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Are you one of the millions who work for Uncle Sam but is not employeed by him? If so, then you are part of the federal contrators' world. This forum is created to allow contrators to share experiences and give insight to others.

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Exit7A  
#1 Posted : Friday, June 07, 2019 12:43:29 PM(UTC)
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I have been approached by three of the following companies and wanted to get people's pros/cons of working for each. The work involves IT and is in the IC community. Would anyone like to share their experiences?

Much appreciated!
That's all I got to say about that.
someoldguy  
#2 Posted : Friday, June 07, 2019 2:16:37 PM(UTC)
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Which three companies?

One person can have a great experience working for the same company that another person hates with all their heart and soul.

Smaller companies seem to do a better job of taking care of their people, while larger companies may have the edge in terms of having other opportunities in case th job you're working on comes to a screeching halt, or you just get sick of it.
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Exit7A  
#3 Posted : Friday, June 07, 2019 3:14:16 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: someoldguy Go to Quoted Post
Which three companies?

One person can have a great experience working for the same company that another person hates with all their heart and soul.

Smaller companies seem to do a better job of taking care of their people, while larger companies may have the edge in terms of having other opportunities in case th job you're working on comes to a screeching halt, or you just get sick of it.


First three. I know different people have different experiences. Just wanted to open a dialog to see if people would share their experiences. I take everything I read on these forums with a grain of salt. Take for example the US Postal forum. It would seem that everyone who works there have an awful time but I enjoyed my experience there and learned much.
That's all I got to say about that.
someoldguy  
#4 Posted : Sunday, June 09, 2019 2:06:10 AM(UTC)
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Ten years ago I would have said Booz (Booz Allen, not sure if they are still Booz Allen Hamilton) as they were a high-end systems engineering and consulting place. But they have joined the "race to the bottom" and don't seem to stand out quite so much anymore.

GDIT gets involved in a lot of contracts that are very cost sensitive so that could drive a lot of decision making on the part of management (ie, how do we keep costs down so we can compete in a world where low cost wins out)

So of the top three (which were listed in the sub-heading of this topic so that's why I didn't see them) I'd say Raytheon. But that is just one opinion.
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frankgonzalez  
#5 Posted : Sunday, June 09, 2019 11:59:05 AM(UTC)
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I have family who work for Northrup, and they enjoy it. But location plays a big part in their happiness.

The Booz contractors we have had over the years in my office seem happy, but they are young, fresh out of college and this is their first "adult" job.

GDIT folks I worked with when I was with the Air Force were a mixed bag...some liked it, others hated it and jumped ship to a civil service position at the first opportunity.

Raytheon folks I worked with over the years...depended on the job/team they were on. Some loved it, others hated it. Some like the company, but not the job they were doing, and vice versa for others.

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
habu987  
#6 Posted : Sunday, June 09, 2019 6:46:07 PM(UTC)
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I spent some time at Booz Allen (in IT but not in the IC, though) a few years ago at the tail end of the contracting portion of my career before flipping my badge and going fed.

Pay was low in my portion of the market, but I enjoyed my time there. Just from a salary perspective, it can really depend on which market you're in. I had plenty of compatriots in other markets who effectively had uncapped salaries, while my level in my market was capped at a pretty low salary.

The work itself, my coworkers, and my admin chain were all fantastic. That part is very contingent on who your admin chain (leadership) is, though. I would happily work for my admin chain again, but I had friends who left Booz because theirs were terrible. I spent some time at Deloitte prior to my stint at Booz and there were a fair number of ex-Booz folks coming over due to dissatisfaction with their admin chains.

Unless you've got prior connections, Booz can really be luck of the draw!
someoldguy  
#7 Posted : Monday, June 10, 2019 12:53:34 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: habu987 Go to Quoted Post
I would happily work for my admin chain again, but I had friends who left Booz because theirs were terrible.
That is like the experience a friend of mine had. He was working on a job for DHS I think, everything was going great, then there was some kind of internal reorg and he ended up in a different group at BAH and said it was a 180 degree shift. He only lasted a few months after that... I think maybe his salary did not fit into their new "targets."

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habu987  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, June 11, 2019 3:53:05 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: someoldguy Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: habu987 Go to Quoted Post
I would happily work for my admin chain again, but I had friends who left Booz because theirs were terrible.
That is like the experience a friend of mine had. He was working on a job for DHS I think, everything was going great, then there was some kind of internal reorg and he ended up in a different group at BAH and said it was a 180 degree shift. He only lasted a few months after that... I think maybe his salary did not fit into their new "targets."



