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  1. I have worked at a non-DoD civilian agency (VA) for several years, and have heard from more than one SES director that if I want to advance to senior GS or SES positions within the agency, I should leave the VA, get experience in another agency, and then come back to VA. I was a bit surprised at these comments, as these were both SES members in leadership positions within the agency, and yet they were recommending that I leave to get outside experience. A few years have passed since those conversations, and I am now at a grade level that might be more difficult to change agencies, and particularly going from a non-DoD agency to a DoD component. I am now contemplating a downgrade to get into a DoD agency in my area. My grade would change, but my pay would stay roughly the same, if stepped out. I'm sure I can't be the only person who has contemplated such a move. I am curious about the experience of career GS-1102s on this forum who have gone from a civilian agency to a DOD contracting activity or vice versa. Was the experience career enhancing? Did it offer you additional skills (non-commercial items, different contract types, etc.)? Would you recommend it? Thanks in advance for sharing your experience.
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