Working in government sounds appealing, but is it difficult to achieve? Unlike many job postings, government job openings aren’t likely to be found on job sites like Indeed or Monster. “One of the best ways to access government work is to begin by working with a recruiting firm,” explains AJ Melvin, a Managing Director at Tandym Tech. “Government integrators are routinely awarded grants for contract roles through the U.S. federal government and oftentimes look to recruiting firms to assist them in finding the right talent for the available positions—and the benefits these jobs include can be great for employees.”
Let’s explore the benefits to jobs in government:
Contract government employees often enjoy more job security than private sector employees. Contracts typically provide a fixed-term employment agreement, reducing the risk of sudden layoffs or terminations.
While the interview process can be lengthy, the security you gain can be worth the wait, explains Makenzie Schuhart, an Account Manager at Tandym Tech. “Because the government has a multi-step vetting process of all employees, being officially hired may take longer than a typical contract role. This is not meant to deter you—they just require higher barriers to entry, given the severity of the work,” she says.
Government contracts may offer competitive compensation packages, including salary, health insurance, retirement plans, paid leave, and other benefits. “These packages are often structured to attract and retain qualified professionals,” says Makenzie. “Because government organizations care deeply about retention, these packages are often lucrative.” Additionally, government contracts often include retirement benefits, such as pensions or defined contribution plans, ensuring financial security in retirement.
Government agencies often invest in the professional development of their contract employees. This may include training programs, workshops, conferences, and opportunities for advancement or promotion. As AJ explains, continuing to sharpen your skills can help provide you with more and more opportunities in government. “While there is an infinite amount of work opportunities within government, there is a finite amount of budget dollars allocated to specific sectors or government divisions. The best way to increase your earning potential or professional development is to fulfill all aspects of the job description and sharpen your skills,” he says.
Contract government employment provides a stable and predictable work environment. Policies and procedures are typically well-established, creating a structured framework for work responsibilities and expectations. “If you’re not the type of person who enjoys the culture of ‘wearing several hats,’ government could be a more stable option,” explains Makenzie.
Government agencies often prioritize work-life balance for their contract employees. This may include flexible working hours, telecommuting options, and generous vacation and parental leave policies. You may be surprised at just how much flexibility you can find in this type of work.
Contract government employees often have access to resources and facilities that may not be available in the private sector. This includes specialized equipment, databases, research materials, and other tools necessary to carry out their work effectively.
Many people find contract government employment fulfilling because they contribute to the public good. Working in the public sector allows individuals to make a positive impact on society by providing essential services, implementing public policies, or addressing societal challenges. “We love finding the perfect fit for every job seeker—and that includes something they’re passionate about,” says Makenzie.
Contract government employment can provide exposure to a wide range of projects and initiatives. Government agencies work in various sectors, such as healthcare, education, transportation, defense, and social services, offering diverse opportunities for contract employees to gain experience and expertise.
Contract positions sometimes serve as a pathway to permanent government employment. Once you’re hired in your contract role, you will be entered into a database of government employees. “Demonstrating competence, dedication, and valuable skills during a contract assignment can increase the chances of transitioning to a permanent role with the US government,” says AJ. “Additionally, once you achieve a level of clearance through a contract, it is easier to move to different roles and increase your earnings potential.”
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