Posted on Friday, 21st July 2017 by

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Thinking about leaving the Federal Sector? You are not alone, with the Internet explosion and specifically the cybersecurity challenges we are facing today, many of our colleagues are leaving their federal jobs to join private companies across the globe and embarking on new careers. However, a major move like this should not be taken lightly…there are many things to consider including: is it worth it, how do I go about it…. what about job security? These questions along with a host of others will be explored as we discuss the ins and outs of a potential transition to a private sector career.

Vesting – In order to be eligible to receive at least a partial FERS retirement benefit there is a five year creditable civilian service requirement. If you have 5 years or more of federal service when you leave you will be able to collect a deferred annuity at age 62 for life. You will also have the option of either retaining your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account or move it to your new employer’s plan; this is a critical component since you may wish to ensure your TSP is retained if you plan on eventually returning to federal service. The FERS benefit booklet provides a wealth of details and information on vesting, contributions, benefits and more.

For example, if you worked 20 years in federal service and had an average high three year earnings of $100,000 a year your benefit at age $62 would be $20,000 a year for the remainder of your life. Your annuity would be adjusted annually for cost of living increases.  This defined benefit is worth retaining and it complements your Social Security, TSP, and other retirement savings that you would have from your new employer. Many choose to cash-in their FERS accounts when they leave and years later regret they gave up a fixed annuity for life. Secondly, if they cash it out and end up back in federal service they have to repay the amount withdrawn in order to have the years you worked previously in government added back to fund your FERS retirement.

It should also be noted that in your new private sector job survivor and disability benefits would not be available until the required 18 months of civilian service has been achieved.

Reinstatement Rights  – If you have at least three years of federal service you have certain reinstatement rights and it is easier to return to federal service. Reinstatement allows former federal employees to reenter the Federal competitive service workforce without competing with the general public. Former federal employees may apply for any open civil service examination, but reinstatement eligibility also enables you to apply for Federal jobs open only to status candidates, those already working in government.

Salary Statistics – review potential salaries from the Occupational Outlook Handbook for the following groups:

Some major reasons for making the change from government to private sector include: better compensation, a change in work roles, flexibility and/or work and life balance, or a major life event. Many employees are in demand, and particularly those with law enforcement, intelligence, leadership and cybersecurity expertise. Given this, those wishing to make this change must rewrite their background and experience to fit the private sector; becoming more of an entrepreneurial spirit while meeting the needs of a global corporation are usually expected. With a faster pace, focus on productivity and profit, additional responsibilities and greater accountability, government employees must understand all of the changes surrounding a potential private sector position.

On the positive side, you will find a solid work ethic in the private sector as employees work to get the job done, and in fact, the rewards can be significantly more than what you experienced in the federal sector.

On the challenging side, you can expect longer working hours, and adoption of new skills and new challenges. You will certainly want to do your homework, research companies of interest, weigh the pros and cons, and take into consideration personality, cultural and logistical changes as well.

Early career planning, solid mentors and relationship building are critical components when making a shift. Career counseling is a must to navigate this type of change; reach out to others within your personal and professional network for advice, guidance and support. In many cases, moving to the private sector can not only satisfy financial goals and objectives, but can also offer great flexibility (closer to home and/or part time hours). By doing your homework, determining whether to work for a small or larger company, a service or product based firm, or type of role, planning is key. In addition, talking with government colleagues who already moved to the private sector can prove extremely helpful; listen to their challenges, pitfalls and positive outcomes in order to take everything into consideration for a comprehensive decision.

Be sure to address your financial situation; can you afford to take a risk at this time in your life should the new job not go as expected; is there an opportunity to return to your former agency through the use of reinstatement rights as mentioned previously in the article?

Transitioning to the private sector can be scary, but extremely rewarding with the right planning. By staying connected, taking your time, and doing your own research, you can land that (next) dream job, easily.

References:

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 Vacancies, Law Enforcement jobs

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Posted on Friday, 14th July 2017 by

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), “the labor force is projected to grow over the next 10 years at an average annual rate of 0.5 percent, a slower rate than in recent decades. Demographic factors—including slower population growth and the aging of the U.S. population—in addition to the declining labor force participation rate will be responsible for the projected growth of the labor force.”

The BLS also indicates that “the labor force is anticipated to grow by 7.9 million, reflecting an average annual growth rate of 0.5 percent, over the 2014–24 period. The growth in the labor force during that time span, is projected to be smaller than in the previous 10-year period, 2004–14, when the labor force grew by 8.5 million, or 0.6 percent, annually, on average.

Individual trends for federal government employment are incorporated within each occupational BLS profile.  The federal sector is projected to decrease by up to 15% by 2024 however that isn’t across the board. Certain federal  occupations may increase their numbers during this time period depending on proposed organizational changes implemented by the party in power. You have to use the BLS’s detailed statistical tables to view the changes in each government and private sector occupational category.

Women will have an increased role in the labor force and their numbers will grow from 46.8 percent in 2014 to 47.2 percent in 2024. During this same period, the number of men is projected to grow by 0.4 percent, which is slower than the previous decade. The rate will be downward from 53.2 percent in 2014 to 52.8 percent in 2024.

According to BLS “The labor force will continue to age, with the average annual growth rate of the 55-years-and-older group projected to be 1.8 percent, more than 3 times the rate of growth of the overall labor force. The group’s share of the labor force is anticipated to increase from 21.7 percent in 2014 to nearly 25 percent in 2024.”

The BLS does analysis every two years on the various job categories that will be relevant for the next ten years. The latest data available, December 2015 for the 2014-2024-time period. BLS indicates “these projections, labor force participation rates are analyzed and projected for more than 136 different groups, including men and women as well as 17 age groups and 4 race and ethnic groups. The basis of these projections is the past long-term behavior of the labor force participation rate in each of a number of detailed categories according to the data provided by the BLS Current Population Survey (CPS) Program.”

To get more information about labor force projections visit the BLS website.

Hot Job Trends

The BLS cites, “Healthcare occupations and industries are expected to have the fastest employment growth and to add the most jobs between 2014 and 2024. With the increase in the proportion of the population in older age groups, more people in the labor force will be entering prime retirement age.”

