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rbr  
#1 Posted : Thursday, April 12, 2018 10:30:10 PM(UTC)
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Hello Everyone

Quick question about ladders......I have been given TO's for two GS-9 positions. The Position 1 (PO1) tops out at a GS-9 but is at an agency which aligns with my career goals and experience. Position 2 (PO2) tops out at a GS-13 but is at an agency which I would have to learn from scratch doing a job that I may or may not enjoy. Is there any advantage to having a higher pay ceiling in the short-term (>2 years)? I am about to receive a formal offer for PO2 but am unsure if I would last in that job for more than 2 years. PO1 has yet to extend a formal offer and there is no clear timetable on when it is coming. I could see myself lasting more than two years at the other job but I would be near the top of the ladder.

Does it really matter where the last station is if you plan on getting off 6 stations before?

Edited by user Thursday, April 12, 2018 10:31:46 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

nembamike  
#2 Posted : Friday, April 13, 2018 2:25:55 AM(UTC)

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After working for the feds for over 30 years now I'll give you my biased opinion. Always take the job that you enjoy over one that pays more. I have seen and worked with folks that were miserable every single day and that's just not something I can do. I completely understand the need to make a certain income and I always encourage people to work for the next promotion or climb up the ladder. From your post you seem like you've already trashed the second position without giving it a chance. Who knows it might be the best job in the world for you. I wish you luck in your decision.
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LRH0413 on 6/2/2018(UTC)
frankgonzalez  
#3 Posted : Friday, April 13, 2018 2:49:05 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: nembamike Go to Quoted Post
After working for the feds for over 30 years now I'll give you my biased opinion. Always take the job that you enjoy over one that pays more. I have seen and worked with folks that were miserable every single day and that's just not something I can do. I completely understand the need to make a certain income and I always encourage people to work for the next promotion or climb up the ladder. From your post you seem like you've already trashed the second position without giving it a chance. Who knows it might be the best job in the world for you. I wish you luck in your decision.
I'll just add this...the 2nd job is an unknown. You stated you may or may not enjoy it. If you don't you can always apply for other positions, but in the 2 years you are in job 2, you will have gone from GS-9 to 11 to 12 (as long as your supervisor is happy with your performance). That means you can apply to GS-12 positions from there vs waiting 2 years in a GS9 posiiton.

And this doesn't consider you may enjoy the job! And if you do...welcome to GS-13 without having to compete for it!

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
rbr  
#4 Posted : Friday, April 13, 2018 6:14:13 AM(UTC)
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Thanks for the advice......My biggest worry is that my lack of knowledge/desire for the job may eventually start to effect my job performance which could impact my ability to get a promotion. However, I am also in a position to where I NEED a job and can't really afford to wait another 5 months. I am trying to push my EOD back as far as possible in hope that the first agency can give me an offer in the interim. I also just ran into another issue with this agency. However, I am going to go post it in the "New Hire" forum because I think it is relevant to that discussion.
Mr. Dr. Officer  
#5 Posted : Friday, April 13, 2018 7:02:28 AM(UTC)
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On behalf of all of us who have been stuck in the same GS they started in for years and whose future looks like more of the same (or quitting entirely)...take the GS-13 potential job and never even question your decision a single time :)
frankgonzalez  
#6 Posted : Friday, April 13, 2018 8:27:14 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: rbr Go to Quoted Post
Thanks for the advice......My biggest worry is that my lack of knowledge/desire for the job may eventually start to effect my job performance which could impact my ability to get a promotion. However, I am also in a position to where I NEED a job and can't really afford to wait another 5 months. I am trying to push my EOD back as far as possible in hope that the first agency can give me an offer in the interim. I also just ran into another issue with this agency. However, I am going to go post it in the "New Hire" forum because I think it is relevant to that discussion.
The fact it is a ladder means it is a developmental position. They expect you to have to learn and not know everything day one and there should be a developmental plan to get you trained (formal training and OJT) to get you ready for each grade level (well, maybe not for the -12 to -13 aspect, but by then you should have a good idea about the job!).

As for the desire...you don't know really what the day to day aspects are or whether you will like it. I retrained from being an Avionics specialist to EEO knowing very little about the job. I loved avionics and fixing planes...and after working in EEO for almost 22 years now, I love this job more and more (and I've made it to GS-14 so far without an undergrad degree let alone a graduate degree!) constantly expanding my experience and knowledge to become the go-to person for all those I work with (to include OGC, agency level policy folks, etc).

And if you find you hate the job, after a year you are eligible for GS-11 and will get promoted in place (as long as you don't screw up) and can apply to other GS-11 positions elsewhere. After 1 year (2 for DoD and excepted service positions), you will have completed your probationary period....and so on.

The straight GS-9...you should be up to speed very quickly as that is the top for that position.

