggering, particularly for mid-career workers who have serious family and financial obligations like a home mortgage, car payments, insurance, child care, and high school or college tuition. When your boss says, “this is your last day on the job” your world seems to be coming apart at the seams. You are no longer Mary Jones, Marketing Director for General Electric, or Joe Smith, Sales Manager for Metlife Insurance; now you are just plain Mary and Joe. No job title or company name to define who you are. No salary and benefits to render you a self-sufficient human being. No money for food, shelter, clothing and other modern day necessities. Next to divorce or death of a loved one, being fired or laid off is the most traumatic event a worker can experience.

This event has no favorites. When you are fired or laid off you might think, “Wait a minute. It can’t happen to me. I’m sixty years old and letting me go would be age discrimination.”

 OR

“I’m African American.  Downsize me and that’s racial discrimination.”

  OR

“I’m a woman. Fire me and that’s gender discrimination.”

Dream on. There is no mercy when your employer decides to shrink the payroll. You are going, no matter what you are or who you are. You are finished. Done. Kaput. Wiped out. Welcome to the real world!

THE GRIEVING PROCESS

When you are escorted from the job site to your car or public transportation, the grieving process sets in and it is not pretty. It usually begins with humiliation, followed by anger, resentment, depression and finally acceptance.

Humiliation

Humiliation affects workers in many different ways. To some it means losing face, degradation, confusion, and shame. To others it means indignity, disgrace and dishonor. Whatever it means personally, your ego is crushed like nothing else.  “How could this be happening to me? I’ve played by the rules, met job objectives and my reward is being let go.”  You just can’t believe you are the target of a blood-letting at your employer.

And what about the talk from former coworkers? “What are they thinking and saying about me? Do they believe that I did something seriously wrong? And how about my family? Walking in the door and saying I’ve been fired will be extremely painful.” This loss of dignity, this utter humiliation, sets you up for the next stages in the grieving process, anger and resentment.

Anger and Resentment

Anger and resentment are usually directed at the boss and/or the human resources director, but it could reach as far as the president or CEO. “How could ‘they’ do such a thing to me, an honest and dedicated worker?” To shortcut the anger stage, remember that your being let go was in all probability not personal. It was most likely the result of a general company initiative to save money. Employers do not lay off workers without serious forethought because hiring another worker is very costly. When you trace the chain of events that led to your being let go, it most frequently comes back to the numbers. Most workers move past the anger stage by hurling some juicy epithets at their former employer, ones that you would not want to see in print. If you are still in this stage, try it. Tell your former boss and the HR director in no uncertain terms how you feel.  Get it off your chest, in private, and then move on.

Depression

Most workers enter a state of self-pity after suffering a serious misfortune that has multiple ramifications, like losing a job along with a paycheck and benefits. You can short circuit this phase of the grieving process by remaining positive about the future. In America, a country that employs 155,000 million workers, there is always something out there for those who know how to hunt for a job.

The best solution to head off depression is to remain active. Devise a job hunting plan as soon as possible making your number one priority personal networking by attending conferences and job fairs where you will meet potential hiring managers. Sitting at home and texting your friends and acquaintances a tale of woe could lead to depression and sessions with a psychologist or psychiatrist. If you find yourself in such a state, do seek professional counseling.

Acceptance

After being out of work for a month or more, you will meet others who suffered the same fate.  This did not happen only to you. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, www.bls.gov, reveal that: each day 50,000 workers are laid off or fired in the United States; and, that today’s workers will change jobs six times during their working years.

This is not the end of the world. In America, jobs are always available for workers who know what they want and know how to implement a job hunting plan.

There are some positives after suffering job loss. First, you will have time to examine your career goals, and second, you will have time to examine and possibly rebuild your persona and character. This is important because a character flaw could have been responsible for your being let go.

REDEFINING YOUR PERSONA AND IMPROVING YOUR CHARACTER 

Being fired or laid off is traumatic, but it does have two specific benefits.

  1. It opens the door to examining and possibly reshaping your persona.
  2. It provides an opportunity to rebuild your character.

Redefining Your Persona

The word persona derives from the Latin where it originally meant a theatrical mask. In theatrical terms, it translates into an assumed personality. In today’s world it refers to that part of your personality exposed to the public. It is the apparent you that people see and it may be different from your character, the real you. It is you who created your persona, either consciously or subconsciously.

