Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
washateria  
#1 Posted : Saturday, April 4, 2015 8:21:10 AM(UTC)
washateria

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 4/4/2015(UTC)
Posts: 6
United States
Location: Chicago

Hi all,

Recently offered a GS-13 position with General Services Administration, Chicago (region 5). I have to give them an answer on Monday. I was hoping some of the folks on FedSoup could give me some insight into the culture of the GSA? I don't want to here rants but am interested in a overview of your experience if you work there now. The position is in the Federal Acquisition Service, part of the marketing team as a project marketing communications manager. From what I understand I will be working with a team to market contracts (schedules) business to government. They have offered me the potential to work from home up to 3 days, and then the obvious vacation/bene that are good with the fed.

Little about me, I am currently in a good spot in a large health care org, as marketing manager. If I stay in private side I could obviously move up but my employer is going through merger and we are going to regorg this summer. Not sure how it will be (they have promised me great things) but during merger you can't trust it. Also my Mom has alzheimer's and lives in nursing home in southeast. I am interested in the work/life balance that a federal job would give me to help move my mom to Chicago and also have the opportunity to have more of a life outside of work. But I am terribly afraid of the slow movement and red tape since I have not experienced it before. Thanks for any insight.

honeysuckle  
#2 Posted : Monday, April 13, 2015 8:32:22 PM(UTC)
honeysuckle

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 4/13/2015(UTC)
Posts: 2
United States

Was thanked: 1 time(s) in 1 post(s)
Work-life balance is one of the strongest benefits of working for GSA, and especially FAS. Some Regions telework 4 days a week. Some people work remotely for different offices. Teleworking is very effective if you know your job and the people you're working with well. Your team will be "visible" to you through Google chat/hangouts, and you can communicate with anyone through instant message. Web-based meetings and document sharing are widely used. We are nearly 100% paperless. Documents are signed through digital signatures.

Everyone is on some type of flexible work schedule, so you can schedule your hours around personal commitments as long as you are available during core office hours.

Not sure what you mean by the "red tape". If you've been offered a job, then the red tape is over, with the exception of your background check. Do you mean the general "red tape" of working for the government?

If that's what you mean, you will find that we don't have red tape, we have jobs that require us to function within regulation. More importantly, execute missions that are effective, by implementing executive mandates and legislation. Thinking of it as "red tape" rather than your mission will handicap your ability to be effective. Working for the insurance industry or banking industry is similar.

Your greatest challenge when it comes to marketing the schedules program is going to be your lack of knowledge of federal procurement. FAS is about acquisition, after all. It's certainly something you can learn, but it will take time. It takes three years to develop an Intern. It takes four years to develop a new Contracting Officer. It takes seven to ten years to develop someone with the depth and breadth of knowledge to be an effective leader in government. While you are learning these things, you may feel as if you are in a very different environment, and are doing things that seem elementary. There really is no way to get around that "learning government" phase. It's a long term commitment, which is why most people have such long federal careers, and senior leaders in government are rarely under 40.

As for the culture, it really varies from place to place. There are some pockets that have a lot of great, intelligent energy. There are some areas that are more stagnant. There are some people you'll love working with, and some you won't. It definitely has its share of pockets of dysfunction, but that's true for any large organization. There are a lot of good people who would like to see GSA associated with positive things.

Overall, the people are good. The journeyman-level culture, which is where you will be working as a 13, is made up of a lot of personalities that focus on dotting the i's and crossing the t's. That's not a bad thing, but sometimes those types of personalities can miss the big picture and stifle creativity. I really see that as a consequence of jobs that are easy for very detail-oriented people who like to follow routines. And yet, there is diversity, there is a minority of more creative thinkers.

The best advice I could give you if you take the job is to keep your connections with the private sector as active as possible without violating ethical guidelines (and that's a big deal- you will have a lot to learn about the differences between the government and private sector when it comes to professional connections). You don't want to be in a position where you are trapped in a decent job you can't advance in and have lost contact with the private sector if you find government work isn't fulfilling.



thanks 1 user thanked honeysuckle for this useful post.
Chanel#5 on 5/8/2015(UTC)
washateria  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, May 5, 2015 1:41:08 PM(UTC)
washateria

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 4/4/2015(UTC)
Posts: 6
United States
Location: Chicago

Please forgive the delay but thank you so much for your detailed and helpful reply. I accepted the position and I cannot thank you enough for taking time to give me your insights.
washateria  
#4 Posted : Friday, October 23, 2020 5:45:30 AM(UTC)
washateria

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 4/4/2015(UTC)
Posts: 6
United States
Location: Chicago

Hi Honeysuckle, I do not know if you are still on this forum but I wanted to express my thanks to you again for your wonderful advice and excellent assessment of GSA and FAS culture. I have been a fed for about 5 years now and everything you said turned out to be very accurate. I was able to move my Mom to a nursing home close by this past year and have benefitted a great deal from the work/life balance and the culuture that the federal government provided me. I have learned to work with compliance and regulation and mandates and understand more about working within regulation and why it is important. Thank you again so much. -Washateria
Rss Feed  Atom Feed
Users browsing this topic
Guest
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.


This page was generated in 0.215 seconds.