Seven Fundamental Tips for Starting a New Government Job

Seven Fundamental Tips for Starting a New Government Job

 
Image via Crystal Eye Studio/Shutterstock

You did it. After months of scouring USAJOBS, you’ve landed the opportunity to serve your country working for the federal government. Kudos, hats off, congrats, etc. Are you ready to work?

Few new jobs are harder than a new government job—whether you’re fresh out of school or a new political appointee. You worked hard and waited long for this opportunity—and now you have to learn the basics.

A friend recently started a new job with a federal agency and came to me with a range of concerns from “I’m in over my head” to “I don’t understand what anyone is saying.” Her concerns prompted me to reflect on my own experience starting out as a contractor at the US Treasury Department and how I worked to learn the ropes. The following are seven fundamental tips for starting your new government job off right:

The Fundamentals

 1.   What law or presidential order gives your office the authority to exist? Find this out ASAP. Ask your supervisor or human capital officer where this can be found and read it—twice. You’ll likely hear reference to it again and again. Also, it’s essential you understand the originating purpose of your office and why tax dollars go to support your mission. Knowing why you exist is step one in being a good steward of taxpayer dollars.

2.   Read, read…and then read some more. Get your hands on as many reports, manuals, flow charts and budgets as you can. Compile it all in one neat stack (I like to put things in a three ring binder) and then start doing your homework. Continue reading “Seven Fundamental Tips for Starting a New Government Job”