People in the public eye such as TV personalities, actors, and politicians frequently assume a certain persona that appeals to their target audience. Take politicians, for example. They want to be viewed by constituents as caring for their welfare and the needs of the country as a whole, but in reality, some politicians use public office for personal gain.

Persona in the private sector is similar. Look at your own persona in the workplace. If you were in a leadership position, i.e. the boss, what was your persona? Was it in conflict with the real you? Did you portray yourself as the good, compassionate, helpful, caring boss dedicated to making the company great? However, did you assume this persona, this mask, to hide your real motivation; to oust your boss and move up in rank and compensation?  Could it have been the reason why you were let go from your job as Regional Sales Manager in a staged “reorganization” while your friend Mary, another Regional Sales Manager was kept on the payroll?   Only you can answer that after a private, honest meeting with yourself.

Before implementing your job hunting plan discover who you really are. Were you the one who used every chance to derail your boss while playing Mister Good Guy? If your introspection reveals a difference between your persona and the real you, take measures to make these two competing entities one and the same. How do you begin? With honesty. If you have any doubts about how you are seen, ask your former boss and coworkers what they thought of you, no holds barred.

Rebuilding Your Character

For our purposes, we define character as the aggregate of traits and features that form and identify the real you. Your character is the set of values and ethics that you hold dear. They determine not only what you say, but also how you act.

This period of downtime provides an excellent opportunity to learn who you really are. Looking back, you might find that the real you became lost in the corporate culture, maybe disguised by a preoccupation with political correctness.  In the course of your previous job, you may have forgotten what you truly believe or how you feel. It’s time for a homecoming with yourself to find out who you really are.

To begin the process of rebuilding character, you need a foundation upon which everything else rests. We like the foundation stones posited by Character Counts!, a nonprofit organization dedicated to character education. One of their constructs is the Six Pillars of Character, which act as the foundation for building character. They are: trustworthiness, fairness, respect, caring, citizenship, and responsibility. You can review this material at:  www.charactercounts.org.

MOVING FORWARD

The rebuilding process may be filled with fear, doubts, maybes, should haves, would haves, and could haves.  However, it is not these burdens that will drive you to distraction. Rather, it’s the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Learn from the past but do not accept the past as prologue. Get rid of the two demons, regret and fear, that will inhibit your growth. Move forward with confidence. Using your intelligence, energy, passion, and your revised persona and character, you will succeed. The world is yours for the taking!

TAKEAWAYS

  • Persona is the face you present to the public at large.
  • Character is who you really are.
  • Persona and character must work in harmony for growth in your career.
  • Regrets about the past and fear of the future are two demons that will inhibit your growth. Let go the regrets. Face the future with confidence and hope.
  • Integrity and trust form the foundation for your character.
  • Having good character means being who you are even when nobody is watching.

For additional information about rebuilding your character after being fired of laid off, please refer to my book, Moving Forward in Mid-Career: A Guide to Rebuilding Your Career after Being Fired or Laid Off. It will be available in paperback or eBook In December 2017 from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Skyhorse Publishing Inc.

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Interviews, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

Comments (0)| Print This Post Print This Post

Posted on Tuesday, 10th October 2017 by

Print This Post Print This Post

Facebook, Linked In and Twitter are all fantastic sources of marketing – for yourself! These are free tools that we can use to search out a new career, or perhaps look for some professional development opportunities or just some inspiration. All of these social media sites are great avenues to exchange information, collaborate with colleagues, friends, co-workers, etc. In addition, many large and small businesses are utilizing these applications to showcase ‘hot jobs’ and to search out new and unique talents. Retiring? No problem – these social media sites also provide a myriad of part-time and volunteer opportunities as well.

Facebook is not only a social media and communication mecca, but it also serves as an opportunity to utilize social media for career opportunities. Perhaps you are looking into making a career change and want to know a bit more about a company, its culture, employees, benefits, work/life balance opportunities and more — Facebook is your answer!  More and more companies are reaching out to individuals across the globe to market, network and attract potential employees on this site. Not only will you be able to interact directly with company leadership and professionals, you will be able to post comments, ask questions and explore their key goals and objectives, strategic vision and purpose. Facebook is a platform whereby individuals can do their homework, learn a great deal about others and their potential industry, and then make a decision. A great career resource tool, Facebook is a ‘must’ for the job seeker; you can look as you wish and post what you’d like about yourself ..all while potential employers are just a click away.

