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Hello,

I am a new 1102 Contracting Officer, GS-14...coming to federal service after many years on the private side.

I am fairly confident this career is not going to work for me for very much longer. I am not thrilled about returning to the private sector, would prefer to stay in federal service.

Being a relative newcomer, I am not familiar with the inner workings and nuances of federal employment, but I would like

to know if there are other federal career tracks that may be amenable to hiring a former C.O. - for example, a price analyst position, etc.

Although not a math wiz, I do enjoy and am highly skilled in market research, price analysis and negotiations, among other areas of expertise...

I am not opposed to moving into a GS-13 spot as I am less interested in building pension credits than I am about other benefits since I am hoping to retire altogether inside 5-7 years.

Thanks and appreciate all input.

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When I was Fed years ago in the contracting office, I knew of a CO that did a ton of engineering contracts. He took a management position in the engineering division. He was not an engineer but his experience as a CO for so many years over that division's contracts gave him a good understanding of their challenges and convinced them his experience was relevant. They made him COTR over a pretty big engineering contract for several years. He's a director now.

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I agree with FAR Fetched - Over the past year I have seen DoN place signifcant emphasis into the COR position due to contract oversight issues (invoicing/deliverables/performance) and yet no engineer/scientist wants to give up being an engineer/scientist. If you do have enough technical knowledge to be appointed as a COR, this could be a possible career path. While I would be surprised if you could land a 14, a 13 is attainable in the right location.

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Guest Vern Edwards

You are a GS-1102. You say you are interested in being a price analyst. Well, they are 1102s. Find an opening and apply. If you don't like being a CO, you might not like being a COR.

If you have the right contacts and a good reputation you might be able to pull off a more radical career shift, but you say you a new, so...

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Agency - If we can ask, why don't you think it's a good fit? At my old agency (GSA), there were lots of different 1102 positions. Some were policy, some dealt solely with awarding vehicles (schedules, IDIQs, etc), some with specific types of commodities and others handled primarily services. So I'm wondering if it's the particular type of work you're doing or just doing contracts in the Government that not working for you

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Well as a retired GI, who started in CE, moved to Contracting via the mid-80's RIF, then went to a quasi-Gov (Public Agency) and then back into the FED, now in the commercial world as a Contract Manager - - I think prior CO's whether GI's or Civilians can go wherever they wish to go, as long as they are willing to do the work they think they want to do. Contracting has grown in versitility to the Nth degree and is always short of people. Maybe the job is not in your local, but is there a restriction on moving, if not, Move to potentially find the experience you want. Price analayst, cost analyst, senior policy analyst, contracting officer, deputy CO, COR, COTR, estimator, and so many more - - your limits are what you think you can do and how you sell yourself to a potential employer.

and I belive everyone has gone through the "groundhog days" in any job, its how you decide to move forward that is key to moving forward.

humble opinions of a person who thinks that the contracting career is some of the best money to be made for the actual job functions performed.

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Thank you for the replies.

Maybe I have a unique observation point, having spent quite a bit of time on the private side before joining the federal force, but it seems to me that compensation (in the higher ranks) on the federal side is not commensurate with the overall skills required for the job, along with the associated accountability and responsibilities. I work alongside peers who only remain because they have a length of service which will entitle them to a reasonably decent pension in less than 10 years. That doesn't apply to people like me who crossed over in mid-to-late career. So while this may be a good position during a time of economic instability (say the last few years) and while the learning opportunies have been tremendous (and I am thankful for that)...I am having a hard time swallowing what the future holds. Stress goes down easier with a spoonful of sugar.

That said, I enjoy federal service and that's why I am investigating a switch (even at lower pay) to a different type of position.

Thank you, again.

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@Agency Specialist - - I did the back and forth as well Active Duty, left for GS, left for Commercial, back to GS, had enough years for deferred retirement and left for Commercial again - - I will say if you have the experience, even in this market, there are plenty of commercial jobs available in the actual administrative fields listed in my original response. If you can relocate your options are always better. If you really want something more challenging, I highly suggest seeking out a good contact with NCMA to talk and without a doubt a "head hunter" and sit down with them, tell them about you, your experience, draft a kick-&*& resume and go for it.

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  • 4 months later...

Stole this from Almond2020's similar post, he described it best here:

Vern, I know you're aware of the many pitfalls of working as a present day 1102- the overly burdensome admin work, the shoddy procurement systems, the 200 databases everything has to be entered into, the filing, the feds retiring in droves while inexperienced COs fill the void, just to name a few. I think I underestimated the monotony that goes along with the position while overestimating the amount of actual thoughtful analysis whether financial or legal that is required for the position. To make matters worse, you have a workforce that is constantly battered down and used as a political pawn.

My experience is the same, so I can vouch. My position requires a masters degree to fill, but only a grade school education to maintain. It's discouraging. I am still seeking a related position, they're not easy to find. I can see why COs are retiring in droves...

AS

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