Pro’s and Con’s of Promoting. . .

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IRQVET
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Pro’s and Con’s of Promoting. . .

Post by IRQVET »

So I have to admit I was blessed to work in my field in the private sector which afforded me a ton of experience prior to entering FED. I was also blessed to have really good and supportive supervisors while I’ve been in the FED, all of which supported me taking details, gaining additional experience, and I had one supervisor that paid for and allowed me to get a ton of additional certifications in my field.

And I don’t mean to be bragadosious, but I’ve had higher ups tell me for years that they feel I could advance in my career. However, one thing I’ve noticed is the folks at the GS-13 and above levels are not always as experienced as I’d expect them to be. Not all- but some. And that got me thinking how people do their one year and grade jump, repeating this process over and over until they occupy positions they are not necessarliy skilled at. And this concerns me, as I really take pride in a doing a good job.

Reason I bring this up is I’m being pressured to promote to the Regional Office by the guy currently in that position who is set to retire this year. His justification is I’m the most qualified/ tick so many boxes due to my education level and excess of certifications. But I am concerned because I’m still pretty young and I don’t want to "burn out.” Moreover, I’m also concerned because I personally don’t feel like I’m experienced enough to make the next jump, and continue doing a good job. And that really concerns me because I don’t want to be “that guy."

Anyone run into this before? What is your experiences?
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Disclaimer: The contents of this thread are known to the state of California to cause cancer. (As they always seem to know more than the rest of us)

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jimcasada
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Re: Pro’s and Con’s of Promoting. . .

Post by jimcasada »

I wouldn't worry at all about possibly being under qualified for any government position. In case you haven't noticed, the government doesn't really promote people based on qualifications. The government just promotes for the sake of promoting. If not you, they'll just pick the next lesser qualified person. They generally won't let any upper position go unfilled. The problem with working for the government is that it is way too top heavy. Too many chiefs and not enough Indians.

md2018
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Re: Pro’s and Con’s of Promoting. . .

Post by md2018 »

I’m retired now but at my agency did their best to weed out the good people. So by process of elimination some of the least qualified rose to the top to continue the cycle of running out the best talent. Our agency did good work in spite of the the George Constanza types who spent most of their time trying to disappear and not do much for years on end.

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mjedlin66
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Re: Pro’s and Con’s of Promoting. . .

Post by mjedlin66 »

You likely are well qualified, and are suffering imposter syndrome.

There are definitely well paid unqualified people out there.

Then you also see people who are well qualified and don't want to move up.

I am a GS-12 engineer. I have 9 years of working level experience, about 3 years as an ME, 3 as an EE, and 3 as a base planner. I would be a great candidate for supervisor.

But I don't want to be a supervisor. I like my job quite a bit. And an $8k or so raise is not worth trading a job that I enjoy for the misery of managing.
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bloobs
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Re: Pro’s and Con’s of Promoting. . .

Post by bloobs »

mjedlin66 wrote: Fri Sep 02, 2022 4:40 am But I don't want to be a supervisor. I like my job quite a bit. And an $8k or so raise is not worth trading a job that I enjoy for the misery of managing.
Agree. Almost 2 decades of fed work experience has taught me that the permanent damage to one's psyche (morals & ethics and loss of hard skills) from doing fed management duties is NEVER worth the extra pay or disingenuous "accolades" and awards. Been there, done that. Never again. Coasting to early retirement.

PS - am surprised that your neck of the woods can get GS-12 engineers/scientists. Minimum in my neck of the woods is a GS-13 plus 4+% locality pay plus regular 4-figure annual bonuses. Or else no one even applies for the spot left by the many retiring geezer engineers/scientists.

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IRQVET
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Re: Pro’s and Con’s of Promoting. . .

Post by IRQVET »

In my field I manage programs and not people (for the most part). This position provides alot of coaching, training, and advisement activities to managers as well high up executives. But I would not neccessarily have any direct reports. I’ve been pretty fortunate that in my 7 years in the agency, I’ve only had one supervisor that I would describe as a “bad boss.” But it was during a detail opportunity, so the experience was short lived thankfully.