Yeah, the pay stuff was the biggest eye opener for me coming from Deloitte. At Deloitte, all the normal consulting positions (there are other positions at Deloitte that have different pay structures, but consulting was something like 90% of the staff while I was there) were pay banded and there was an up or out process, so a Deloitte employee at DoD would be in the same pay band as an employee of the same level at, say, Commerce. Sure, different contracts would have different bill rates, but the net pay for employees would generally be the same.

At Booz, there isn't an up or out process, so you might have someone stay an associate for 15 years, for example, and if they're on a low margin contract, they might stick with 1.5% raises for that entire time, while another associate elsewhere might get 5% raises and a couple promotions over that timeframe.

For me, the position Booz had initially recruited and interviewed me for was not the position I ended up in. I found that out several months after I started there, but the first position was one of the uncapped ones and would've paid significantly more out of the gate. Oh well, that's all in the past now!

Back to the OP's topic, if I were to flip my badge back to a contractor, I'd be happy going back to either Booz or Deloitte, as long as I got a good admin chain at Booz.
Exit7A  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, June 11, 2019 12:27:34 PM(UTC)
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Thank you all who posted. For those who worked as a contractor (doesn't matter the company), what allured you to stay and what drove you to leave? Same for the govies?
That's all I got to say about that.
frankgonzalez  
#10 Posted : Wednesday, June 12, 2019 5:04:57 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Exit7A Go to Quoted Post
Thank you all who posted. For those who worked as a contractor (doesn't matter the company), what allured you to stay and what drove you to leave? Same for the govies?
The mission, but the people more. Leadership is a key factor.

I took my current position because of the agency's reputation and mission. great boss, great opportunities and encouragement. To the point I am exploring if I want to make the jump to SES one day...something I said I would never consider, but the folks here have me convinced that I should consider it. Crazy...but, as they said to me...why not me? Great place to work. I see why people spend 50+ years here.

I left my last agency because while I was a "favorite" (I was given plenty of opportunities such briefing DACOWITS, and regularly interfacing with the senior leadership to include the agency head and having leadership leave HQ to new assignments calling back for advice, etc vs going to their local supporting office), playing favorites isn't a great way to do business, IMO. And the lack of willingness to innovate and evolve the programs to increase efficiency was frustrating (eg I created a digital signable PDF to replace and simplify 3 forms that were confusing and very dated. I made the new one fully 508 compliant before I sent it up for approval, and 2 years later I was leaving and the most that had happened was they were thinking of making it 2 forms vs one...but no actual movement on that either. Same with other ideas from the field...not just me. My ideas at least got to the senior leadership...others had their ideas get killed long before that happened).

I left my first agency as I had capped out grade-wise at my location and if i wanted a promotion had to leave. My boss encouraged me to seek out promotion opportunities and gave me great feedback on my resume and even sent announcements my way as he became aware of them (sometimes before they went live...we are in a smallish series so you tend to know people across the federal government). If I could have gotten promoted there, I would have stayed. Great leadership and mentorship in that office.

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
habu987  
#11 Posted : Wednesday, June 12, 2019 6:33:22 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Exit7A Go to Quoted Post
Thank you all who posted. For those who worked as a contractor (doesn't matter the company), what allured you to stay and what drove you to leave? Same for the govies?


I bounced around a handful of contractors, Deloitte and Booz Allen being the biggest, before flipping my badge. For me, my movements came down to career advancement--I was hired a level below what I should have been at Deloitte, and while I was staffed on projects at the appropriate level, I was still being paid a level below, and it would've taken me approximately 4 years to get to where I should have been. Loved the work, the people, the clients, and the overall culture, but when I was recruited for a different firm with a sizable pay/responsibility increase, I took that new position. I did that throughout my contracting career before going fed.

Now, as a fed, I'm actively looking for a different fed position. We've got zero clear direction from our leadership at my agency and we've undergone 3 reorgs in the past 15 months, which has resulted in my current responsibilities having nothing to do with the position I was hired for, and now we're hearing rumors of yet another reorg potentially coming down the pipe in a few months.

All that said, I only plan to stay a fed for a few more years. I own several small businesses and one is poised to take off over the next couple of years, so if it does take off, I'll switch to working it full time.
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