Additionally, the BLS states, “the labor force participation rate is projected to decrease and labor force growth to slow. This slowdown of labor force growth is expected, in turn, to lead to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 2.2 percent annually over the decade. This economic growth is projected to generate 9.8 million new jobs—a 6.5-percent increase between 2014 and 2024.”

Here are some interesting statics from the BLS on why the health care and related industries will be at the top:

Labor Force and the Macroeconomy 

  • The civilian labor force is projected to reach 163.8 million in 2024, growing at an annual rate of 0.5 percent.
  • The labor force continues to age. The median age of the labor force was 37.7 in 1994, 40.3 in 2004, 41.9 in 2014, and is projected to be 42.4 in 2024. At the same time, the overall labor force participation rate is projected to decrease from 62.9 percent in 2014 to 60.9 percent in 2024.
  • The labor force participation rate for youth (ages 16 to 24) is projected to decrease from 55.0 percent in 2014 to 49.7 percent in 2024. The youth age group is projected to make up 11.3 percent of the civilian labor force in 2024 as compared with 13.7 percent in 2014. In contrast, the labor force participation rate for the 65-and-older age group is projected to increase from 18.6 percent in 2014 to 21.7 percent in 2024. This older age group is projected to represent 8.2 percent of the civilian labor force in 2024 as compared with 5.4 percent in 2014.
  • Labor force diversity is projected to increase, with white non-Hispanics making up 59.6 percent of the civilian labor force in 2024, compared with 64.6 percent in 2014.
  • Real GDP (2009 chained dollars) is projected to grow at an annual rate of 2.2 percent, from $16.1 trillion in 2014 to $19.9 trillion in 2024.
  • Within GDP, medical services will continue to grow as a share of nominal personal consumption expenditures. This category is projected to account for 18.0 percent of consumption in 2024— higher than its 16.7-percent share in 2014 and 15.0-percent share in 2004.

The BLS not only looks at age groups, demographics, ethnicities, but the projections of economic conditions.

On the flip side, BLS predicts that construction, and manufacturing jobs will still have some growth but will decline and will not be at the peaks they once were.

The BLS indicates:

  • Service-providing sectors are projected to capture 94.6 percent of all the jobs added between 2014 and 2024. Of these 9.3 million new service sector jobs, 3.8 million will be added to the healthcare and social assistance major sector.
  • The healthcare and social assistance major sector is expected to become the largest employing major sector during the projections decade, overtaking the state and local government major sector and the professional and business services major sector. Healthcare and social assistance is projected to increase its employment share from 12.0 percent in 2014 to 13.6 percent in 2024.

For more information relating to the trends in job occupations is located at: www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecopro.pdf

This article provides an overview on the trends and economic outlook that is based on BLS analysis for the next ten years (2014-2024).

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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

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Posted on Saturday, 1st July 2017 by

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It is the season when thousands of students march to the stage to receive their AA, BA or MA degrees from colleges and universities across the country. It’s a happy time for all, especially for parents who proudly witnessed their children receive that coveted diploma that only 40% of the citizens of the USA possess. But along with that diploma, 68% of recent college grads received an invoice for a student loan averaging $37,000, an unwelcome burden not only for the graduates but also for their parents. So now that our recent college grads have a diploma and a student loan to repay, what’s next?

 

What’s Next!

The good news is that this is the best time in the past ten years for college grads entering the job market. Our economy is virtually at full employment and employers are looking high and low for additional workers to maintain and grow their businesses. A recent survey by Career Builder reveals that 74 percent of employers contacted stated that they plan to hire recent college grads. And, a recent Forbes survey indicated that the starting salary range for recent college grads is $45,000-$53,000. Good times are here again….for those college grads who know what kind of work they want to do and how to find job opportunities that will provide a paycheck to enable them to become self-sufficient.

Some of our recent college grads have decided on a career path that will take them to graduate school or to a specific job niche in the private or public sector. However, most others do not have a clue about what happens after the applause, handshakes, and the trip back home to live with Mom and Dad. The conventional, but erroneous, wisdom says that the way to a job after graduation is to sit down and write a “killer” resume and send it to multiple jobs boards. Then, like magic, a job will appear that pays well and provides satisfaction for the rest of your working years. That is just not the way it works.

To make that job appear sooner rather than later, the recent college grad must look at job hunting as a process that includes: learning ones aptitude and abilities; targeting a specific job in a specific company; developing a personal relationship with the hiring manager and human resources director; preparing a creditable resume; learning the basic rules and protocols for interviewing; attending conferences and trade shows at local convention centers; learning how to network with established workers; making cold calls on companies located in office and industrial centers; learning how to negotiate a job offer; and finally establishing an office at home to make it all happen. Each step in the process is a learned skill for all workers but especially for the recent college grad entering the adult world of full time work. Sadly these skills are not taught in colleges which sends the learning process back in the lap of the recent college grads and their parents who still have the primary responsibility for educating their children, college degree notwithstanding.  All steps of the process are important but at the top of the list is leaving the house to find hiring managers in the flesh. You do that by making unscheduled calls at company offices and attending conferences and trade shows.

Learning what kinds of jobs are available is an important start in the job hunting process. According to recent surveys here are the best industry sectors for 2017 college grads.

  • Business and scientific services
  • Educational Services
  • Finance
  • Insurance
  • Healthcare
  • Government

Functionally, the job categories most in demand are:

  • Information technology
  • Customer service
  • Business development
  • Finance/accounting
  • Production

So where does a recent college grad begin to look for a job?  It’s more than just throwing darts at a board and hoping one will stick. Finding companies that offer cutting edge products and services is a good way to start. But, who are these companies?  To get you moving in the right direction, here are twenty companies recommended in The Muse Newsletter, www.themuse.com.

