As I prepare to leave Vermont for NYC it is time for a discussion of how the hiring practices work in the federal government. Positions are graded by expeience and a questionere. Your questions are graded according to your answers.
I was rejected for the job I currently work because I was less than a week short of experience when the job was posted. The government is inflexible with arbitrary dates, but that is government. I accepted a job in NYC as a 9 but now I am an 11. I will be graded as a 9 step 5 and lose almost zero money in six pay periods I resume being an 11 again. I also get credit for the time served as an 11 deducted from my advance In this case six pay periods. Thus after my 90 day penalty I would be an 11 with only 40 weeks to serve until my 12 grade is reached instead of 52. I also must wait an extra three months to get an extra hour a week vacation.
My peers who made the 11 grade are home free. They are exempt from tests and will almost be hired to the last person. Those who were nine and below must pass a written test. I passed that test a while back and was eligible for hire. However as the candidates have not even been scheduled to take the exam there is a possibility they can be terminated when their terms expire. My application can not even be evaluated until all others are tested and graded. It does not look like this will be done before the terms end. The employees may be extended again but this is not a way to live month to month.
Meanwhile I made my own destiny and applied to NYC which had far and away the most openings. Even so it is rare that a nine will get hired at this time. I am off the up and down cycle
largely due to the help of author Mark Alexander. Alexander's basic style is adaptable and perfect for high pressure timed exams. To his credit, Alexander was quite amused by my creative use of his book. Two other people have passed using Alexander's style as a guide.
The moral of the story is do not wait for destiny to decide your fate, take matters into your own hand. When faced with a task try to use every tool at your disposal to improve your odds in a pool that is often stacked against you.
Beamish in 08