Washington D.C. Number One in Job Growth

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dc jobsWashington D.C. has dodged most of the economic bullets which hit other cities.

Washington D.C. added 41,800 jobs this past year, found Delta Associates. Those jobs are good ones reports Patrice Hill in The Washington Times. Compensation plus benefits averages about $123,049, double that in the private sector. The main employer is the federal government. Between the economic stimulus and two wars, the federal government has plenty of jobs which need to get done.

If you're not already employed in Washington D.C., how do you break in?

Go there. It's worth the investment to uproot yourself and start over where the jobs are. Given the competition for jobs, unless you have a very specific skill in demand, employers won't pay for you to move there. More unemployed and underemployed are doing this, on their own dime.

Take a job, anything. The city is one of intense professional activity. That means constant opportunity as people leave jobs and take new ones. Newbies usually grab a job and use that as a platform to observe the game. This isn't an area to look for the immediate big score. One job leads to a promotion or another job until your have the experience, skills, knowledge base and contacts others need.

Do favors to receive favors. New York is the center of wealth, Washington D.C. the center of power. Power operates on the web of relationships of mutual obligation. Find ways to do favors and then receive favors. This is an art, not a science. You will train your gut to discern where you are giving and not getting and you will dump those from your network.

Join organizations and be active. Most tumble from influence because they turned inward, not outward to where the players are. Find a few groups you are passionate about and carve out high-profile volunteer roles in them.

Experiment with your style. In his book "The Power Game," D.C. journalist Hedrick Smith explains the diverse forms of power. There is no one approach. Find the approach which leverages your strengths and achieves the outcomes you want. As you get more and more power, your style might also keep changing.

Next: Top 10 Places to Work in the Federal Government

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