Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs

Recommended Posts

I have a standard level-of-frustration Warranted CO job, grade 9, at a civilian agency. 

I have an offer to go up to grade 11, but at a high level-of-frustration Contracting Specialist job at FEMA (not signing myself, just prepping under a Warranted CO). 

The work at FEMA sounds immensely more important and meaningful than where I currently am, but also much more stressful, and the commute would be substantially longer. 

 

My question for other beginners or more experienced CO's:  how do you decide if a pay/grade increase is worth the added stress?? 

What are the major factors for you? 

Do you feel like later advancement or laterals after a stressful year at the higher grade could make it worth it to just stick out a tough year? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can stand on your head, professionally speaking, for a year. Plan for the long range, including your retirement. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, GovtAcctGeek said:

My question for other beginners or more experienced CO's:  how do you decide if a pay/grade increase is worth the added stress?? 

What are the major factors for you? 

Do you feel like later advancement or laterals after a stressful year at the higher grade could make it worth it to just stick out a tough year? 

Not a government employee but have been working in this environment for a long time. I would want to understand where the stress comes from. I experience stress when my management has unrealistic expectations about what can/should be accomplished. Lack of adequate planning, lack of time to complete the task properly, ignorance about what is really required to execute, etc. Those things stress me. But the work itself is not stressful. Sometimes it's boring and other times it's exciting (because I'm stretching) but it's rarely stressful in and of itself.

I just did a staff presentation where I challenged my team to manage their careers. The job is what they are doing now, but their careers are what they will be doing for the rest of their professional lives. What adjacent and future jobs look interesting, and what skills do they need to develop to be ready for them? I would ask you the same thing. Where are you going (long term) and what skills/experiences do you need to get there.

If you are truly a government accounting geek and can get good contracting experience, are you headed for an ACO position? Maybe a DACO or CACO position? If so, will you stop at Cost Monitor along the way? What are your other touch points, career-wise?

Where are you going and what will it take to get there? Those seem like very important questions to me. The notion of stress would factor only a little into my (personal) calculations. That said, I understand you are truly concerned about taking on too much stress. Good luck to you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Would you mind sharing what seems stressful about the new potential job?  Depending upon the reasons, you might want to consider other job options.  The 1102 field can be extremely rewarding but it also can pose challenges to many people based on their disposition - pressure to produce and meet schedule demands, ability to quickly analyze situations and come up with suitable solutions, face to face discussions and bargaining and the ability to persuade, strong oral and written communications abilities, and ability to work in a team environment and arrive at consensus and compromises.   It can be a complex balancing act trading off customer demands, legal and policy directions, and satisfying management concerns.  Personal satisfaction and performance rewards can be high; stress and pressure can also be very distracting for those not suited or prepared for the job as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/6/2021 at 4:59 PM, GovtAcctGeek said:

My question for other beginners or more experienced CO's:  how do you decide if a pay/grade increase is worth the added stress?? 

What are the major factors for you? 

Do you feel like later advancement or laterals after a stressful year at the higher grade could make it worth it to just stick out a tough year? 

For me, new positions with a pay/grade increase usually have turned out to have a different kind of stress, not necessarily more if I can figure out how to manage it properly.  However, I've noticed that things like a longer (up to 2 hr one way) commute affected my ability to cope with stress - especially if telework is restricted or unavailable.  That being said, I've always seen that upgrade and learning to manage new/different responsibilities with equanimity as a challenge to be mastered. Here's what I tend to ask myself: 

  • How will this position move me closer to my overall career goals?  Will passing on this opportunity hinder the achievement of my career goals?
  • Does the prospective agency have a reputation of contracting excellence, or at least not a bad reputation? 
  • How can I feel a sense of pride or fulfillment in this new job? (Sometimes being the best CS/CO you can be just doesn't cut it.  This could be mission-related, mentoring others, etc.)

Good luck in whatever you choose! This is a good problem to have. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...