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Federal Career Planning and Development

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momsgirl  
#1 Posted : Thursday, September 17, 2009 1:33:28 PM(UTC)
momsgirl

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The position I was hired for is GS 7 step 1 and it goes up to GS 8 . My question is how do the steps work and how do you go up the steps? And is it true that in a year I will automatically go to a GS 8?
BoundForGlory  
#2 Posted : Thursday, September 17, 2009 7:06:12 PM(UTC)
BoundForGlory

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Every year you will go up one step (unless you had a really, really terrible performance review) for the first 5(?)years, then you will go up a step every 3 years, until you max out at step 10. Check OPM I could be bit off with the time line. Next you could be promoted to a GS-8, but it's not guaranteed. Your job maxes out at a GS-8, but they don't have to automatically promote it 1)there is no $$$ in the budget or, 2) your not up to full performance level.
SpartanGrad  
#3 Posted : Thursday, September 17, 2009 9:28:35 PM(UTC)
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If I am reading your post correctly, you are saying if momsgirl starts at a GS-7, Step 1 she is likely to only have risen to GS-8, Step 1 after 20 years of federal service? Really only one step per year for 5 years, then one step every 3 years? Is this just the generic path one would follow if you stayed in the same position (career ladder) until it maxed out?

If what you are writing is true (and I will concede that it may very well be), I really appreciate you advising me of the typical grade/step progression sequence now prior to my acceptance of a federal agency offer. I was under the impression that high achievers and solid performers could move up more along the lines of one GRADE per year - though certainly nothing is guaranteed.

It is starting to sound to me like the best way to move up from the GS-7 to GS-9 range is to apply for higher grade positions once they become available unless the GS-7 or GS-9 has an in-position career ladder to a GS-12 or similar high grade. Is that accurate?

Thx.

[This message was edited by SpartanGrad on September 18, 2009 at 08:46 AM.]
computerscott2  
#4 Posted : Thursday, September 17, 2009 9:38:57 PM(UTC)
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quote:
Originally posted by BoundForGlory:
Every year you will go up one step (unless you had a really, really terrible performance review) for the first 5(?)years,.

This is incorrect. steps 2,3,4 are one year intervals, steps 5,6,7 are 2 year intervals and the rest are 3 years apart.

quote:
Next you could be promoted to a GS-8, but it's not guaranteed. Your job maxes out at a GS-8, but they don't have to automatically promote if 1)there is no $$$ in the budget or, 2) you're not up to full performance level.

This part is correct. Most of these promotions are done at one year. Some bosses like to play office politics or kiss my rear games. When you have been there 7 months start asking your co-workers how the promotion process goes. In some cases you have to submit a "promotion" package to your boss. If you do I would present it at the 11 month mark, so that, if your boss feels like promoting you, they can do the paperwork and then you get it right at the first avilable day (one year anniversery). I would also recommend talking to your boss about it during the year (but give it about 5 months so that you do not come across as "just looking to move up the ladder". Also keep a list of your accomplishments during the year, as this can come in handy when it is time for your promotion (and also your yearly performance appraisal).
Fonz  
#5 Posted : Thursday, September 17, 2009 9:50:07 PM(UTC)
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If the promotion potential is from GS 7 to GS 8, then you would go to GS 8 the following year if you have been successful at achieving that level of proficiency. Then your steps would kick in.
Chuck_G  
#6 Posted : Thursday, September 17, 2009 9:54:30 PM(UTC)
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If the position was posted as GS-7/8, then I would say that the after the first year she would jump from a GS 7 step 1 to a GS 8 step 1. From there she would go up the GS 8 pay scale. At least that's the way they do things in my agency. Most of the jobs for my position are posted as GS-9/11. The first year we are GS 9 step 1, and the second year we jumpt to GS 11 and go up the 11 scale.
computerscott2  
#7 Posted : Thursday, September 17, 2009 9:55:17 PM(UTC)
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Also it will take you 18 years to go from a step 1 to a step 10, if you get no QSI's (Quality Step Inceases). But that does not mean that you have to get to step 10 before you can move up to the next grade. In most organizations you will pickup your promotion at your one year anniversery (as long as you are not a dud, trouble maker, anarchist, or just incompetent). Some other agencies do play games with it. If you get into one of those organizations you just have to play along. With Time-In-Grade (TIG) once you have served one year in a GS level, you have the basic experience required to apply for the next higher level. So after a year at a GS 7 you would be able to start applying for GS-8 and possibly some GS-9's (in a 2-interval job series). You also need to understand that some job series are one-interval jumps (GS 5 to 6, 6-7, 7-8, etc.) and these usually top out at GS-10 or 11. The other ones are 2 grade intervals (up to GS-11) such as 5-7,7-9,9 to 11. After grade 11 they revert back to 1 grade increases (11-12,12-13,13-14,etc.) There are some people that actually pull 18 years in the same pay grade. This usually happens for several reasons:
1) They are not motivated to move up and do not take control of their federal careers. You have to be pro-active, climbing the ladder just doesn't "happen" by itself. Jobs are not always "given" to the employee who has been there the longest. It usually goes to the one who has the best paperwork. Do some searches on this site or browse more than just the first page of posts. There is a wealth of info on here if you want to go looking for it.
2) they are in an area with little federal jobs and there is fierce competition and just not many opportunities.
3) They have risen to their level of competence.
Chuck_G  
#8 Posted : Thursday, September 17, 2009 9:56:22 PM(UTC)
Chuck_G

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quote:
Originally posted by Fonz:
If the promotion potential is from GS 7 to GS 8, then you would go to GS 8 the following year if you have been successful at achieving that level of proficiency. Then your steps would kick in.


Beat me to the punch, Fonz. Great minds think alike. Cool
momsgirl  
#9 Posted : Sunday, September 20, 2009 8:51:03 AM(UTC)
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So, is it possible to be at GS7 step 1 and then maybe a couple of months later move to a step 2 or 3? Or when is that you actually go up in steps?
tucker515  
#10 Posted : Sunday, September 20, 2009 10:18:40 AM(UTC)
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You would only move up a step outside of the required waiting period if you got a special award called a QSI. That would be extremely unlikley to happen to someone in their first year of employment. Other pay systems (non GS) may vary.
I am sorry, but I do not have the time to respond to private messages. I will not respond to them.
Fonz  
#11 Posted : Sunday, September 20, 2009 10:00:57 PM(UTC)
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If you start out at Step 1 there is a waiting period of 1 yr in order to get another step increase. This will happen for the next 3 yrs until you are at step 4, then the waiting period for an increase goes to 2 yrs. And then when you get to step 7, the waiting period between step increases is 3 yrs. Or as stated above you could get an incentive award called a Quality Step Increase (QSI) that would possibly happen sooner than your waiting period between steps.
momsgirl  
#12 Posted : Monday, September 21, 2009 6:57:48 AM(UTC)
momsgirl

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Thanks everybody for your feedback!!!
momsgirl  
#13 Posted : Thursday, September 24, 2009 8:50:55 AM(UTC)
momsgirl

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I was told that I would start at a 7 and then in 1 year I will automatically get moved to a 8. This is what I was told at my interview. I hope it is true. But, oh well I am just glad that I got the job.
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