Blogging has been slow of late. I’m swamped at work thanks to Congress and I’m at a bit of a fork in the road career wise. I’m trying to decide whether to: 1) take a promotion at work; 2) take an offer from a lobbying firm; or 3) take an offer from a consulting firm.

There are pros and cons to each and I’m really having trouble deciding. It’s almost impossible to figure out how valuable the benefits of federal employment are, so it makes the calculations very difficult. How valuable is it to leave at a reasonable hour every day and actually be able to take vacation? How valuable is a pension?

Anyway, I’m aware that blogging has been too slow. Hopefully, I’ll be able to pick it up a bit after mid-July.


11 Responses to Blogging

  1. josh says:

    Unsolicited advice from someone you don’t know, but is essentially living a parallel life (although, I quit being a bureaucrate a few years ago to take a lower status job with more benefits):

    You’d be a fool to leave the government. If you are looking for status, face it, you aren’t going to be initiated into the CFR no matter what you decide. Fulfill that human desire by involvement in the community (by which I mean fostering connections among your local network of men and families, not engaging in political agitation). Also, take the kids to the beach in the summer.

  2. sardonic_sob says:

    You should do as seems most prudent to you, of course, but it cannot be overemphasized that the option to go from government service to lobby/consulting work related to your former service is unlikely to go away, whereas the ability to go back will be constrained by future budgets, etc. If you want to work like a maniac and retire in ten years, jump ship now if you can find a good landing spot. But if you want to keep your options open, staying in civil service will do that better IMO.

  3. Fake Herzog says:

    I’ll jump in — my advice would be to leave the federal workforce and make more money in the private sector if and only if your wife is willing to become a stay at home mom and you two are ready to have more kids. In my mind, nothing is more important to those kids than having their mother at home.

    If you two aren’t ready for that, then stay with the feds.

  4. Handle says:

    All I have to say is that in a sane world the decision would always be for a move to the private sector. The fact that the pay, benefits, security, and easy hours of a young middle-level bureaucrat put him in the top 10% income-wise, and are equally if not more attractive than non-public-sector prospects, goes far in illustrating the nature of the fundamental problem.

    Talent is wasted in government, but 90% of the best and most talented people I know are seeking jobs that are at most 1 or 2 degrees removed from the government.

    • PRCalDude says:

      I figured out how to capitalize my own retirement and think I’ve found something in the private sector. My experience is that, no matter what your talent level, those around you will put a hard limit on what you can accomplish in the government. Some parts are worse than others, but the most talented people I meet in my field are always in the private sector and non-DoD. I never meet people who are happy with their work in the government unless they’re the True Believers at mgmt level. Most are unhappy but lack either the talent, the experience or the will to leave.

      If you need to put in more hours at work in the private sector, go to work earlier while your kids are still asleep so that you can get home earlier to see them.

  5. Alrenous says:

    Imagine someone forced you to take the promotion.
    Then imagine someone forced you to join the lobby.
    Finally, imagine someone forced you to go consult.

    Compare how each image feels.

    If that doesn’t work, clear your mind. Then, on the very first comparison your mind alights upon, take that as the deciding factor.
    Example, cars. If these jobs were cars, perhaps you’d notice you especially like the wing mirrors on the green one. So just go with that.

    If either or both give clear answers, but you’re not satisfied with them, it means your pro/con list is incomplete, and the missing factor is what you really care about.

  6. dearieme says:

    A friend of my daughter’s recently left her job to join a consulting firm. She has just been “last in first outed”. How do you fancy being unemployed?

  7. Tom Lindmark says:

    Aren’t you the guy that wrote about the unexpected pleasure of doing not much of anything with your son? Willing to give up those moments? Think about it.

  8. KevinV says:

    As a former attorney in private practice, now a State Dept drone, let me tell you: Don’t jump to the private sector unless you have that businessman’s drive to compete and annihilate the competition. Otherwise, it’s the same thing but with much higher demands on your time and a douchebag culture (where apparently the only acceptable topic for discussion is how many hours one works a week) that is even more toxic than USG dysfunction.

    I can’t believe that is true, but it is. Stay put, man.

  9. It’s worth a *lot* to work reasonable hours and have vacation. People either have leisure and no money to enjoy it, or money and no leisure to enjoy it.

    I know little of lobbying or consulting but they don’t seem like they provide long term stability. The psychic cost of wondering if you have a job or where your next job is coming from are high. Forced moves are terrible also.

  10. Shawn says:

    Stay put. It is hard to put a value on time. How much is time worth? 1 hour may be worth X to Joe average American and Z Foseti and Y Donald Trump.

    Don’t switch. What if you get fired in the private sector? Happens all the time.

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