Twitter is another social media tool that revolutionizes communication. More companies and their employees are tweeting about a myriad of opportunities, expectations, job listings, culture, salaries and more. If you are looking for a career change or perhaps just thinking about one, Twitter can provide those details that may help you in your decision making. More and more companies are posting open houses, career fairs, internships and more as the interest grows. With the explosion of cybersecurity these days, Twitter is one of the first to utilize their platform as a tool; they routinely offer a variety of cyber options for part-time, full time, students, executives and professionals…all in a tweet. You can list yourself as a ‘follower’ to receive routine updates on those venues or persons of interest; or perhaps take part in tweeting what you are looking for.

These social media platforms are a two way street; by taking a proactive approach you can learn about your (next) potential employer while controlling what you would like them to know about you. Whether by posting a resume, asking questions, or indicating interest in a particular skill set, these emerging technologies are a critical component of career decision making. User friendly and easy, these tools can get you connected in no time, globally, to a network of individuals that can shape your next career move. Give it a try….do some homework and create your profile, you will be glad you did!

References:

Career Planning Tools 

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Interviews, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

Comments (0)| Print This Post Print This Post

Posted on Thursday, 5th October 2017 by

Print This Post Print This Post

Cybersecurity surrounds the hardware, software and services that protect a compilation of computers, networks, data and infrastructure. There are many forms of protection to include risk management, access control, incident response, destruction and more. Many startups are working to protect against these threats – from hackers, malware, and/or criminals that would seek to do harm. With such a variety of opportunities in cyber space, and the growing sophistication of hackers and criminals, companies are eagerly looking to becoming a part of this endeavor (Blankenship, n.d.).

The explosion of cybersecurity has had its impact on everyone, we see an increasing number of business start-ups in specific areas like: cloud infrastructure, data centers, incident response, risk assessments and more. The cybersecurity market has become flooded with a myriad of startups hoping to gain a foothold in this highly competitive space. In addition, there is a lot of funding up for grabs; grants are available in upwards of $25 million with expected increases over the next several years. Movers and shakers in the cybersecurity niche can expect to acquire funding, particularly if they are unique in their security products, tools or services.

Some of those notable in the industry are as follows (Chickowski, 2017)

  • Bitglass – cloud access
  • Bromium – malware protection and solutions
  • Cyence – risk modeling platform for insurance
  • Darktrace – anomaly protection (self-learning platform)
  • Demisto – information sharing and collaboration platform
  • Druva – cloud platform
  • io –security and compliance monitoring
  • Fugue –cloud operating system/enforcement
  • IntSights -Cyber attack detection and response platform
  • Kenna – Risk intelligence and vulnerability platform (prioritizing and remediating vulnerabilities)

Funding and investments into firms, like those above are becoming more prominent. Security firm Trend Micro has recently become the latest organization to throw their hat into the cyber investment opportunity world. Headquartered in Japan, Trend Micro is offering $100 million tied to opportunities in the internet of things (IOT) space. Trend Micro is famous for its IT security products, particularly in the areas of antivirus and threat protection; they are seeking fresh ideas, innovation and new approaches. Organizations, like Trend Micro, believe these investments are critical to its core business process; insights uncovered will foster improved business models, close gaps and address skill shortages…the learning will not only benefit the startup but also TrendMicro as well (Russell, 2017).

One new focus area is that of phishing attacks; cybersecurity companies and startups in particular are flocking to develop threat management platforms for this issue. They tackle the problems of these specific emails and work to mitigate them; developing phishing attack solutions and protections can save businesses massive amounts of money, not to mention their reputations.

Cybersecurity funding deals topped $866 million in the first quarter of 2017 with an additional $588 million worth of investments in third quarter on over 50 deals. Private funding has also topped $3.93 billion this year with a total of 509 deals, putting it on track to become a 2017 record. Examples include: Tenable Network Security in Columbia, MD ($302 million); Tanium inc. in California ($295 million), Lookout, inc. in California ($281 million), OpenPeak in Florida ($233 million) and CrowdStrike ($256 million) (Stewart, 2017).

With the trend of startups focusing on specific security issues, they have an extremely bright future. Whether looking at incident response, process automation or protection, there is much room of any and all to capitalize on their craft. Opportunities in the cyber space are plentiful, and with the increasing demand for security protection, startups are in the driver’s seat to success.

