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Elaine

Ready to leave the 1102 job series

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I have been a Contract Specialist for 2 years and I work in R&D on a sole source IDIQ Contract. I consider myself an overachiever and self-motivated. Within the past 2 years, I have earned a NCMA CFCM certification, DAWIA Contracting level 2 certified, and completed Calculus 1-3 from a local University.

In my office, our customer and management expects the 1102s to award delivery orders as quickly as possible. Management only cares about the quantity of actions awarded and little about quality.  For example, we are expected to: issue Order Request for Proposals prior to reviewing the SOW, on several occasions we have awarded modifications to extend the delivery schedule after the delivery order expired several months earlier. I am told by management to not overthink the work (basically not use my brain at all) but to just get it on contract. The engineers we support get offended if I ask questions because they think our only job as 1102s is to “just put it on contract.”

I work really hard to educate myself in this career, but I feel like I am wasting my time because I am forced by management and my customer to award delivery orders or modifications as quickly as possible without putting much thought into my work.

I am losing interest in this career field and I feel that if I hang around any longer, then I will become mediocre like others in my office. I would like transition to a different job series now. Any recommendations on the best job series to transition to? Any advice on the best ways to transition without taking a huge pay cut/lower grade?

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Just curious, what agency do you work for? 

That does indeed sound like a soul crushing place to work, and I have worked in offices like that, too. But I can say that there are better places in the Government, don't give up hope just yet. If you are in DoD, Air Force and Navy are worth a look.

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Elaine, what is your educational background? 

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Three thoughts:

1.  I tend to think that there is better career mobility on the contractor side of the house, but of course that depends on the contractor.

2.  Being willing to relocate offers enhanced career mobility, regardless of which side of the table you're sitting.

3. Networking with peers outside of your office tends to enhance career mobility. Suggest you leverage your NCMA relationships.

4. For those looking to move on outside of USG service, LinkedIn is your friend.

Okay, four thoughts.

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16 hours ago, Elaine said:

 I would prefer to transition to another job series that is more technical and challenging. 

 

I think you are making overly broad conclusions about the 1102 series based on limited experience. There are places you can work that are more suited to forward-thinking and innovation. For example: https://gcn.com/articles/2018/12/11/arrieta-hhs-accelerate.aspx 

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On 12/19/2018 at 8:53 PM, Elaine said:

I have two Master Degrees (one is a MS in a STEM field and the other is a MBA) 

 Elaine, that is a very broad Acronym. Do you have interest in any general or more specific areas within STEM? You have indicated that you would like to move beyond the 1102 series of contracting. Do you still want to be involved in some aspects of government acquisition, program management, etc.?

EDIT: There are many challenging and rewarding opportunities in government acquisition for non 1102’s, especially those in technical fields.

You don't necessarily  have to be a contract specialist or KO to excel in complex government acquisitions, negotiations and subsequent contract execution, management, administration, etc.  

You can PM me if interested in details. 

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, Elaine said:

I have been a Contract Specialist for 2 years and I work in R&D on a sole source IDIQ Contract. I consider myself an overachiever and self-motivated. Within the past 2 years, I have earned a NCMA CFCM certification, DAWIA Contracting level 2 certified, and completed Calculus 1-3 from a local University.

In my office, our customer and management expects the 1102s to award delivery orders as quickly as possible. Management only cares about the quantity of actions awarded and little about quality.  For example, we are expected to: issue Order Request for Proposals prior to reviewing the SOW, on several occasions we have awarded modifications to extend the delivery schedule after the delivery order expired several months earlier. I am told by management to not overthink the work (basically not use my brain at all) but to just get it on contract. The engineers we support get offended if I ask questions because they think our only job as 1102s is to “just put it on contract.”

I work really hard to educate myself in this career, but I feel like I am wasting my time because I am forced by management and my customer to award delivery orders or modifications as quickly as possible without putting much thought into my work.

I am losing interest in this career field and I feel that if I hang around any longer, then I will become mediocre like others in my office. I would like transition to a different job series now. Any recommendations on the best job series to transition to? Any advice on the best ways to transition without taking a huge pay cut/lower grade?

I just spoke to a well-known veteran of Government contracting who read your post. His advice was to run, don't walk, from the 1102 series. Don't put the experience on your resume and consider obtaining a new identity.

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Contract Specialists are like cooks.  Burger King has cooks, but so does Le Bernardin.   You are working at Burger King.  

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Elaine,

I concur with all other comments posted. I have had the chance to move around and experience new and more challenging acquisitions. I started out a supply team that was run much like the shop you are in right now. Given the opportunity I moved into service contracting and have been very happy with the challenges to date. Hope to move into construction to keep things interesting, as well as add to my experience/knowledge in the near future.

Don't give up the 1102 seat, just move if possible.

On ‎12‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 11:58 AM, PepeTheFrog said:

Tell him to resurrect his posting career.

