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Hi,

I'm a new specialist and other than FAC Level I classes my team won't provide any hands on training. I've asked several team members and was ignored. They don't even respond to my emails any more. I've talked to my supervisor and didn't get any help.

Is there a way to gain practical experience without throwing my new team under the bus or is my career over before it even started?

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A few ideas.

Read, think and think again. 

Seriously consider volunteering for the assignments that others don't want. 

Learn something (strike that, learn everything) well enough to share it with others.  Look for opportunities to do so. You'll gain more than one skill if you do that right. Repeat often.

Pick a special skill to focus on and do that better and more reliably than anyone else. For example, for a newcomer taking exceptional notes and minutes can come in handy. Agreeable to who is running a meeting with a contractor, be the note taker... Arrange to distribute a draft for correction and follow up with a final version. Pay careful attention to details like dates and actions for follow up from each party. Find out whom to in include in the Distri (contractor?).

Record everything you learn now as a newbie so you can be a help to the next newcomer. 

Do your homework...before asking a question look for answers...you may find what you are looking for or it may help you ask a better question. 

See here:

 

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20 hours ago, newbiefed2 said:

Hi,

I'm a new specialist and other than FAC Level I classes my team won't provide any hands on training. I've asked several team members and was ignored. They don't even respond to my emails any more. I've talked to my supervisor and didn't get any help.

Is there a way to gain practical experience without throwing my new team under the bus or is my career over before it even started?

What type of contracting duties and areas are you involved with?

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Welcome to the contracting career field!  If they aren't giving you training, are they at least giving you work?  If they are giving you work, I am hopeful that you will try to understand what you are doing, and let your questions to your co-workers and bosses be based on your actual work.  For example, if you issue a solicitation using a template that includes a particular clause, read what the clause says.  Or, if your boss tells you to issue a stop work order, use the sample he or she provides as a starting point but also read the clause in the contract that authorizes the stop work order (hopefully, it will be cited in the sample stop work order).  Read your solicitations and contracts.  Read the FAR parts you are working in.

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22 hours ago, newbiefed2 said:

Hi,

I'm a new specialist and other than FAC Level I classes my team won't provide any hands on training. I've asked several team members and was ignored. They don't even respond to my emails any more. I've talked to my supervisor and didn't get any help.

Is there a way to gain practical experience without throwing my new team under the bus or is my career over before it even started?

In answer to your questions: No and no.

You have accepted a job with a lousy office. If you can afford to do so, I recommend that you immediately start looking for another job. I would throw that "new team" under the bus in a heartbeat. Why be loyal to a "team" that won't help you?

Find a better outfit to work for, and ask them at the job interview what kind of training they'll provide. Don't sell yourself short.

And don't try to learn by using templates produced by a crummy organization.

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Thank you everyone for replying. I appreciate your advice.

 

On 6/10/2022 at 10:37 AM, joel hoffman said:

What type of contracting duties and areas are you involved with?

This is a cradle to grave shop for services and supplies contracts. It's one of the reasons why I was excited to take the job.

On 6/10/2022 at 11:29 AM, ji20874 said:

Welcome to the contracting career field!  If they aren't giving you training, are they at least giving you work?  If they are giving you work, I am hopeful that you will try to understand what you are doing, and let your questions to your co-workers and bosses be based on your actual work.  For example, if you issue a solicitation using a template that includes a particular clause, read what the clause says.  Or, if your boss tells you to issue a stop work order, use the sample he or she provides as a starting point but also read the clause in the contract that authorizes the stop work order (hopefully, it will be cited in the sample stop work order).  Read your solicitations and contracts.  Read the FAR parts you are working in.

Well, I'm assigned work but one or two things happen. 1) I'm told the there is nothing more to do at the moment and they will reach back out to me. 2) They will not respond when I follow up to ask what are the next steps. I've talked to my supervisor about this and was told that they are too busy. I'm wondering why I was hired at this point.

The other new hires and I are going through the team drive to try to piece together the agency's policy for acquisitions so we can create a checklist for ourselves.

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Over here in private industry, one of our standard practices for each new hire is a 60-day action plan. My team doesn't let new hires sit idle. Period. There is training--both mandatory and discretionary (based on an individual skills assessment) and immediate immersion into new and/or ongoing projects.

I'm not claiming this is a best practice; it seems to be an obvious practice. Why did you hire the person if there is not work for them to do?

 

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9 hours ago, Vern Edwards said:

@newbiefed2Is the job you have now your first experience with contracting in either government or the private sector?

 

No, I have some experience with pre-award functions.

6 hours ago, here_2_help said:

Over here in private industry, one of our standard practices for each new hire is a 60-day action plan. My team doesn't let new hires sit idle. Period. There is training--both mandatory and discretionary (based on an individual skills assessment) and immediate immersion into new and/or ongoing projects.

I'm not claiming this is a best practice; it seems to be an obvious practice. Why did you hire the person if there is not work for them to do?

 

This is what I'm used to.

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On 6/13/2022 at 6:40 AM, Vern Edwards said:

@newbiefed2Is the job you have now your first experience with contracting in either government or the private sector?

 

14 hours ago, newbiefed2 said:

No, I have some experience with pre-award functions.

 

On 6/13/2022 at 5:42 AM, newbiefed2 said:

The other new hires and I are going through the team drive to try to piece together the agency's policy for acquisitions so we can create a checklist for ourselves.

With so little background education, do you think you and the other new hires will understand the agency's policy, its proper application, and the reasons for it? 

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On 6/14/2022 at 9:42 AM, Vern Edwards said:

 

 

With so little background education, do you think you and the other new hires will understand the agency's policy, its proper application, and the reasons for it? 

We are trying to establish a baseline since we are not getting any directives.

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On 6/13/2022 at 5:42 AM, newbiefed2 said:

The other new hires and I are going through the team drive to try to piece together the agency's policy for acquisitions so we can create a checklist for ourselves.

 

On 6/14/2022 at 6:42 AM, Vern Edwards said:

With so little background education, do you think you and the other new hires will understand the agency's policy, its proper application, and the reasons for it? 

 

1 hour ago, newbiefed2 said:

We are trying to establish a baseline since we are not getting any directives.

You didn't answer my question. 🤔

I wonder, given where you are in terms of knowledge and experience, whether that's where you should start your education. 

I wonder whether you know enough to "establish a baseline."

But I don't want to push.

Best regards.

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