Young Government Leaders seeks advice

Young Government Leaders, a group of self-described young feds, met this week with senior federal leaders who told them to take control of their own careers.

Despite much talk about succession planning in government, no systematic effort is under way, said Kathryn Parker, an Environmental Protection Agency scientist who is a senior fellow at the Council for Excellence in Government. “You need to manage your own career,” Parker said.

One of the best ways to do that, she said, is to seek out challenging assignments and, if necessary, change jobs. “If you want to move somewhere, move.”

Another federal manager told the group that moving from one agency to another is not a bad career-building strategy. “You have nothing to lose by that and a lot to gain,” said Patricia Pointer, acting deputy assistant secretary for human resources and chief human capital officer at the Treasury Department.

Pointer also advised young feds to learn the history of the agency in which they work. Become interested and “connect with the mission of the agency,” she said.

George Scott, acting director of education, workforce and income security issues at the Government Accountability Office, advised young feds to practice sound critical thinking and good judgment. “Represent your agency well at all times, support and encourage one another, and lead at every opportunity,” he said.

Megan Quinn, president and founder of Young Government Leaders, said the group’s members are interested in how they can influence senior leaders and prepare themselves for leadership roles in the federal government. Quinn, an information management specialist, works for the EPA’s chief information officer as a member of the architecture team.

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