  1. Caesars Entertainment…casino gaming resorts in the USA and abroad
  2. World First…financial services focusing on cross country payments
  3. Polaris…. consulting and compliance services for healthcare and life sciences
  4. Taboola…helping publishers monetize their content
  5. Good Apple Digital…digital planning media services
  6. Bonobos…contemporary custom made men’s clothing
  7. CreditCards.com…partners with banks to provide credit cards for consumers
  8. Synapse…developer of transformative digital products
  9. BackCountry.com…online supplier of high quality outdoor gear worldwide
  10. Redfin…real estate brokerage services for buyers and sellers
  11. Vanguard….worldwide financial investment services
  12. Revcontent…delivers content recommendations using widget technology
  13. 540…provides cutting-edge technology solutions for government agencies
  14. Black Mountain Systems… IT workflow management for financial companies
  15. Hirevue…provides solutions to recruit, train and retain workers
  16. Bridgestone Americas…global supplier of products for manufacturing and mining
  17. Fluxx…digital grant management for philanthropy initiatives
  18. PrintFleet…provides data driven remote print management solutions
  19. Agile…information technology staffing, recruiting and personnel management
  20. Tillster…provides software to manage mobile payments to restaurants

These companies are noted for their employee friendly culture and for providing a work environment where workers will find life/work balance…..and a little fun. Their web pages provide images of their recent college grad workers and the company work environment.  Go to the Internet and research each company for job opportunities in your location.

For those not interested in private sector corporate jobs here are two viable alternatives.

  1. Joining the military…..Army, Marines, Air Force, Navy or Coast Guard. This is an option rarely considered by recent college grads because of a general misunderstanding about what happens in the military. The most common misperception is that joining the military means that you will be deployed immediately to fight in the trenches in some god forsaken place like Afghanistan. The reality is that for each active combat job, there are hundreds of jobs behind the scenes similar to jobs in the civilian world. The big plus for spending time in the military is that one learns lifelong leadership skills, discipline and focus. And, what could be a better way to begin your working life than to serve our country, to give back for all the blessings we have inherited for being born in America? In addition, serving in the military provides substantial benefits to all veterans, like tuition reimbursement to continue ones education, lifelong healthcare and a pension.
  2. Pursuing a federal government job. The federal government, the nation’s largest employer with over 2.5 million employees, offers interesting jobs that pay as much as or more than comparable jobs in the private sector. The majority of federal government jobs are not political jobs and most are located away from Washington DC. The focus of these jobs could be anything from law enforcement, environmental conservation to finance to cybersecurity… and everything in between. In addition, there is a federal government program titled, The Recent Graduates Program. Explore the many federal jobs that are available stateside and overseas.

To begin the process of finding a job straight out of college we recommend that all recent grads and their parents read the following books:

WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD; A Complete Guide to Job Hunting for the Recent College Grad. John Henry Weiss.  Skyhorse Publishing Inc. This book is available in paperback and eBook from Amazon, B&N and the publisher.

The Book of U.S. Government Jobs. Dennis Damp. Bookhaven Press. This book is available in paperback and eBook from Amazon, B&N and the publisher

Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Department of Labor. Jist Publishing Company. This book is available in paperback and eBook from Amazon, B&N and the publisher.

Moving Forward

There has never been a better time for recent college grads to look for a job because employers are seeking additional workers as our economy expands. Those who take the time to learn how the adult world of work really works and who follow the rules in this article and in the above cited books should have no trouble connecting with employers seeking intelligent, energetic and passionate recent college grads.

Copyright 2017 by John Henry Weiss Author of WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD.

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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 Vacancies, Law Enforcement jobs, Overseas Jobs, Student jobs

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Posted on Wednesday, 21st June 2017 by

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Resumes are unique and specifically those that are aimed at landing a spot on the federal employment roster or changing jobs within. With a few tweaks, you can create a new federal style resume that highlights your experience while emphasizing your ability to meet the needs of the federal government mission. By using phrases and keywords, for example, along with the criteria mentioned in the vacancy announcement, you can become one of the top candidates!

Finding a way to show value to a government organization while highlighting your knowledge, skills and abilities is challenging. By organizing your information appropriately, you can effectively capture attention while communicating your most important attributes.

  1. Be sure to review the job opening or announcement in detail, be thorough and select the important criteria surrounding the duties or qualifications required so as to be sure you have the qualifications to do the job they are looking to fill.
  2. Demonstrate your experience surrounding these specific qualifications and build upon them with your skills and abilities; present a picture of a solid understanding of them while meeting requirements.
  3. Illustrate and highlight performances by incorporating personal success stories into the resume; be sure to address examples for each of the duty areas mentioned in the open position. Use statistics and numbers where you can (saved x amount of time and/or money for the company, etc.).
  4. In addition to employment highlights, be sure to include any hobby/volunteer skills that may be applicable or perhaps those acquired from an additional part-time career (past or present).. (writing, bookkeeping, editing, etc.)
  5. List any and all education that is currently being pursued (additional degree, certifications, etc.).
  6. List any and all awards, achievements, hobbies or titles applicable to the skills surrounding the position you are seeking (author, publisher, blog, etc.).
  7. Include any unique responsibilities (international travel, deployments, military reserves, etc.)
  8. Make it personal where you can and be sure to avoid using acronyms that others may not understand; proofread and ensure formatting, tone and tense are appropriate (bullet format, bold where applicable, reverse chronological order, etc.).
  9. Highlight your computer skills (MS Word, Project, Excel, Powerpoint, Graphic Designer, etc.) as applicable
  10. Include your resume even though the organization or agency may require an additional application

Some keywords found on government resume submissions include:

Spearheaded  –  Improved  –  Managed

Streamlined  –  Authored  –  Developed

Steadfast  –  Saved  –  Implemented

Fostered  –  Engaged  –  Hand-Picked

The above words can assist in not only capturing your expertise, but effectively highlighting your accomplishments. With a simple change, here is an example:

Old: Worked with a small team to develop a new mobility application for our organization which was very successful.

New: Spearheaded a new mobility application (called XFirst), which expanded our European business market segment by 10% and increased our international sales by 5% in year one.

