Managing Your Government Career: Success Strategies That Work

Overview

If job security, an attractive array of benefits, great prospects for professional growth, and the opportunity to help other citizens sound good to you, then you may be ready for a career in government. But without the right guidance, finding and getting hired for the position that’s right for you could be a tricky business—not to mention succeeding and thriving in your role, and taking advantage of future opportunities.

A practical guide to flourishing in a challenging but ...

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Managing Your Government Career: Success Strategies That Work

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Overview

If job security, an attractive array of benefits, great prospects for professional growth, and the opportunity to help other citizens sound good to you, then you may be ready for a career in government. But without the right guidance, finding and getting hired for the position that’s right for you could be a tricky business—not to mention succeeding and thriving in your role, and taking advantage of future opportunities.

A practical guide to flourishing in a challenging but rewarding job sector, Managing Your Government Career gives you valuable advice on:

• Deciding whether working for the government is right for you

• Understanding the differences between federal, state, and local levels

• Applying, interviewing for, and getting the job you want

• Making the best use of the training offered

• Understanding the culture

• Becoming familiar with local politics

• Making yourself valuable

• Fostering relationships with the right mentors

• Fluidly transitioning up the ladder

Packed with indispensable guidance, this is a unique and highly strategic resource that will help you get the government job you want and prosper throughout the rest of your career.

Praise for Stewart Liff’s Managing Government Employees:

“Stewart Liff provides many great tactics, case studies, and stories that debunk common perceptions that government managers have of the government’s personnel system…. This book should be required reading for all supervisors in government.”

— GovLeaders.org

“In Managing Government Employees, Stewart Liff offers dozens of techniques on how to meet and defeat the several challenges and stressful situations that govern­ment supervisors may encounter. Use these tactics and strategies as a solution if you are frustrated by government bureaucracy.”

— Training.com

“An extraordinarily credible endeavor…a ‘must-read’ for those contemplating entering management.”

— Graziadio Business Report

Stewart Liff began his career with the federal government in 1974. He is a winner of the President’s Council on Management Improve­ment Award and the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service. His books include Managing Government Employees and Seeing Is Believing. He lives in Saugus, California.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“For those within government, the book provides an good resource into the inner workings, looking for that next job when you get tired or bored of your current position, seek advancement, or prepare for retirement... If you are fed up with your current job, or worse yet, facing a pink slip, then this book is just what you need.” --Oh My Gov (http://ohmygov.com)

"Recommended for anyone interested in government and/or employment in federal government.” – Houston Chronicle

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814410998
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 2/18/2009
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,413,935
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Stewart Liff

Stewart Liff (Saugus, CA) began his career with the federal government in 1974. He is a winner of the President’s Council on Management Improvement Award and the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service. His books include Managing Government Employees (978-0-8144-0887-2).

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Read an Excerpt

Preface

THIS BOOK IS INTENDED as a companion piece to my

last book, Managing Government Employees: How to Motivate Them, Deal

With Difficult Issues and Produce Tangible Results (AMACOM, February

2007). Whenever I gave presentations about that book, people remarked

that it was about time someone wrote a book dealing with the problems

that are unique to the government. It seems that the book has struck a

nerve, and I continue to hear that officials in different sectors of the

government are using it to help them manage their employees.

For example, Managing Government Employees is the one book that

the state of New Jersey recommends for all candidates who are taking the

Sheriff’s Promotional Exam. I am truly grateful for the reaction to this

book, since my goal in writing it was to improve the way government is

managed.

After completing it, I had no intention of doing a follow-up book.

However, since the first book was written from a ‘‘top-down’’ perspective

and many people were urging me to write one from a ‘‘bottom-up’’ point

of view, I finally decided to tackle the subject of Managing Your Government

Career.

This book is organized into three parts. Part 1 addresses whether

working for the government is right for you and, if it is, how to get into

the government. Part 2 discusses how to get off to a good start, build a

good relationship with your supervisor, and develop some perspective.

The last part is for people who have been with the government for a while

and are trying to make the most of their career. It is the most philosophical

of the three parts, and it talks about looking down the road, deciding

whether management is right for you, balancing your work and family

lives, and personal growth. Feel free to read the book from beginning to

end, or to start with the part that best corresponds to the current stage of

your career.

