A few months ago I applied for a “new” job. I currently work for a private contractor with the U.S. Forest Service. I do GIS (geographic information systems) and remote sensing — I make maps using satellite imagery. It’s been a great job and I’ve been there for six years. The only problem with my job is there isn’t really anywhere to go. It’s essentially a flat company, meaning there is a layer of owners (4 “principals”) and then the rest of us, about 40 employees, on the same relative level. In terms of a long-term career, I’ll reach the ceiling fairly quickly.
So I applied for a federal position that opened in my office. It was a job in the same program I’m in, did the same kind of work I do, and required the same basic qualifications I already possess, so I took a stab. Five people from my office applied, but many others applied from outside the office. Some of these applicants include veterans and current government employees. I mention that because the hiring laws / protocols within the U.S. Gov’t require a certain order of operations: folks who claim veteran’s preference, current government employees, and then finally the non-government employees.
I didn’t get the job. It turns out my application wasn’t even evaluated because there were veterans and gov’t employees who were qualified. Therefore, before my boss can even look at my application, he has to have pretty dang good reason to disqualify the others. It’s a little frustrating to think that I put a lot of effort and time into my application and it wasn’t even evaluated. However, I knew this was a possibility so I understand the situation and don’t blame my boss, the hiring panel, or the selected candidate. I just need to continue trying if a federal job is really the best choice for me.
In other news, we had a great Memorial Day weekend trip to the Capitol Reef NP area. We visited Jen’s grandpa’s place down near Bicknell, UT, and loved the break from reality. We did some hiking, 4-wheeling, roasting hot dogs over an open fire, skeet shooting, and playing pool. I posted pictures on our online web album. Check it out: http://picasaweb.google.com/110920675133817196197/BicknellUTMay2009. We also celebrated Leah’s 4th birthday while down there.