Saturday, November 29, 2008

Giving the right tools for Young Feds to succeed

I like most of my fellow Young Feds are very energetic and passionate about public service and are truly looking to make a difference at our respective federal agencies. For some of us, the events of 9/11 inspired this drive for public service.

Unfortunately, many agencies have yet to step up in helping the Young Feds achieve this goal. So what exactly are we asking for? Well here is just a snippet:

· Mentorship: We desperately need the support of the Older Feds to help us navigate the behemoth that is the Federal Government and to encourage and guide our career path to where we want it to be.

· Proper Operating Procedures: A lot of agencies’ ways of doing things are not properly documented. The retirees leave, taking a chuck of legacy knowledge with them. A Young Fed entering into this situation is left to fend for themselves most likely resulting in mistakes.

· A chance to think outside the box: I always hear… “This is how we doings things here” and never… “Okay I see where you are coming from, why don’t we try this.” Agencies need to greatly empower the Young Feds to take risks and think outside the box.

· Continuing Education and Student Loan Repayment: I know this might be tied to the amount of funding an agency receives, but I believe this is one of the best retention tools an agency can give a Young Fed. Education either towards a certificate program or a graduate program improves the chances of a Young Fed to be promoted. Student Loan Repayment increases the chances of a Young Fed to stay longer at an agency.

This by no means is a complete list but these are some of the tools I believe if given to Young Feds will help us succeed at our agencies.

Ms. I.J Ezeonwuka
Chapter Liaison 2008-2009
Young Government Leaders

I.J works for the Department of Homeland Security/United State Coast Guard as a Contract Specialist. She is on the Executive Board of Young Government Leader and is also a Community Leader on GovLoop.

1 comment:

  1. I.J.

    Mentorship is one of the easiests. Kitty and her contacts as well as other forums can help. I know that I mentor through two alum groups and in my agency. Take to people. Go out for coffee and I think this will help. Learn both the positives and negaties older feds bring to the table. We are not all perfect but many try to help.

    On SOPS I would develop my own through information you get and share it will all new people in your group. I have required my newest PMF to develop an on-boarding manual for people that follow. Also find willing feds not many but some and work with them to bring your value proprosition to the table.

    Thinking outside the box is hard for conservative feds and expecially ones that have been beaten down. Again bring your enthusiasm and value proposition to the table. I think you will find some people receptive. I cannot not promise many but they are out there.

    Continuing Education and Student Loan Repayment is hard. My agency makes it difficult and training is the first thing to be cut. Maybe through the PMF program and other initiatives you can get SES managers to look at a central funding mechanism for new hires say people with 1-2 years experience who need core competencies and other training. Loan repayment is hard. My department does not offer much in this line but again working throuhg the SES ranks and maybe the training groups we can make some progress. I know am fighting an uphill battle.

    If people want to chat more I can be reached at 202-245-6729