PepeTheFrog - I second your motion.

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On 12/21/2018 at 11:58 AM, PepeTheFrog said:

Tell him to resurrect his posting career.

Are you being a tad polemical?

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4 hours ago, PepeTheFrog said:

"Are you not entertained!?!"

Yes. But, sometimes, your comments can be confusing because they are a bit too amphibious!

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Quote

Bd—Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in full—kills frogs and other amphibians by eating away at their skin and triggering fatal heart attacks. It’s often said that the fungus has caused the decline or extinction of 200 amphibian species, but that figure is almost two decades out-of-date.   (emphasis added)

Oh Pepe, that's a nasty way to go.  Can you shape shift into something else?

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3 hours ago, bob7947 said:

Bd—Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in full—kills frogs and other amphibians by eating away at their skin and triggering fatal heart attacks. It’s often said that the fungus has caused the decline or extinction of 200 amphibian species, but that figure is almost two decades out-of-date. 

😨

Thank you for alerting PepeTheFrog to this danger! Frog Lives Matter!

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On ‎3‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 10:52 AM, PepeTheFrog said:

Frog Lives Matter!

This is the life of frogs, warts and all. 

Elaine,

We are obviously too much fun to leave.  Find a different office, though.  Yuck.

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On 3/29/2019 at 11:52 AM, PepeTheFrog said:

Thank you for alerting PepeTheFrog to this danger! Frog Lives Matter!

Make Amphibians Great Again!

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I've been an 1102 for 10 years, made it from a GS-14.  I've hated it each step of the way, but kept thinking "maybe this next job will be better because..." and it never is, if anything it's worse.  And it's sad because I honestly, truly don't understand why anyone would choice to be an 1102.  I guess, maybe if you had the travel bug, you can work almost anywhere as an 1102 in the fed govt.  That's a benefit I guess.  Besides that, literally every aspect of this career field, and I've worked post award as an ACO and Contracts Manager, I've worked cost/price, and I've been a PCO with an unlimited warrant, my current position, all of them stink.  

And it's not even like people truly "get it."  Big DOD doesn't give a damn about the FAR, or regulations in general.  Why increase TINA?  Because they don't want people to look deeper.  Why bring in OTAs?  Because they want the action awarded FASTER.   All both of these means is no one is looking and people are skipping steps.  End result the Gov't will be a pay a crap ton more for that product or service.  Again, no one really cares about this, until you watch Congress talking about spending, meanwhile that same Congress person is calling up the SCO to get a PCO to award X number of contracts to a business or two within their district because they don't want to lose jobs and risk not being elected again.  So now you cut an award for some crap you don't even need to place the Congress person.   But fear not because the ONE agency that still truly cares is the DODIG, lucky you have 15 audits to answer to, telling them how you've changed your evil ways and it will never happen again as you're working 12 actions that are literally doing the the SAME thing  the DODIG located as a write to begin with.  Why doesn't it change?  Oh because the PM pushing this train doesn't have to deal with the DODIG audits and receives AWARDS and praise for the actions the DODIG will later find as a write up.  Leave it the the KO to try and fix it all.  Meanwhile, your agency praises you for spending spending SPENDING the money.  Oh you saved 250 MILLION dollars in negations?  Here's a coin.  Oh you SPENT 8 BILLION last FY?! Come up on STAGE!  That's how you award contracts!! Congrats!!  

Can anyone explain why agencies track SPEND ie obligation instead of savings?  Because no one gives a damn what you save, only what you spend.  Tell me again why Shay Assad was assigned to DCMA? =P  Riighhht.  Basically the 1102 field is just about giving the DOD contracts as much money as possible to help boost the economy. 

At the same time, the Program Office is telling you half truths because they know if they give you the full truth it will delay the almighty contract award date.  So they give you BS IGCEs that you can't even use because the backup info is so weak at best.  

I've been there, I've done it, I've worked for a few different agencies, this career field is just bad.  It can't just be "oh its your shop or agency" at this point.  

Problem is, now I can't seem to transfer to a different career field.  And I've applied to GS-9s in HR and as a Budget person, still no luck. 

Anyone reading this; if you are at all an A-type of person, please for the love of God, do NOT entire the 1102 career field. 

Good luck.

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On 4/3/2019 at 9:46 AM, Some Cool Name said:

Why doesn't it change?  Oh because the PM pushing this train doesn't have to deal with the DODIG audits and receives AWARDS and praise for the actions the DODIG will later find as a write up.  Leave it the the KO to try and fix it all. 

Unfortunately, you'll find this in many career fields. The folks who "know how to get things done" while everyone else mysteriously takes forever--those are the people who get all the accolades. And when they move on or get promoted, the employee who inherits the workload finds out the "superstar" broke/ignored every rule or procedure in the book, leaving quite the mess for the poor newcomer.

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