Should I Take a Federal Government Job? The Pros and Cons

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Have you been offered a federal government job?

If you’ve found yourself looking for a career that offers steady pay and benefits, working for the government might seem like a tempting offer. Still, as with any job, you should familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of working with the government.

So, what are some of the advantages and disadvantages of working with the government? We’ll go into everything you need to know in this article. Keep reading to learn more, and then use the information to decide whether your new position works well for you!

Pro: A Federal Government Job Makes a Difference

Have you ever gotten up for work and wondered, What’s the purpose of all this?

Job experts say many Americans prioritize making a difference with their careers. Some would even take a pay cut if they felt the work they did was meaningful.

If you’re one of the millions who want to change the world for the better, the U.S. government provides great employment opportunities. Even though it isn’t a non-profit, it exists to make the lives of Americans better and safer. It allows you to use your skills in a way that serves your community and Americans around the globe.

Con: Making a Change Can Take a While

Working with the government doesn’t often give you the immediate change you want to see.

Even if you’re passionate about your cause, you’ll often find you have to jump through a lot of administrative hoops to get there. Sometimes, your plans may have to alter in order to get the change you want to work toward.

So, when taking a government job, remember that you will make a difference. Yet, it might take a while to see the results.

Pro: A Job That Matches Your Interest

The federal government needs all types of employees. No matter if you want to manage a campaign or work as a speechwriter, administrator, or any other career, the government has a place for you.

So, taking a government job often means finding work that matches your preferred career type. It’s even great for people who want to switch careers, as it has a variety of different work options!

Federal government job often challenges their employees as well. Many employees embrace the stretch to their skills, as it keeps them mentally engaged. It also strengthens your ability to do your work well and becomes a valuable asset to your resume.

Con: It Doesn’t Make Much Money

federal government job

Do you want to expand your career into something that can make you upwards of $200,000 a year?

If so, you might want to look elsewhere. Most government jobs pay somewhere around $117,000-$177,000 per year. Exceptions exist, though, so make sure you ask your potential employer about pay and the opportunity for raises.

You may also receive bonuses that factor into your overall pay.

Pro: Good Work-Life Balance

The government wants to keep its employees from getting burned out, and it recognizes the importance of a good work-life balance. All laws regulating work come from the government, so it has to abide by its own rules.

This means giving many of its employees ample time away from their work to take care of their families or relax. In fact, many government agency employees consider their work lives manageable and feasible. They can also incorporate it into their schedule alongside their personal lives.

Federal employees get all 10 federal holidays off. So, if you want to take a weekend trip for Memorial Day, you can do so!

Con: Some Agencies Give More Work Than Others

While the government strives for a good work-life balance, the exact amount of work will depend on the agency and your position.

To get a good idea of how much you will have to work, ask your potential employer about the expectations for your position. The website Best Places to Work in the Federal Government ranks the work-life balance of different institutions. Review it to see how your position might fit into your schedule!

Pro: Work Where You Want

federal government job

When you picture a government job, do you envision having to move to a larger city, like Washington, D.C.?

Relocation poses one of the greatest challenges to job searchers. Many professionals have partnered with jobs in a specific city, or they worry about uprooting their children. If you don’t want to move from your current location, you should consider working for the government.

The federal government has branches in every area of the United States. That means no matter where you live, you likely have a government job within commuting distance. Many jobs also offer remote working options. So, even if you want to work for a D.C.-based branch, you might have the ability to do the work where you live!

Con: The Hiring Process

Getting hired by the government sometimes takes a long time. This happens because agencies often have to fulfill a lot of steps in order to take on someone new. In addition, the agency might have to review thousands of candidates to ensure they have the right credentials.

Some jobs also require you to obtain a level of security clearance. This especially becomes true if you work in Washington, D.C. Yet, the type of security clearance you need varies depending on your federal government job. If security clearance serves as a prerequisite, research what you need to do to obtain it.

Learn more about getting an advanced or entry-level federal government job, including details on taxes when retiring from your government job.

Ready to Start Your New Career?

The government often gives great career opportunities for talented workers looking to make a difference.

While downsides to working for the government exist, many employees find it satisfactory long-term work. So, if you get offered a government job, use this list to determine whether to take it!

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