References:

Career Planning Tools 

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

Comments (0)| Print This Post Print This Post

Posted on Wednesday, 27th September 2017 by

Print This Post Print This Post

The recent hurricane disasters of Harvey, Irma and now Maria have left many without food, water, homes, electricity, cell service among the necessities of our modern lives. Many supplies and workers had been pre-positioned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) prior to each of these storms.

FEMA Jobs

Now that these hurricanes have passed, FEMA will need temporary workers now and for the foreseeable future. It will take many months, even years for such locations as Houston, Florida, and Puerto Rico to fully recover.

FEMA is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and was formed in 1979. Its mission is “to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.” Their vision is “A Nation Prepared.”

Additionally, FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.

Currently, there is a need for various temporary jobs in select locations. Some of these jobs include customer service specialists, logistics specialists, translators and Interpreters, environmental technicians, disaster survivor assistance, information technology.

The information below is excerpted from the FEMA website:

Hurricane Workforce

Immediate temporary jobs are available in several locations listed below. The site is updated frequently, and reflects the latest available positions for the FEMA Hurricane Workforce.

Application instructions in the job announcement may vary depending on position. Where applicable, please read the full job announcement by clicking on the job title linksPositions are currently available at the following locations:

  • Florida
  • Nevada
  • Puerto Rico
  • Texas
  • Virgin Islands
  • Reservisrs – On Call

CLICK HERE TO VIEW JOB VACANCIES

Due to the severity of these disasters jobs currently advertised with FEMA will be in demand for some time. Check back frequently to see what jobs are available.

Helpful Career Planning Tools

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

Comments (0)| Print This Post Print This Post

Posted on Monday, 25th September 2017 by

Print This Post Print This Post

The Administrative Officer Series includes positions in which the employees are responsible for providing or obtaining a variety of management services essential to the direction and operation of an organization. The paramount qualifications required are extensive knowledge and understanding of management principles, practices, methods and techniques, and skill in integrating management services with the general management of an organization.

Administrative management work is primarily concerned with providing, securing or negotiating for the resources or services needed to manage and run an organization. It involves direct assistance to the “operating” manager — i.e., the official with the primary responsibility for the direction of an organization or unit established to accomplish a basic goal or mission.

The federal government employs 9,285 administrative officers of which 345 work overseas. The Veterans Administration is the largest employer with 1,809 employed followed by the Health and Human Services with 1,301 and there are 1181 with the Department of the Army. All cabinet level and many large agencies employ this occupation.

An administrative officer aids the operating manager and subordinate operating officials in getting things done through his knowledge of and skills in dealing with organization, methods, funds, people, equipment, and other tools or resources of management. Ordinarily, he has a responsible role in the management of both financial and human resources because of his/her immediate relationship to the operating manager. He generally does key work in several other vital functions or services such as management analysis, procurement, contract administration, property management, space management, security administration, reports management, data processing, and similar or closely related activities.

An administrative officer is a generalist. The total management process is his interest, and the proficiency required involves many aspects of management. General management skills are the paramount requirement. Though aspects such as budget administration and personnel management assume major importance in many positions and other aspects such as procurement and property management are also important in many jobs, no single functional, resource or service area forms a basis for the paramount skills.

Federal Government Requirements:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply
  • The yearly salary for a GS-11/12 is $72,303.00 to $112,665.00 per year (Santa Cruz, CA vacancy area). GS-12 is $71,012.00 to $92,316.00 per year (Kennesaw, WA vacancy area)

Typical Duties & Occupational Profile:

In the private sector, administrative officers are referred to as administrative services managers.

Administrative services managers plan, coordinate, and direct a broad range of services that allow organizations to operate efficiently.

Administrative services managers plan, direct, and coordinate supportive services of an organization. Their specific responsibilities vary, but administrative service managers typically maintain facilities and supervise activities that include recordkeeping, mail distribution, and office upkeep. In a small organization, they may direct all support services and may be called the business office manager. Large organizations may have several layers of administrative managers who specialize in different areas.