Overall, be sure to present your knowledge, skills and abilities in an organized, yet attention grabbing fashion; highlight your experiences and background to demonstrate a sound ability to meet job expectations. Proofread, proofread, proofread to ensure an error-free submission; be timely with all responses, ensure proper tone and format as well and maintain a positive attitude with the recruiter at all times. A sample federal style resume is available for your review and if you need assistance there are expert resume writing services available that can help you tailor your resume to the job announcement.

Good Luck!

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, Resumes / KSAs

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Posted on Saturday, 17th June 2017 by

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Older workers, for the foreseeable future, will continue to have a significant impact on the economy according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. One of the major benefits of federal employment is early retirement, most can retire immediately between age 55 and 57 with 30 years of service, at age 60 with 20 years of service, or with as little as 5 years service at age 62!

Many older private sector workers seek federal employment late in their careers for a number of reasons. Primarily, with only 5 years of federal service you are vested. This affords older workers several major and significant advantages:

The Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS), in their article titled “Older Workers: Labor Force Trends and Career Options,”  indicates that approximately 40 percent of people 55 and older are either working or seeking work. This number is called the labor force participation rate. Labor force participation is the proportion of the population that is in the labor force.

The trend for the older worker has been increasing and is expected to continue its climb for at least the next ten years. Mitra Toossi and Elka Torpey, both economists at the BLS were interviewed for this article.

According to Mitra Toossi, “The labor force participation rate of the older labor force; 55-years-and-older, including the 65 to 74-year old’s have been increasing because people are living longer, healthier lives and they work more years to have income during their older ages. Also, most get their health insurance through work and having health insurance is a must for older workers. In addition, the Social Security age for retirement has increased and to take full advantage of the benefits you have to work longer years. Also, the whole structure of the benefits has changed from defined benefit to defined contribution, so when you work longer you pay more towards your retirement and to your 401 accounts.”

Additionally, Toossi cites, “By 2024, BLS projects that the labor force will grow to about 164 million people. That number includes about 41 million people who will be ages 55 and older—of whom about 13 million are expected to be ages 65 and older. The 164 million is the total number of the labor force in 2024 and not the 65+ labor force.”

Toossi relates “It is projected that the women’s labor force will be growing faster in the next ten years since women are primarily in occupations such as health services and educational services and these are projected to be increasing in the next decade.”

The referenced article indicates, “more than 42 percent of the workers were in management, professional and related occupations, and this was at a higher proportion than for all workers. Some other related fields for older workers, 55 and older make up at least one-third of occupations total employment in 2016.”

The BLS data specifies that the older worker age group had a higher self-employment rate than that of workers in younger groups. Elka Torpey states, “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of self-employed workers in all occupations will increase by 5.8 percent between 2014 and 2024. This compares with a projected 6.5 increase for all workers in all occupations over that time period.”

Other data the article denotes, “for workers ages 65 and older, the rate of part-time employment is 40 percent.”

Older workers can benefit significantly by seeking out and securing federal employment later in their careers to supplement their retirement income and benefits.

The Federal  Retiree’s Job Center, located on FederalRetirement.net, lists many jobs for retirees. Many federal retirees seek employment to remain active, earn additional funds for fun and necessity, and simply to stay involved in their respective fields. Private sector employers target federal retirees that are known for their exceptional skills and strong work ethic. Federal retirees may also reapply and return to federal employment under the rehired annuitant program.

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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

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Posted on Saturday, 3rd June 2017 by

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Excellent pay, Job security, and an exceptional retirement system are just a few of the top reasons most people seek federal employment. The average salary for full-time federal workers is currently $86,635 annually, total average annual compensation, including pay plus benefits, now exceeds $123,000 compared to just $70,081 for the private sector according to the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The federal pay system can be difficult for new hires to navigate and fully understand. Federal job announcements list the job title, federal pay scale, job location, and annual salary for the position. It also lists required duties and responsibilities, the qualification requirements for the job, and includes comprehensive application guidance.

There are eight predominant pay systems. Approximately half of the workforce is under the General Schedule (GS) pay scale, 20 percent are paid under Postal Service rates, and approximately 10 percent are paid under the Federal Wage System (FWS). The remaining pay systems include the Executive Schedule (SES), Foreign Service, Special Salary Rates, Nonappropriated Fund Instrumentalities pay scales, and the Veterans Health Administration pay plans.

The majority of professional and administrative federal workers are paid under the General Schedule (GS). The General Schedule, includes 15 pay grades for civilian white-collar and service workers, and smaller within-grade step increases that occur based on length of service and quality of performance. New employees usually start at the first step of a grade however those with experience in the field can often negotiate a higher starting salary.

Federal employees working in the U.S. also receive locality pay in addition to their base pay. The specific amount of locality pay is determined by survey comparisons of private sector wage rates and federal wage rates in the relevant geographic area. At its highest level, locality pay can lead to an increase of as much as 38 percent above base salary. A January pay adjustment tied to changes in private sector pay levels is divided between an across-the-board pay increase in the General Schedule and locality pay increases in most years.

A  number of agencies implemented core compensation pay band systems in the mid 1990s. To provide agencies greater flexibility in how they pay their workers, there are a number of pay systems authorized. For example, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) uses a core compensation pay band system. Their system incorporates fewer, but wider pay bands, instead of grade levels. Pay increases, under these systems, are almost entirely based on performance, as opposed to length of service.

The Federal Wage System (FWS) is used to pay labor and trade workers. This schedule sets federal wages so that they are comparable to prevailing regional wage rates for similar types of jobs. As a result, wage rates paid under the FWS can vary significantly from one locality to another.

In addition to base pay and bonuses, federal employees may receive incentive awards. These one-time awards, ranging from $25 to $10,000, are awarded for useful suggestions, a special act or service, or sustained high job performance. Some workers also may receive “premium” pay, which is granted when the employee must work overtime, on holidays, on weekends, at night, or under hazardous conditions. There are also 10 paid holidays each year and all workers receive 13 sick days annually. Sick days accumulate without restrictions and if not used employees can apply unused sick leave balances towards their service time for retirement purposes.