End of the day, if you know you can't handle a challenge or aren't willing to step outside your comfort zone, take the GS-9 and don't apply to any other jobs.
You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
rbr  
#7 Posted : Friday, April 13, 2018 9:02:31 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: frankgonzalez Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: rbr Go to Quoted Post
Thanks for the advice......My biggest worry is that my lack of knowledge/desire for the job may eventually start to effect my job performance which could impact my ability to get a promotion. However, I am also in a position to where I NEED a job and can't really afford to wait another 5 months. I am trying to push my EOD back as far as possible in hope that the first agency can give me an offer in the interim. I also just ran into another issue with this agency. However, I am going to go post it in the "New Hire" forum because I think it is relevant to that discussion.
The fact it is a ladder means it is a developmental position. They expect you to have to learn and not know everything day one and there should be a developmental plan to get you trained (formal training and OJT) to get you ready for each grade level (well, maybe not for the -12 to -13 aspect, but by then you should have a good idea about the job!).

As for the desire...you don't know really what the day to day aspects are or whether you will like it. I retrained from being an Avionics specialist to EEO knowing very little about the job. I loved avionics and fixing planes...and after working in EEO for almost 22 years now, I love this job more and more (and I've made it to GS-14 so far without an undergrad degree let alone a graduate degree!) constantly expanding my experience and knowledge to become the go-to person for all those I work with (to include OGC, agency level policy folks, etc).

And if you find you hate the job, after a year you are eligible for GS-11 and will get promoted in place (as long as you don't screw up) and can apply to other GS-11 positions elsewhere. After 1 year (2 for DoD and excepted service positions), you will have completed your probationary period....and so on.

The straight GS-9...you should be up to speed very quickly as that is the top for that position.

End of the day, if you know you can't handle a challenge or aren't willing to step outside your comfort zone, take the GS-9 and don't apply to any other jobs.


While I appreciate the perspective, there are a few things that I disagree with in this post. First, given your experience, you know how hard it is to land a government job. This means people often apply to jobs that they want to do or that they are willing to do in order to get a job/foot in the door. In my case, P01 was a job that I wanted to do while P02 is a job that I would be willing to do.....if no other opportunities came along. P02 is also a industry specific position in which I neither have the training or experience. It would be like getting an entry level cybersecurity job with limited classroom training and no practical experience. Sure there would be OJT, but eventually you would have to rely on prior knowledge and experience to perform the job well. Had PO2 been my only option, I would have no hesitation in accepting the offer and making it work. But I am also at the ladder stages of the hiring process for PO1 which is a job that I want to do and I think I would be better at. In addition, I would not have to move across country.

I do like your point about being able to automatically go to a GS-11 after a certain time as opposed to being stuck on a GS-9 which is an advantage to PO2. You never know what a job entails until you do it, however, I just talked to the hiring manager for P02 and they won't even let me come in prior to my EOD date to see what exactly I would be doing and talk to supervisors (I posted about this in the new hire forum). This means I would really be going in blind. In the end, my strategy will be to push my possible EOD back as far as possible and hope I get a FO from the first job. If not, then I will accept the job and see how it goes.

frankgonzalez  
#8 Posted : Friday, April 13, 2018 9:37:33 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: rbr Go to Quoted Post
While I appreciate the perspective, there are a few things that I disagree with in this post. First, given your experience, you know how hard it is to land a government job. This means people often apply to jobs that they want to do or that they are willing to do in order to get a job/foot in the door. In my case, P01 was a job that I wanted to do while P02 is a job that I would be willing to do.....if no other opportunities came along. P02 is also a industry specific position in which I neither have the training or experience. It would be like getting an entry level cybersecurity job with limited classroom training and no practical experience. Sure there would be OJT, but eventually you would have to rely on prior knowledge and experience to perform the job well. Had PO2 been my only option, I would have no hesitation in accepting the offer and making it work. But I am also at the ladder stages of the hiring process for PO1 which is a job that I want to do and I think I would be better at. In addition, I would not have to move across country.

I do like your point about being able to automatically go to a GS-11 after a certain time as opposed to being stuck on a GS-9 which is an advantage to PO2. You never know what a job entails until you do it, however, I just talked to the hiring manager for P02 and they won't even let me come in prior to my EOD date to see what exactly I would be doing and talk to supervisors (I posted about this in the new hire forum). This means I would really be going in blind. In the end, my strategy will be to push my possible EOD back as far as possible and hope I get a FO from the first job. If not, then I will accept the job and see how it goes.

My last sentence was a little harsh...my apologies. I should have said, only you know what you are wiling to do at the end of the day.