If there is one overriding theme of this book, it is you need to be in

charge of both your career and your life. I firmly believe that the choices

you make ultimately determine how successful you will be. Moreover, I

also believe that the best way to make sound choices is by (1) being aware

of the ramifications of those choices and (2) living your lives (business

and personal) according to a consistent set of core values.

Of course, that is easier said than done, because life is not simple,

and neither is working for the government. However, if you follow the

guidance contained in this book, which is supplemented by many realworld

examples, I am certain that you will have an excellent career and

avoid the mistakes that so many other people have made and continue to

make.

Stewart Liff

California

April 26, 2008

Excerpted from Managing Your Government Career by Stewart Liff. Copyright © 2009 by Stewart Liff. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission.

All rights reserved. http://www.amacombooks.org.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

PART 1 Getting In

(Arriving) 1

Chapter 1 Should I Work for the Government and if So,

Where? 3

Is the Government Right for You? 4

Federal Versus State and Local 25

Conclusion 31

Chapter 2 How Do I Get In? 32

How to Get a Government Job 33

Scanning Job Announcements 35

Your Application 45

Submitting Your Application 48

The Interview 53

PART 2 Getting Off to a Good Start

(Surviving) 57

Chapter 3 In the Beginning 59

Making a Good First Impression 59

Fitting In 69

Office Romance 74

Personal Business 75

Should You Join the Union? 79

Chapter 4 Your Relationship with Your Superiors 82

Understanding Your Supervisor 83

Building a Good Relationship 98

Working for a Difficult Boss 106

Chapter 5 Developing Perspective 114

Understanding What Is Really Going On 114

Familiarize Yourself with the Local Politics and Strategy 118

Develop a Cadre of Mentors 121

Build a Network 126

Act Appropriately 128

How to Complain 135

PART 3 Plotting Your Career

(Thriving) 139

Chapter 6 Looking Down the Road 141

Where Do I Want to Be in Five Years? Ten Years? Twenty Years? 141

Do Not Focus Exclusively on One Career Path 145

Going Into Management/Getting Exposure to Multiple Fields 147

Headquarters or the Field? 149

Staff or Line? 152

What About More Education? 155

Switching Between the Public and Private Sectors 158

Find Your Niche: Learn How to Think Creatively and Competitively 161

Chapter 7 Management 165

Is Management for Me? 165

Preparing to Go Into Management 174

How to Become a Supervisor 179

Getting Into Upper Management 181

The Challenges of Upper-Level Management 184

Chapter 8 Balancing Your Work Life and Your Family Life 190

It’s a Job 191

Don’t Treat the Job as if It’s Life and Death 197

Follow Your Passion 200

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle 201

When Things Are Not Going Well at Work 204

Are You Willing to Move? 206

When and How to Retire 209

Chapter 9 Personal Development 213

Engage in Growth Activities 213

Study the Lives of Successful People 221

Who Is Going to Define You? 225

Smell the Roses 228

Notes 231

Index 247

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An informative guide to getting the most from your government career

    Are you thinking of a government career? If so, consider this parable: When sorority sisters Bailey and Brianna graduated, Bailey went to work for the ABCD Corporation at a nice salary. She picked up a promotion and raise after a year. Unfortunately, Bailey also picked up an exotic disease during a business trip and spent three weeks in the hospital. With no healthcare coverage from work, she went into debt paying her medical bills. Shortly afterward, ABCD announced layoffs. As a new hire, Bailey was one of the first to go. Brianna joined a U.S. federal government agency at a lesser salary than Bailey's, but her healthcare plan is golden, and she never frets about layoffs. Does that mean you should apply for a government job instead of one in the private sector? In today's environment, when all jobs are hard to get, business pays better, but government jobs are more secure and the benefits just don't quit. If you want to learn about U.S. government work, Stewart Liff's book - based on his 32-year ascent through federal agencies - will tell you everything you need to know, including how to avoid getting tangled in red tape. getAbstract recommends this useful guide to people contemplating a career in the public sector and to civil service recruiters.

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