General Schedule (GS) base pay varies from the GS-1 level at $18,526 per annum to $134,776 per annum at step 10 of the GS-15 grade, not including locality pay adjustments. The Senior Executive Service salary tops out at $187,000 per annum.

Each GS grade has 10 pay steps. Currently, a GS-9 starts at $43,251 for step 1 and reaches $56,229 per year at step 10 (not including locality pay adjustments). At the GS-9 grade, each pay step adds $1,442 to the annual salary. Pay steps are earned based on time in service and the employee’s work performance. General Schedule employees are referred to as white-collar workers under the federal classification system. There are 47 locality pay areas.

If you are accepted for a position a job offer will arrive with additional guidance and the salary will be listed. If you are currently earning more in a comparable position ask for a pay match before accepting and signing for an offer. You can’t receive a pay adjustment after officially signing an offer of acceptance.

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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

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Posted on Monday, 29th May 2017 by

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Learning why workers are laid off is important not only for those out of work now, but also for those still working because one never knows when the axe will fall. Going forward you will be looking for good job opportunities, not just any job. This requires information about how employers operate, like laying off 10,000 workers at a crack. The last thing you need is to jump into another job that will disappear in six months. To avoid that potential tragedy, you need to do your homework.

One could argue night and day about why workers are laid off or fired. You hear one story from the academics, another from business executives, another from the talking heads on the financial channels, and still another from politicians. And, do not forget the mindless chatter on social media. To cut through the hype let’s go to the numbers.  When it comes to figuring out what is happening in the workplace, the numbers usually tell it all.

Examining the Numbers

Workers are constantly being downsized, reorganized or rightsized. In fact, approximately 55,000 workers lose their jobs each day. That’s over 20 million per year. Because of this constant churning in the workplace workers will change jobs an average of 6.5 times during their working years.

The American workplace employs over 155 million workers, making our workforce alone the world’s eighth largest “country. There are many moving parts in the workplace, some working in sync and others fighting against each other. Employers are constantly revising plans, merging, acquiring competitors, going into bankruptcy, and going out of business. When that happens, workers lose their jobs.

 

The Unemployment Rate

Daily we hear the pundits, talking heads and media gurus screaming about one of their favorite topics, the unemployment rate. To hear them talk, one would think that America is heading for financial disaster with unemployment taking a leading role. The numbers help us sort fact from fiction.

The rate of unemployment in the U.S. since the Great Depression has been approximately 6 percent. Many economists interpret that to mean that an employment rate of 94 percent is truly full employment.  Since 1970 our lowest rate of unemployment was 4 percent in 2000, and the highest was 10 percent in 2009. Looking at these numbers in “modern” times
(the past fifty years) we note that the average rate of unemployment over the past 50 years has remained 6 percent.

The three main causes of unemployment are: seasonal unemployment, when workers are laid off because of bad weather; structural unemployment, when workers are laid off because their jobs are replaced by technology; and, cyclical unemployment, when workers are laid off because of changes in the economy such as a recession which weakens consumer demand for products and services. These three causes of unemployment will always be present. There will never be such a thing as a 0 percent unemployment rate.

The numbers tell us that America has an average employment rate of 94 percent making it the best place in the world to find a job. If workers in American claim they can’t find work, it is not the fault of the President, elected officials, their teachers, or their mothers and fathers. The fault lies with them alone. If you really want a job in America, it is there for the taking…if you know where to look.

The Private Sector Workplace 

We can divide the workplace into any number of parts but for now let’s consider just three: small businesses, large companies, and entrepreneurial businesses.  Let’s see how they operate.

 Small Businesses

The Small Business Administration, www.sba.gov, states that approximately 540,000 small businesses will close each year. This is an important number because over 65 percent of all workers are employed by small businesses, which are defined by SBA as those businesses having less than 500 employees.

When a business closes, workers lose their jobs. Fortunately, the American workplace is so robust that approximately 550,000 businesses open each year. When businesses open workers are hired. All of this action makes for a constantly changing workplace, one where workers are hired, fired, laid off….and hired again. Many workers in small business become trapped in this never ending cycle.

Frequently, we think of small businesses as store front shops employing only a dozen or less workers and generating “break even” numbers. However, many small businesses employ hundreds of workers and generate millions in annual revenue. For example, the Consortium for International Education Exchange (CIEE), a company in Portland Maine, employs over 300 workers and generates in excess of $160 million annually. (CIEE is a nonprofit that works with colleges, universities and high schools administering study-abroad programs. Review their website, www.CIEE.org, to learn more about the company and job opportunities.)

Large Companies

Large companies employ over 500 workers and are privately held or publically traded on the stock exchange. The failure of large businesses raises the unemployment rate for workers in all age groups, but especially for mid-career workers. For example, large retailers have been closing thousands of stores, primarily because of the trend toward online purchasing. The result?  Job loss for millions of workers. A look at the following numbers tells why workers are constantly being laid off in just one sector of the economy, retailing, which is undergoing massive change as consumers purchase online instead of at bricks and mortar stores.

2015-2017 Store Closings

  • Barnes and Noble…223
  • McDonalds…500
  • Gap…175
  • Office Depot…400
  • JC Penny…400
  • Staples…55
  • Macy’s…100
  • Walmart…154

Entrepreneurial Businesses

Over 70 percent of businesses in the U.S. are owned by sole proprietors or partnerships. The owners are personally responsible for all profits, losses, debts and taxes. Such businesses have a   much higher failure rate than do small businesses or large corporations.

The main reason why such businesses fail is that they are under-capitalized. Entrepreneurs frequently believe that if you create a great new product that fills a market need it will automatically sell. What they forget is that in order to generate income a business needs professional marketing and sales initiatives, which cost money to implement.  This highlights the reason why most entrepreneurial business fail, undercapitalization. In order to make money, a business must spend money.

If you are considering a job with an entrepreneurial business, ask to see the business plan, the estimated capital requirements, and the written commitment for capital from lenders such as a local bank. If the entrepreneur hesitates to disclose the plan, especially the part which tells where the money is coming from, walk away from the opportunity.