As far as getting a federal position...my experience is apparently different than many here. I admit, I had some good advice from HR types prior to my military retirement, and got a half dozen offers within the first 9 or 10 applications I made as a result (took less than 3 months to start a federal position from the time of my first application to EOD). When I decided I wanted to move up from being a GG-12, it took 4 months to get selected for several GS-13 positions. It was a little more time for my transition to GS-14, but I was pickier and still ended up at the best place to work in the federal government! Still have about 12 years until retirement, no inclination at this point to be a SES, so not in a hurry to be a -15. I may be lucky...but I find luck often has a some work aspect to it that the lucky person has put in before-hand.

Without knowing the agency...hard to tell why they said "no" to the visit. Let us know and we may be able to help. If you don't want to do it in public, PM me, and I may be able to help you find someone who works/used to work there to give you the low down on the place, etc to give you some more intel.

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
thanks 1 user thanked frankgonzalez for this useful post.
rbrow018 on 4/13/2018(UTC)
rbr  
#9 Posted : Friday, April 13, 2018 9:48:26 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: frankgonzalez Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: rbr Go to Quoted Post
While I appreciate the perspective, there are a few things that I disagree with in this post. First, given your experience, you know how hard it is to land a government job. This means people often apply to jobs that they want to do or that they are willing to do in order to get a job/foot in the door. In my case, P01 was a job that I wanted to do while P02 is a job that I would be willing to do.....if no other opportunities came along. P02 is also a industry specific position in which I neither have the training or experience. It would be like getting an entry level cybersecurity job with limited classroom training and no practical experience. Sure there would be OJT, but eventually you would have to rely on prior knowledge and experience to perform the job well. Had PO2 been my only option, I would have no hesitation in accepting the offer and making it work. But I am also at the ladder stages of the hiring process for PO1 which is a job that I want to do and I think I would be better at. In addition, I would not have to move across country.

I do like your point about being able to automatically go to a GS-11 after a certain time as opposed to being stuck on a GS-9 which is an advantage to PO2. You never know what a job entails until you do it, however, I just talked to the hiring manager for P02 and they won't even let me come in prior to my EOD date to see what exactly I would be doing and talk to supervisors (I posted about this in the new hire forum). This means I would really be going in blind. In the end, my strategy will be to push my possible EOD back as far as possible and hope I get a FO from the first job. If not, then I will accept the job and see how it goes.

My last sentence was a little harsh...my apologies. I should have said, only you know what you are wiling to do at the end of the day.

As far as getting a federal position...my experience is apparently different than many here. I admit, I had some good advice from HR types prior to my military retirement, and got a half dozen offers within the first 9 or 10 applications I made as a result (took less than 3 months to start a federal position from the time of my first application to EOD). When I decided I wanted to move up from being a GG-12, it took 4 months to get selected for several GS-13 positions. It was a little more time for my transition to GS-14, but I was pickier and still ended up at the best place to work in the federal government! Still have about 12 years until retirement, no inclination at this point to be a SES, so not in a hurry to be a -15. I may be lucky...but I find luck often has a some work aspect to it that the lucky person has put in before-hand.

Without knowing the agency...hard to tell why they said "no" to the visit. Let us know and we may be able to help. If you don't want to do it in public, PM me, and I may be able to help you find someone who works/used to work there to give you the low down on the place, etc to give you some more intel.



Not being able to visit isn't a deal breaker, but I was surprised to get told "no" directly.The agency itself is not in the IC community, which I would understand if that were the case. I imagine they were busy but given that they are willing to bring me on, I would think they would have been more receptive to me stopping by beforehand. I am in a funky situation as I am unemployed, but also too late in various hiring processes for federal/law enforcement jobs to even consider getting a job at this point as I would most likely leave after a month lol. From what I see on LinkedIn many people that work at the organization are accomplished academically (i.e. Georgetown or Duke graduates) but it's hard to tell where I would fit in. I wouldn't have any qualms about taking the job, and if I don't like it, jump at the opportunity to do an interagency transfer should I get offered the other position (even if I'm only there a short time). I was just taking the necessary steps to see if I could minimize the risk of that happening.
djp  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, April 17, 2018 10:51:23 AM(UTC)

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My 2 cents.....

If you are a veteran you have a big advantage to getting in the system as well as getting promotions.


Without knowing the spedific jobs this is hard to say what to choose.

IF you can get a 9 will full mon compete to 13 then that is golden.

Unless you live in a large federal job location like DC, Denver, and a few other cities, it can be very difficult to get promotions because you could be stuck behind people who are perfectly happy to stay in those 11/12s for the next 20 years until they retire.

many federal jobs are single level jobs whwere you need to reapply to get promoted.
thanks 1 user thanked for this useful post.
rbrow018 on 4/17/2018(UTC)
rbr  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, April 17, 2018 10:53:28 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: djp Go to Quoted Post
My 2 cents.....

If you are a veteran you have a big advantage to getting in the system as well as getting promotions.


