Why You Should Consider a Job With the Federal Government

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As the economy continues to recover and we see more encouraging news regarding employment, inevitably people start thinking about finding new work. According to findings from the 2009 Kelly Global Workforce Index, 40 percent of employees across the United States intend to look for another job within the next year, including as many as 62 percent of workers from Generation X (ages 30-47).

Their reasons for moving on vary, ranging from personal preference, to better personal reward or compensation, or simply because new opportunities came available.



What motivates you most when you're ready to find a new job? Rank these in order of importance:

a) Personal preference for one working environment over another.

b) Desire for fair compensation.

c) Need for intangible benefits from work.

d) It's just a matter of availability in your line of work or in your geographic area.

The good news? No matter what inspires you to get to work every weekday, you'll find some compelling rationale for seeking employment with the federal government, according to research released by the Partnership for Public Service. Below is a guide with detail related to your favorite reasons:


Availability ...

If all the motivation you need to change jobs is access to a new opportunity, then your prospects for government work are better currently than in some areas of the private sector. Already the nation's largest employer with nearly 1.9 million on its payroll, federal agencies are expected to hire 244,000 new employees before 2012 -- a need driven by retiring baby boomers.


... in your specialty

Better still, new positions are expected across nearly every category and discipline of employment: from administrative and office work; to professional areas like accounting, marketing, law or health care; to technical specialties within engineering, IT and science.


... and in your neighborhood

Before you assume most jobs are in our nation's capital, check the facts: almost 85 percent of federal jobs are outside the D.C. area. States with the highest number of federal employees include California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington state. Another 44,000 federal jobs are based abroad.

As a model for workforce diversity, the federal government ensures equal opportunity to all Americans regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability. Roughly 44 percent of the federal workforce are women, and 33 percent are minorities. Military veterans are actively recruited through organizations like the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which offers programs for helping out-of-work veterans find jobs in the public sector.

-- See average salaries for federal government jobs.


Personal preference ...

With such a vast array of employment scope and scale available across federal operations and agencies worldwide, the government can offer a work environment suited to almost any personal preference -- in the laboratory, the office, the field, the courtroom or the classroom.

Are you a scientist, nurse or an IT technician who happens to love medicine? Check the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the world's foremost medical research center. Engineer? Try NIH or the Department of Energy. Crime fighter? There's always the Department of Justice.

The possibilities extend in every conceivable direction. Are you a world traveler? The State Department operates an embassy or consulate in 180 countries. Want to make a difference? Federal employees address the most urgent national issues facing Americans today. Wherever your interests lie, a federal cabinet or agency is addressing it in some respect.


Compensation and benefits ...

And if you always took for granted that federal pay lags the private sector, think again.


... in material form

Federal compensation is shown time and again to be competitive with the private sector, often offering better or more comprehensive health- and child-care benefits, plus innovative savings plans. Federal agencies offer hundreds of different scholarship opportunities and can help pay back up to $10,000 per year in student loans. Some will even pay for you to pursue an advanced degree or executive program at a local college or university -- nearly 75 percent of public-sector employees have some post-secondary education.


... and the intangible

Just 26 percent of the federal workforce is under the age of 40. Much like their baby boomer counterparts, as many as 70 percent of senior federal executives will retire over the next few years, lending to faster career advancement in the near term. The government offers state-of-the-art training for employees interested in learning new skill sets or advancing their professional development. Government work also facilitates an exceptional work/life balance through flexible work schedules and programs like job sharing, telecommuting or on-site child care.

Studies estimate that during President Obama's full term, new hiring for all types of federal government positions will reach nearly 600,000 employees -- almost one-third of the current workforce -- with a 41 percent increase in mission-critical hiring compared to previous years.


Next: The 10 Most Sought After Government Jobs >>


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Kelly Government Solutions (KGS) provides experienced staff to the federal government and its key suppliers, including prime and small business contractors. Through services such as government contract staffing, workforce management, project management, and contract compliance services, KGS supplies talent to both public and private sectors alike. For more information, please visit http://www.kellygovernmentsolutions.com/.

The Kelly Global Workforce Index is an annual survey revealing opinions about work and the workplace from a generational viewpoint. Results of the 2009 survey from across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific gave insight into the rapidly changing global workforce -- and how it affects the way companies recruit and retain talent.

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