Factors That Cause Job Loss

Workers are fired or laid off every day. A person who does not meet the job requirements or engages in inappropriate behavior is fired. Being let go is strictly their own fault. However, most workers who lose their jobs are laid off even though they met the job specs and obeyed the rules.  Seven major factors are responsible for the large number of workers who are laid off each year.

  1. Reduction in Force. Businesses exist to make money. If they make money, they remain in business and grow, which results in more hiring. This applies to both for profit and nonprofit businesses alike. If a business does not make money after deducting expenses and taxes it will go out of business and workers will lose their jobs. To maintain profitability companies are constantly adjusting the size of their staff. For example, when a fast food company like McDonald’s experiences a downturn in profits over a period of two or more quarters, it will downsize its staff. The result? Massive layoffs. This process is frequently called a reduction in force, a RIF. Those laid off in this process are referred to as riffed.
  2. Mergers. Tens of thousands of companies combine forces each year for a variety of reasons. When two companies merge their operations, workers are laid off. For example, when Company A merges with Company B, the new Company C will need only one Vice President for Sales. The result? One of the VP’s from A or B will be laid off.
  3. You hear it every day. “Company X buys Company Y” Again, when two companies are combined into one, workers are laid off to prevent duplication of services. For example, when the purchase of Yahoo by Verizon is completed later this year, thousands of Yahoo workers will lose their jobs. Also, businesses sometimes sell only their products or services. The result? Massive layoffs occur because the acquiring company does not take the employees, only the products. It is called an asset acquisition.
  4. Trade Deals That Send Jobs Overseas. Staff employees are usually the last to hear that their American employer cut a deal to have their products manufactured in a foreign country. It is only after the layoffs that workers learn that their jobs were lost because the company’s products can be made more cheaply outside of the USA. The same applies to services. For example, when was the last time you spoke to an America-based customer service worker? And, what is the name of the country of origin on your new pair of Nike shoes?
  5. High American Business Tax Rates. Another reason why companies move out of the USA causing workers to lose their jobs is our high Federal tax rate for businesses. America has the highest business tax rate of any developed country. Companies are in business to make as much money as possible and our high tax rate takes much away from the bottom line. Hopefully, Congress will pass a tax reform bill in the near future.
  6. Bankruptcies. When a company is consistently unprofitable, it uses the business tactic called bankruptcy to pay off creditors. When a company files for bankruptcy it can go out of  business entirely and everyone loses their job
  7. Reorganizations. Periodically, companies reorganize to improve day to day operations or emerge from bankruptcy. For example, General Electric is moving its corporate home office from Connecticut to Massachusetts. GE offered to relocate workers with key positions but this was not acceptable for those firmly grounded to the Connecticut location. Those who do not accept that offer will be laid off along with workers in support positions. The same thing happened to workers employed by Merck in some of its New Jersey offices. When the company decided to relocate some operations to others states, many workers were laid off. Frequently, it is less costly for companies to lay off workers and hire new talent in the new location. When you are seeking a new job, it is prudent to learn as much as you can about company plans to reorganize.

Moving Forward

Many readers of this article have already been fired or laid off so what’s the point of including material about why layoffs occur? It’s after the fact. The reason is this. When you are seeking another job, this information will help you assess prospective employers. Your company evaluation should include an examination of company profitability, and a network search to learn if your potential employer is talking merger or acquisition. If you find that a prospective employer has been talking with a competitor about merging, reorganizing, moving to a foreign country or has not been profitable, walk away from that opportunity, no matter how good the company reputation is.  Military veterans are particularly susceptible to being laid off because they are not familiar with how civilian companies work. In the military, one does not lose a job because of a reorganization.

The bottom line for all workers seeking employment is this; when assessing any job opportunity, look at the numbers. Use resources such as company financial reports, the Small Business Administration (www.SBA.gov), the US Chamber of Commerce (www.commerce.gov) ) and Hoovers financial reports (www.hoovers.com). In addition read this enlightening book by  Karen Berman and Joe Knight:  Financial Intelligence. A Manager’s Guide to Knowing What the Numbers Really Mean.  Harvard Business Review Press, 2013

Copyright 2017, John Henry Weiss

The content of this article is an excerpt from a forthcoming book by the author. The title is MOVING FORWARD IN MID CAREER: A Guide to Rebuilding Your Career after Being Fired or Laid Off. It is available for pre-ordering in paperback or eBook from Amazon.

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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.

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Posted on Wednesday, 24th May 2017 by

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Loan specialist and assistants direct or perform analytical functions and evaluative work which requires knowledge of (1) credit risk factors and lending principles involved in loans of specialized types granted, insured, or guaranteed by the Federal Government; (2) financial structures and practices of business organizations concerned with such loans; and (3) pertinent statutory, regulatory, and administrative provisions.

 

 

The federal government employs 4,208 loan specialists and assistants of which 60 work overseas. The Department of Agriculture is the largest employer with 3,081 followed by the Small Business Administration with 487 and Veterans Affairs (VA) with 473. About half of the cabinet level agencies and several large independent agencies employ loan specialist and assistants.

Federal Government Requirements

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply
  • The yearly salary for a GS-11/12 is $64,961.00 to $101,225.00

Typical Duties & Occupational Profile:

These duties are relevant to loan specialists and loan officers.

The work of loan officers has sizable customer-service and sales components. Loan officers often answer questions and guide customers through the application process. In addition, many loan officers must market the products and services of their lending institution and actively solicit new business.

The following are common types of loan officers:

Commercial loan officers specialize in loans to businesses, which often use the loans to buy supplies and upgrade or expand operations. Commercial loans frequently are larger and more complicated than other types of loans. Because companies have such complex financial situations and statements, commercial loans usually require human judgment in addition to the analysis by underwriting software. Furthermore, some commercial loans are so large that no single bank will provide the entire amount requested. In such cases, loan officers may have to work with multiple banks to put together a package of loans.

Consumer loan officers specialize in loans to people. Consumers take out loans for many reasons, such as buying a car or paying college tuition. For some simple consumer loans, the underwriting process is fully automated. However, the loan officer is still needed to guide applicants through the process and to handle cases with unusual circumstances. Some institutions—usually small banks and credit unions—do not use underwriting software and instead rely on loan officers to complete the underwriting process manually.