Duties

Administrative services managers typically do the following:

  • Buy, store, and distribute supplies
  • Supervise clerical and administrative personnel
  • Set goals and deadlines for their department
  • Develop, manage, and monitor records
  • Recommend changes to policies or procedures in order to improve operations, such as changing what supplies are kept or how to improve recordkeeping
  • Plan budgets for contracts, equipment, and supplies
  • Monitor the facility to ensure that it remains safe, secure, and well maintained
  • Oversee the maintenance and repair of machinery, equipment, and electrical and mechanical systems
  • Ensure that facilities meet environmental, health, and security standards and comply with government regulations

Administrative services managers plan, coordinate, and direct a broad range of services that allow organizations to operate efficiently. An organization may have several managers who oversee activities that meet the needs of multiple departments, such as mail, printing and copying, recordkeeping, security, building maintenance, and recycling.

The work of administrative services managers can make a difference in employees’ productivity and satisfaction. For example, an administrative services manager might be responsible for making sure that the organization has the supplies and services it needs. In addition, an administrative services manager who is responsible for coordinating space allocation might take into account employee morale and available funds when determining the best way to arrange a given physical space.

Administrative services managers also ensure that the organization honors its contracts and follows government regulations and safety standards.

Administrative services managers may examine energy consumption patterns, technology usage, and office equipment. For example, managers may recommend buying new or different equipment or supplies in order to lower energy costs or improve indoor air quality.

Administrative services managers also plan for maintenance and the future replacement of equipment, such as computers. A timely replacement of equipment can help save money for the organization, because eventually the cost of upgrading and maintaining equipment becomes higher than the cost of buying new equipment.

Education

A bachelor’s degree is typically required for someone to become an administrative services manager. However, some jobseekers may be able to enter the occupation with a high school diploma. Those with a bachelor’s degree typically study business, engineering, facility management, or information management.

Work Experience

Administrative services managers must have related work experience reflecting managerial and leadership abilities. For example, contract administrators need experience in purchasing and sales, as well as knowledge of the variety of supplies, machinery, and equipment that their organization uses. Managers who are concerned with supply, inventory, and distribution should be experienced in receiving, warehousing, packaging, shipping, transportation, and related operations.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Administrative services managers must be able to review an organization’s procedures and find ways to improve efficiency.

Communication skills. Much of an administrative services manager’s time is spent working with other people. Therefore, communication is a key quality.

Detail oriented. Administrative services managers must pay attention to details. This quality is necessary across a range of tasks, from ensuring that the organization complies with building codes to managing the process of buying equipment.

Leadership skills. In managing workers and coordinating administrative duties, administrative services managers must be able to motivate employees and deal with issues that may arise.

The occupational profile information was excerpted from the Occupational Handbook (OOH) published by the Department of Labor.

GS-0341 Administrative Officer (Excerpted from USA Job Announcement)

Duties

  • Manage processes and procedures while developing and implementing office initiatives and strategies
  • Serve as the principle administrative advisor providing management, oversight, and control of the business operations
  • Manage the unit’s administrative and financial operations.
  • Serve as the principal administrative and financial adviser to the management officials
  • Provides key assistance in vital services, such as management analysis, manpower, personnel, budget, workload reports, and automatic data processing
  • Studies regulations, reports, and work measurement data within the office, adjusting workloads, reorganizing or changing work processes, functions, and manpower
  • Manages the operating budget. Maintains operation of financial and automated systems activities; duties consist of preparing Government and contractual purchase requests, monitoring the expenditures, and ensuring proper commitments and billings
  • Represents the office in meetings.  Manages credit card accounts, commitments, obligations, and expenditures

The positions used as reference for the Federal Government positions were from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a part of Department of the Army. The employees for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will provide emergency support to disaster stricken areas throughout the US. Employees must pass a stringent medical screening and be prepared to live and work in extremely austere conditions. Work schedule will initially be arduous, with much overtime. Sleeping arrangements may be limited to using a sleeping bag or in the vehicle used to move from location to location. The duty station for pay purposes for these positions is Kennewick, WA with possible 75% or Greater Business Travel in various locations throughout the US.

Job Prospects:

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projection Programs)

Applicants will likely face strong competition for the limited number of higher level administrative services management jobs. However, an increase in the expected number of retirements in upcoming years should produce more job openings. In addition, competition should be less intense for lower level management jobs. Job prospects also are expected to be better for those who can manage a wide range of responsibilities than for those who specialize in particular functions.

Credits

Helpful Career Planning Tools

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Civil Service Tests, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Overseas Jobs

Comments (0)| Print This Post Print This Post

Home Blog Intro Job Lists Apply Exams FAQ Terms of Use