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How can young feds make a difference?

How can young feds make more of a difference? One good start: find what they’re good at and then convey those skills to senior leaders, suggests Tom Fox, vice president of leadership and innovation at the Partnership for Public Service.

On the Washington Post’s Federal Coach blog, Fox discusses the ways young federal employees can make a connection and support their agencies without being in upper management.

There are several approaches to take, Fox noted. First, consider the interests and talents you could bring to resolving any problems, whether it’s finding cost-savings measures or having experience in process improvements and re-engineering.

Next, you should talk to your direct supervisor about your interest and ideas, Fox wrote.

“Your supervisor should be aware of any ongoing or planned efforts to address agency challenges, and can outline those efforts for you and make some suggestions for outreach to different executives or agency working groups,” he says. “Your supervisor also might have some ideas for things you can do to support the team.”

Read the column linked above for more of Fox's ideas. Meanwhile, consider your own career wisdom. What are your best ideas for making a connection with senior leaders? Any approaches that you tried and didn’t work out well? Share your stories in the comments.

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Sep 20, 2011 at 12:19 PM

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Reader comments

Wed, Oct 12, 2011

Yes, we are top-heavy. We have had on and off hiring freezes for years now. We have to write out justifications for filling in after retirements. And in order to get into a professional grade position, you have to have attended grad school and have worked at least one year. So no wonder the younger genertion can't get a job here, and think there's some sort of conspiracy against them.

Mon, Sep 26, 2011

From Wed Sep 11 starting Why? Sorry, I meant Washington, not my managers. There are not enough positions left (at field office or mid management level) to get all the work done. Until Washington stops the downsizing this will not change. The agencies are in a position of having to take advantage of whatever employees are willing to give them for free. When the general public finally feels the impact, we won't be considered leaches anymore, the public will demand better service and things will change. Until then, good luck surviving the workload and stress. You're gonna need it.

Fri, Sep 23, 2011

Wow!!! Such anger and unhappiness. Maybe I am crazy, but I have diligently been trying to land a government job for the past ten years. You workers should feel lucky and proud to be where you are in your career field. I, on the other hand, have a BS and am not getting anywhere in the job hunt for a secure job with benefits and insurance! I feel that I have the attitude and skills needed to make an impact on the whole office, yet because I am not a vet, my name is not even getting to the SO! You should consider working in the private sector where it is completely "cut throat"! I would feel honored to work for the government and could offer new ideas and energy to a much needed atmosphere.

Fri, Sep 23, 2011

I had a couple of things "stolen" by a higher-up in the organization when I was new. Very quickly I learned when I passed on knowledge or a process I had developed that worked well to that person, other people were aware I had done so. That person only got one award for one of my ideas, and later gave me an award for helping them. Bottom line: don't let people get away with it. For the most part, however, it's not been an issue - I've received credit when credit was due to me throughout my 25 year career.

Fri, Sep 23, 2011 broomhilda ssa

Friends, I could not have said it any better! This comes from a 17 year fed. Management is top heavy & most spend all their time justifying their posotions.

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