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Hey guys, 

I am hoping to get insights on the COR career path. I currently work for DOD as an 1102 and I am considering taking a promotion to a COR position (1101) at another DOD agency. It would be a grade increase and potentially less stress. Based on feedback from my limited network, they say it’s a good career path but lacks the transferability that an 1102 position offers. The 1102 opportunities seem abundant in the Government and I would be concerned about getting pigeon holed if I switch to an 1101. Additionally, the COR opportunities in my locale seem rare and lower graded. Any input or feedback is extremely appreciated! 

 

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Does your user name have any particular relevance to your job? 😊

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Actual 1101 work varies all over the place across the government.  There’s no exact description of duites like there is with 1102s.  For example a couple civilian agencies have 1101s serve as procurement liaisons or business advisors to program offices.  Their work is more along the lines of acquisition support instead of contracting.  One major DoD office I’m very familiar with has 1101s as industry liaison representatives.  So you might get an 1101 job for immediate promotion but might get stuck there without anyone else wanting you.  1102s are always in demand, especially those that show initiative and willing to grow and learn.  If someone is willing to be mobile and are reasonable sharp, moving to the top of grade structure isn’t difficult in today’s times. 

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13 hours ago, RightSaidFed said:

Should you take an 1101 position, you'll still have all your 1102 experience. You can get back in, possibly with pay retention, should things go badly as an 1101.

That Isn’t necessity a sure thing if your 1102 experience is at a lower grade when you left the series. If you want back into an 1102 job, at a higher grade than you left, the selecting official for a higher graded position likely wouldn’t consider it as a simple lateral move in a competition. 

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Hey everyone, thank you for the input and comments. I am glad that I posted this question as everyone has contributed valuable perspective. It appears this move has some risk. If it doesn’t work out, I would need to be prepared to step back to my current grade if I transition back to the 1102 series. My only hope would be to secure “highest previous rate” to recover my salary loss after a year. Of course, this is not guaranteed either. Nothing is easy! 

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I’m just saying that a supervisor might not automatically assume that you are qualified for a move to a higher graded 1102 position than you left. For example, the higher grade in another series (by itself) probably wouldn’t make you look more qualified than other candidates in a competition. I don’t remember all the rules for lateral moves.

Speaking from my own perspective as a 12 1/2 year supervisor before escaping by retirement. 😁

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It's kind of hard to answer the question without knowing the specifics of the 1101 position.  By specifics I mean the job responsibilities, and not just the job title.  "COR" duties vary widely from job to job.  Some 1102's are now setting in jobs as 1101's, when they were hired into 1102 positions.  This is especially true in the Army who supposedly came down a few years back and said to be an 1102 you have to work in a contracting office.  That's the case in my current job.  I work with teammates who were 1102's, were hired as 1102's, then converted to 1101's due to the Army policy.  Like COR jobs and titles, 1101 jobs and titles vary widely.  I look at 1101 jobs almost daily on USAJOBS, and there appear to be more and more 1101 jobs being advertised with duties that sound a whole lot like an 1102 position.  I have also personally  seen 1102's sitting in jobs titled as COR.  There are also very lucrative high graded 1101 jobs.  In my last Agency the HCA, an SES position, was an 1101.  But generally speaking, there are a lot more 1102 jobs out there, and usually 1102 jobs are generally higher graded positions.

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Another thing to assess in career planning is what is your long term goal?  If you want to be a high grade contract specialist, there is only so far you can go without becoming a supervisor/manager.  There are exceptions for support of high visibility, high significant acquisitions but those aren’t easy to come by.  

Often many agencies without many 1101 jobs think of 1101s as people who can’t make the cut as 1102.  That’s not true but if you’re a senior person in charge of a procurement operation, an 1102 applicant with experience, a track record of demonstrated results, and good referrals, makes that person a relatively safe choice.  Unless you are a senior manager, generally you want a supervisor as more knowledgeable than their employees in the subject matter.  The initial reaction is an 1101 isn’t as capable doing procurement  work.  

An advantage of remaining an 1102 is there’s a recognized career path with required training.  It takes a degree to enter.  It’s viewed as a more professional career field.  

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Thank you everyone for the input. Below are some of the responsibilities from the COR opportunity that I am considering: 

-You will be responsible for contract performance, policy compliance, and
contract oversight and execution to ensure financial and technical
compliance with contract terms and conditions.

-You will troubleshoot contracting, tasking and funding issues and monitor
contract reports for consistency with technical and financial tasking and
anticipated future tasking.

-You will assist the Contracting Officer in the pre-award and post-award
phase, determining the degree of contract risk, recommending contract
changes, and recommending consideration on waivers, deviations, and engineering change proposals.

-You will monitor the use and rate of expenditure of budget funds through
continuing dialogue with program managers and staff, government contractors, and review of written documentation or accounting records.

They require a business financial management certification Level I in the first year. 

I am realizing this could be a disruptive move if I want to keep the grade promotion and return to contracting at some point. Nothing is simple! 

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The GS 1101 classification is for miscellaneous non- professional series jobs according to:

https://www.federaljobs.net/Occupations/gs-1100_jobs.htm#General_Business_and_Industry

Holding a specific 1101 job title doesn’t necessarily highly qualify one for other types of 1101 designated positions. 

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