As a young federal worker, “risk taker” isn’t always a positive trait. Risk means something could fail. If you’re in federal communications like me and have to read the papers each day, failure is what makes the front page. Generally, failure is not an option in government; and because it isn’t an option, neither is workforce innovation ideation and creativity.
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For some time now, federal agencies have been focused on recruitment strategies to attract young talent. Today, however, the focus is shifting to the preparation of young leaders for fast approaching leadership positions. Many managers are asking – when do we need to start developing our emerging leaders? The answer is YESTERDAY!
Everyone will have to start somewhere but what determines the pace and direction of your career will depend on how well you know yourself and how well you manage other people around you.
One year out of college, in late 2007, I began my career as a Federal intern with a decidedly unusual circumstance for downtown Washington, D.C.—a private office, complete with a floor-to-ceiling window overlooking a famous Washington hotel.
Our nation is blessed with many great citizens, in the past and in the present. So many naysayers have lamented the decline in quality of our youth, with statistics highlighting the obesity, lethargy, softness, and other traits preventing our youth from being real contributors to anything but themselves throughout their lifetimes.
As young federal employees reach the mid-to upper echelons of their government careers, many begin to question; Is there room for growth in the federal government?
In today’s ever-changing workforce, every leader has to be well trained in handling and working within multigenerational teams. The dynamics of the workforce have changed over the past several decades.
GovExec recently reported that the IRS sees a looming demographics crisis caused by low recruitment of younger workers coupled with an ever-growing share of its workforce eligible for retirement: 40% by 2018. As Commissioner Koskinen put it, “…if we don’t have enough young workers in the pipeline, the IRS will have great difficulty developing the next group of leaders it needs 5 or 10 years down the road.”
According to Gallup, Americans’ average level of confidence in 14 key U.S. institutions is only 32%. Considering public opinion of the federal government, it may seem impossible to convince the next generation to consider a career in public service. After all, who wants to join an organization whose main function seems to be a punching bag?
No, this is not a discussion about weight loss, exercise or nutritious eating. Though important factors of a healthier and happier life, this conversation is about managing change to foster a relevant balance.
As a Millennial, I value the flexibility that telework can provide. However, most government organizations don’t offer this option to their employees.
As President of Young Government Leaders (YGL), I talk to young Feds from across the government. Since the election, they want to know if they should stay in government or if the agency they work for will even continue to exist.