This American industry is in dire need of young and excited minds. Here’s how you can get a job with them.
When you think of where you’d love to get a job, does the federal government spring to mind?
If you’re a Millennial, probably not. A recent Wall Street Journal article reports that the percentage of under the age of 30 hit an eight-year low in 2013: a paltry 8 percent. That’s right: young people aren’t going to work for the U.S. government.
From the WSJ:
About 45% of the federal workforce was more than 50 years old in 2013, and by September 2016, nearly a quarter of all federal employees will be eligible to retire.
An industry in which almost 25 percent of people will be at retirement age in two years? If you’re a savvy job hunter, bells should be going off in your head.
Though it may not seem as exciting as working at a startup or innovative tech company, the U.S. government can still be an excellent place to work, with perks like steady pay, good benefits, enormous potential for growth, and hopefully, the knowledge that you’re contributing to the greater good.
How you can get a government job
If you’re interested in working for the federal government but aren’t sure where to start, here are some tips:
- Figure out which jobs you’re interested in: The government is a huge organization, and there are jobs for any skill set and interest. Here’s a guide to sorted by college major, and a list of agencies ranked by satisfaction by .
- Become bffs with : This site is the hub of all government jobs, so you best get cozy with it. Here’s a saved search for , and a fantastic guide to creating an effective from Job-hunt.org.
- Network with your peers: Find meetups in your area, or utilize websites like and .
- Consider a prep program: The were established to get young people into government. They offer a paid internship program for current students, a development program with training and mentorship for recent grads, and the esteemed Presidential Management Fellows Program for those with advanced degrees. You might also check out this post on .
If you’re under 30, working for the government could be the perfect opportunity to earn a steady paycheck, start your career — and maybe, just maybe, change the world.
Would you consider working for the federal government? Why or why not?
Susan Shain (@TravlJunkette) is a travel blogger who loves helping people discover adventure through international travel or alternative careers.