Mortgage loan officers specialize in loans used to buy real estate (property and buildings), which are called mortgage loans. Mortgage loan officers work on loans for both residential and commercial properties. Often, mortgage loan officers must seek out clients, which requires developing relationships with real estate companies and other sources that can refer prospective applicants.

Within these three fields, some loan officers specialize in a particular part of the loan process:

Loan collection officers contact borrowers who fail to make their loan payments on time. They work with borrowers to help them find a way to keep paying off the loan. If the borrower continues to miss payments, loan officers start the process of taking away what the borrower used to secure the loan (called “collateral”)—often a home or car—and selling it to repay the loan.

Loan underwriters specialize in evaluating whether a client is creditworthy. They collect, verify, and evaluate the client’s financial information provided on their loan applications and then use loan underwriting software to produce recommendations.

Federal Government Requirements:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply
  • The yearly salary for a GS-11/12 is $64,961.00 to $101,225.00

Typical Duties & Occupational Profile:

Education

Loan officers typically need a bachelor’s degree, usually in a field such as business or finance. Because commercial loan officers analyze the finances of businesses applying for credit, they need to understand general business accounting, including how to read financial statements.

Some loan officers may be able to enter the occupation without a bachelor’s degree if they have related work experience, such as experience in sales, customer service, or banking.

Training

Once hired, loan officers usually receive some on-the-job training. This may be a combination of formal, company-sponsored training and informal training during the first few months on the job.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Mortgage loan officers must have a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) license. To become licensed, they must complete at least 20 hours of coursework, pass an exam, and submit to background and credit checks. Licenses must be renewed annually, and individual states may have additional requirements.

Several banking associations, including the American Bankers Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association, as well as a number of schools, offer courses, training programs, or certifications for loan officers. Although not required, certification shows dedication and expertise and thus may enhance a candidate’s employment opportunities.

Important Qualities

  • Decision making skills. Loan officers must assess an applicant’s financial information and decide whether to award the applicant a loan.
  • Detail oriented. Each piece of information on an application can have a major effect on the profitability of a loan, meaning that loan officers must pay attention to detail.
  • Initiative. Loan officers need to seek out new clients. They often act as salespeople, promoting their lending institution and contacting firms to determine their need for a loan.
  • Interpersonal skills. Because loan officers work with people, they must be able to guide customers through the application process and answer questions.

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

GS-1165 Loan Specialist (Excerpted from USA Job Announcement)

QUALIFICATIONS:
GS-11: One year of specialized experience, equivalent to the GS-09 grade level in the Federal service, obtained in either the private or public sector as a loan processor, underwriter, financial analyst, portfolio manager, or other like position with responsibility for making repayment and other eligibility recommendations about the loan application package. Applicant must also have experience utilizing automated systems including the data entry, tracking and processing of loan applications with attendant documents pertaining to commercial loans such as credit reports, appraisals, business valuations, environmental reviews or franchise agreements.

GS-12: One year of specialized experience, equivalent to the GS-11 grade level in the Federal service, obtained in either the private or public sector as a commercial loan underwriter, financial analyst, portfolio manager, or other like position with responsibility for making repayment and other eligibility decisions about the loan application package. Applicant must also have experience utilizing automated systems including the data entry, tracking and processing of loan applications with attendant documents pertaining to commercial loans including credit reports and appraisals or business valuations, and other documents such as environmental reviews and franchise agreements.
Duties:

  • Analysis of commercial loan applications characterized by limited financial data, complex corporate and financial structures with interlocking relationships with subsidiaries and other financial partners.
  • Assesses management skills to determine the potential for successful operation.
  • Prepares financial analysis reports on the merits of a credit application, examining eligibility and all credit factors, and recommending approval or decline with supporting justification addressing mitigating terms and conditions suitable to protect the interest of the Government.
  • Counsels with financial customers, such as borrowers and lending partners, both orally and in writing, concerning financial position, eligibility, policy, procedures and practices bearing on the financial condition of an financial assistance for small businesses.

Job Prospects:

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

Employment of loan officers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The need for loan officers fluctuates with the economy, generally increasing in times of economic growth, low interest rates, and population growth—all of which create demand for loans.

The need for regulatory compliance also should create demand for loan officers. In the wake of the housing and financial crisis, loan applications are undergoing more scrutiny. Loan officers must ensure that the loans they originate are in accordance with state and federal laws, including recently enacted consumer financial protection laws. A stricter regulatory environment means a more labor-intensive loan approval process and a greater need for loan officers.

Prospects for loan officers should improve over the coming decade as lending activity rebounds from the recent recession. Job opportunities should be good for those with lending, banking, or sales experience. In addition, some firms require loan officers to find their own clients, so candidates with established contacts and a referral network should have the best job opportunities.

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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 Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

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Posted on Wednesday, 17th May 2017 by

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As a part of the Intelligence Community, the National Intelligence University (NIU) is the only accredited federal degree granting institution; it has Academic Centers for learning across the globe and its main campus is in Washington, D.C. NIU houses a myriad of expertise from around the world; students and faculty alike bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and practicality from a wide range of fields to the classrooms. NIU’s unique ability for students to study and work on research projects in the Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented (TS/SCI) format is a sought after opportunity.

One opportunity they offer, the Research Fellows Program, enables students (as fellows) to embark on a 12 month Fellowship where they are released from their daily employment to work on a particular topic of interest to the community. Through NIU’s Center for Strategic Intelligence Research, this program is competitive and candidates must be nominated through their host Agency for consideration.

Specifically, approximately 5-8 fellows are chosen each year from a myriad of agencies within the Intelligence Community and Military Services. Each applicant and selectee is required to possess an active TS/SCI clearance as well as a Master of Arts or Master of Science and represent a GS-13 or above category (military will need to be of equivalent grade or rank). Applicants should ensure they can successfully demonstrate creative abilities, critical thinking and the ability to work independently.