Another concern I have with this particular position is this. In my last region, it consisted of managing two states with a team of three; A director, and manager, and a specialist. By contrast, this promotion is for the largest region my agency has, encompassing 27 states and it done by one person. That also scares me from a burnout perspective.

On the positive side, they just classified this position as fully virtual. So I would not have to move. It only requires that your residence falls within 250 miles of the regional office and I’m at the outter rim of that geographically speaking.

My agency hemorrhages Engineers as well, we find it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain those folks, because the private sector pays so much better. And the Engineers in my agency get worked like dogs, I’ve always felt bad for them. I’ve always admired engineers, because to that job you have to a smart cookie.
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Disclaimer: The contents of this thread are known to the state of California to cause cancer. (As they always seem to know more than the rest of us)

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bamablue
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Re: Pro’s and Con’s of Promoting. . .

Post by bamablue »

In my Agency, there are no incentives to be a supervisor. It's considered a duty associated with certain positions. We have no problem filling these positions with qualified, motivated people who do an exceptional job. There are places in the Government that do provide challenging and rewarding careers. Then there are places where they do all that and treat people well... I'm blessed to be in one of them. My guess at why... One of the key reasons for all of this is Acq Demo. Instead of the GS system, this is a merit based system that provides a payout in salary and bonus at the end of an evaluation period and board process.

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mjedlin66
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Re: Pro’s and Con’s of Promoting. . .

Post by mjedlin66 »

My job as an engineer challenges me but only by choice. We have engineers who work 10% of the time they are at their desk.

We don't have working level GS-13s but it has been discussed for 9 years now. I am not holding my breath.

If it did happen, I would be a top choice candidate. Of that I am sure.

Our locality pay is roughly 25%. But even that cannot compete with engineers in Seattle. I am training a fresh college grad, and her friend just got a starting salary that is higher than what I make as a 12-5.
Owner/creator of TSPcalc.com - "Know your numbers"

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evilanne
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Re: Pro’s and Con’s of Promoting. . .

Post by evilanne »

IRQVET wrote: Tue Aug 30, 2022 11:22 am I’m being pressured to promote to the Regional Office by the guy currently in that position who is set to retire this year. His justification is I’m the most qualified/ tick so many boxes due to my education level and excess of certifications. But I am concerned because I’m still pretty young and I don’t want to "burn out.” Moreover, I’m also concerned because I personally don’t feel like I’m experienced enough to make the next jump, and continue doing a good job. And that really concerns me because I don’t want to be “that guy."
IRQVET wrote: Tue Aug 30, 2022 11:22 am In my field I manage programs and not people (for the most part). This position provides of coaching, training, and advisement activities to managers as well high up executives. But I would not necessarily have any direct reports. I’ve been pretty fortunate that in my 7 years in the agency, I’ve only had one supervisor that I would describe as a “bad boss.” But it was during a detail opportunity, so the experience was short lived thankfully.

Another concern I have with this particular position is this. In my last region, it consisted of managing two states with a team of three; A director, and manager, and a specialist. By contrast, this promotion is for the largest region my agency has, encompassing 27 states and it done by one person. That also scares me from a burnout perspective.

On the positive side, they just classified this position as fully virtual. So I would not have to move. It only requires that your residence falls within 250 miles of the regional office and I’m at the outer rim of that geographically speaking.
If not you, then who?
You have someone in the position that knows you and your work, who is encouraging you to apply for his job. It sounds like he is concerned about leaving the agency in good hands with someone that is capable. I'm sure you are more than capable to do the job. It sounds like they have given you developmental assignments that have prepared you and will support you in the new position. Anytime you make a job change there are going to be some fear of the unknown but you sound like you are the type that will dig in and find the answer to whatever question or challenge that you face...try not to over analyze it!

The only con appears to be that you are afraid of burning out or it might be too much for you to handle. You have the opportunity to get his input regarding the position that will probably alleviate your fears. How long has he been in the position? Does he seem to be overwhelmed by it? What has been his biggest frustration? challenge? success? in the job. What skills does it take to do "a good job" in this position? What kind of politics are taking place at higher levels within the organization? Will there be any overlap with him before or after he retires for whoever is selected for the position? (There are programs available for this)

Since the position is already listed, I would recommend that you apply. (You can always turn down if you are offered the position.)

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