Without knowing the spedific jobs this is hard to say what to choose.

IF you can get a 9 will full mon compete to 13 then that is golden.

Unless you live in a large federal job location like DC, Denver, and a few other cities, it can be very difficult to get promotions because you could be stuck behind people who are perfectly happy to stay in those 11/12s for the next 20 years until they retire.

many federal jobs are single level jobs whwere you need to reapply to get promoted.


Thanks.....I always heard that there were advantages to "ladder" positions but was unsure of what they were. Thanks for the explanation.

djp  
#12 Posted : Tuesday, April 17, 2018 12:48:50 PM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: rbr Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: djp Go to Quoted Post
My 2 cents.....

If you are a veteran you have a big advantage to getting in the system as well as getting promotions.


Without knowing the spedific jobs this is hard to say what to choose.

IF you can get a 9 will full mon compete to 13 then that is golden.

Unless you live in a large federal job location like DC, Denver, and a few other cities, it can be very difficult to get promotions because you could be stuck behind people who are perfectly happy to stay in those 11/12s for the next 20 years until they retire.

many federal jobs are single level jobs whwere you need to reapply to get promoted.


Thanks.....I always heard that there were advantages to "ladder" positions but was unsure of what they were. Thanks for the explanation.



a caveat withg ladders...especially if its to a 13 position...

Jobs that are one step ladders are straight promotion of you do successful.

When you have jobs that are 3 grades or more like 9/11//12 or 9/11/12/13 may have some restrictions on promotions.

The top positions could be limited to only those who are team leads. Doing great as a 12 wont get you a promotion to 13 unless person in the 13 slot leaves or is promoted.

These tend to be common if the full promotion level is 13 and its multiple steps. That said some jobs can be 11/12/13 and thei is no restrictions on getting promoted to 13 such as being a team lead.



rbr  
#13 Posted : Tuesday, April 17, 2018 12:50:39 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: djp Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: rbr Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: djp Go to Quoted Post
My 2 cents.....

If you are a veteran you have a big advantage to getting in the system as well as getting promotions.


Without knowing the spedific jobs this is hard to say what to choose.

IF you can get a 9 will full mon compete to 13 then that is golden.

Unless you live in a large federal job location like DC, Denver, and a few other cities, it can be very difficult to get promotions because you could be stuck behind people who are perfectly happy to stay in those 11/12s for the next 20 years until they retire.

many federal jobs are single level jobs whwere you need to reapply to get promoted.


Thanks.....I always heard that there were advantages to "ladder" positions but was unsure of what they were. Thanks for the explanation.



a caveat withg ladders...especially if its to a 13 position...

Jobs that are one step ladders are straight promotion of you do successful.

When you have jobs that are 3 grades or more like 9/11//12 or 9/11/12/13 may have some restrictions on promotions.

The top positions could be limited to only those who are team leads. Doing great as a 12 wont get you a promotion to 13 unless person in the 13 slot leaves or is promoted.

These tend to be common if the full promotion level is 13 and its multiple steps. That said some jobs can be 11/12/13 and thei is no restrictions on getting promoted to 13 such as being a team lead.





The job that I'm referencing here is a 9/11/12/13 position
djp  
#14 Posted : Wednesday, April 18, 2018 12:52:39 PM(UTC)

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You will have to ask how exactly its structures.....will you freely be able to promote to 13 or is there constraints because the 13 are team leads.
lp  
#15 Posted : Tuesday, November 2, 2021 7:41:16 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: frankgonzalez Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: nembamike Go to Quoted Post
After working for the feds for over 30 years now I'll give you my biased opinion. Always take the job that you enjoy over one that pays more. I have seen and worked with folks that were miserable every single day and that's just not something I can do. I completely understand the need to make a certain income and I always encourage people to work for the next promotion or climb up the ladder. From your post you seem like you've already trashed the second position without giving it a chance. Who knows it might be the best job in the world for you. I wish you luck in your decision.
I'll just add this...the 2nd job is an unknown. You stated you may or may not enjoy it. If you don't you can always apply for other positions, but in the 2 years you are in job 2, you will have gone from GS-9 to 11 to 12 (as long as your supervisor is happy with your performance). That means you can apply to GS-12 positions from there vs waiting 2 years in a GS9 posiiton.

And this doesn't consider you may enjoy the job! And if you do...welcome to GS-13 without having to compete for it!


I'd like to comment that: working at a job you might not enjoy might affect your performance, and future hiring managers would be contacting your current manager on how well you do. If you're hired, but your work performance suffers because you don't enjoy your job and then your supervisor is giving horrible comments to your future hiring officials, you might be stuck in the job you don't like for a long long time. I think the safer bet would be to choose the job you know you would enjoy and do well and then apply for jobs with higher salaries from there.
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