Research will be based in the areas of the Western Hemisphere, Africa, Global Futures, Intelligence Studies and Advanced Analysis, which are the foundation initiatives of the Center.  Candidates will be required to:

  • Address issues of strategic concern to decision makers and professionals
  • Cover topics that are not given sufficient attention or are under appreciated
  • Cut across traditional functional and regional issues
  • Develop innovative analytic methodologies
  • Build substantive expertise
  • Employ innovative research design

If selected, fellows will be provided a stipend for research expenses that include travel, books and applicable software. A workspace with full computer access to libraries, etc., will also be provided along with a mentor/subject matter expert who will provide guidance throughout the research process; milestones and deliverables will be established as part of the requirement to submit a final written product for NIU peer review and potential dissemination to the IC and/or publication. This program provides candidates with a unique opportunity to work with senior leadership across the intelligence community on a myriad of issues.

Selection Procedures are as follows:

  • Review – Research Center staff (panel) will convene to review all applications and choose up to three fellows.
  • An Interview will be scheduled with the selected candidates where research questions, data collection plan proposal, research methodologies, etc. will be discussed.
  • Selected candidates will be notified through their home offices on or before 1 March; alternates will be chosen in event an original selectee cannot participate.

Testimonial:

As a candidate for the National Intelligence University Fellows Program, I found the application process streamlined and organized. First, I determined which topic of choice I would like to research in conjunction with the ‘needs’ of the intelligence community. Specifically, my choice was “Information Sharing and Collaboration at the National, State, Local and Tribal Levels.” After narrowing down the scope a bit to focus in on the efforts already in existence (and working well), I outlined the highlighted areas of importance surrounding information sharing. For example: Policy and Governance, Department of Homeland Security Fusion Centers, Technology, and so forth. In addition, I was able to use a case study methodology for each and include the requirement for utilization of the stipend. In my case, levering on the chosen methodology, interviews and research across the intelligence community was anticipated, organized and presented which included visits to local and state-wide fusion centers, state government representatives/leaders in charge of information dissemination and so forth. Upon receipt of the application, NIU did a timely and thorough review and although I was not selected for the current year candidate pool, they were able to provide critical feedback surrounding the methodology, topic of choice and recommendations so that I would be able to update/edit my existing proposal and perhaps resubmit for the following year. Having said that, I would recommend anyone “thinking” of submitting to do so as it will be a very worthwhile and valuable experience. NIU’s fellows program is very competitive, yet a very worthwhile endeavor for those interested in researching common issues across the intelligence community.

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

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Posted on Wednesday, 10th May 2017 by

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Harvard Business School (HBS) provides several opportunities for leadership courses/programs for individuals. Designed at a variety of levels …from executives to managers to new leaders to business owners, the goal of each is to improve corporate performance, become a visionary and drive competitive advantage. These comprehensive programs are aimed at developing additional responsibilities: Owner/President Management (OPM), Advanced Management (AMP), General Management (GMP), and the Program for Leadership Development (PLD). With an opportunity for candidates at all career levels, each program is uniquely designed to fit a specific need with an end result of a visionary leader who can improve corporate performance and drive competitive advantage.

New Business Innovation (3D crossword orange series)

The General Management Program (GMP)

Great experience for general managers in industry whose function involves profit/loss; 15-20 years work experience is preferable. Specifically, those managers who have the responsibility to work with profit/loss and perhaps a cross functional, expanding role will benefit. With a myriad of coursework that consists of on-campus and distance learning, the knowledge base is expanded.  In addition, with time away from your daily duties, investment is maximized and leadership skills and growth maximized. You will be exposed to the best practices surrounding global leadership, competition, capitalization, emerging opportunities, growth potentials and the basics of running a business from beginning to end. A strategic program, the GMP is a great option for all aspiring managers.

The Program for Leadership Development (PLD).

Tailored to leadership goals and objectives for individuals with 10-15 years of experience seeking the fast track to leadership in lieu of an MBA. Specifically, with its focus on challenges and unique leadership skills and goals, this option is a more personalized experience. With a four module format, participants are exposed to core operations, key functions and best practices for success. Topics to include: leadership, change, and strategic innovation serve as the core for the learning portfolio that will boost your confidence. Participants will obtain a broader grasp of management and be ready to hit the ground running after working with high performing global and cross functional teams, driving change and working through challenging and functional initiatives. The PLD is an opportunity to excel in your current position and beyond.

The Owner/President Management (OPM)

This program is for business owners with at least 10 years experience; great for CEOs, COOs, Presidents, Exec Directors, etc. with sales exceeding $10M/year. Specifically, participants will work as though they were in charge of the business; an intensive three unit format runs the course of 24 months which maximizes time away from work yet provides significant value. Topics include: finance, marketing, sales, negotiation, leadership and global sales; a comprehensive portfolio, the OPM offers navigation through entrepreneurial challenges and uncovering new opportunities.

The Advanced Management Program (AMP)

A custom program for senior executives with at least 20 years of experience; great for CEO with annual revenues in excess of $250 million. Specifically for those central to an organization’s succession plan, AMP immerses individuals with a highly integrated format. Personal and professional growth are explored in 7 weeks on campus; coursework includes: leading change, driving innovation and positioning a company for success. The AMP offering is a must for those wanting to lead companies around the world, perhaps as a CEO.

Testimonial

Derek Porter, a CEO of a Beauty Industry Group who attended coursework as part of the HBS program, found that the program was unique in that it “teaches participants how to actually build a successful and sustainable enterprise.” In addition, he felt that it offered critical and applicable information on theories to include continuous improvement and sustainable enterprise. This learning was a key factor for success for him in growing a large business with sustainment at the next level.

Derek also felt that it was “invaluable to hear the perceptions of such a wide range of executives from different cultures.”  HBS focuses on diversity as part of its participant selection which makes for an even more attractive learning environment.

Finally, Derek felt the case-based learning methodology was valuable since it “explored unique circumstances underneath problems, identifying things that could be done to solve them.”  HBS uses this method instead of traditional learning so as to deepen one’s understanding through a different set of perspectives and scenarios.

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 Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Job Qualifications

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