Sunday, August 20, 2006

The elusive animal

On Friday I went down to the local CPO (Civilian Personnel Office) to register for a priority placement program. Its set up for DoD Civilians displaced either like me due to a spouse moving, due to the 5 year rule requiring them to go back to the States or due to a reduction of the workforce.

While registering and talking, she was polite but well to be honest she seemed like the doomsday sayer when she basically told me that work here at this base is few and far between. I worked for 5 1/2 years in Germany. I worked my way up from a GS-05 to a GS-11. Basically I worked from an intern to a journeyman. So it was quite the blow to hear that I would be lucky to get a GS-09. If I end up taking a job at the GS-05 grade level it will be about a $10,000 loss in pay.

The money isn't the issue perse but having to work my arse off to find a job in my career field of HR to only come to a new duty station to end up probably taking what ever I can get. See, the issue is that working overseas doesn't give you status in Federal employment. You then have 3 years once you hit the states to get a job, work three years and then you can come and go in the Federal workforce for the rest of your working life.

Why would I want to stay government or Federal? We have 9 years to go and several more moves. At least the GS world once you get your foot in the door you can usually find your job at the next duty station. My frustration is that even with my old boss, my current boss, my division chief and my director sending nice emails and my resume to two places here - there is no work and its not looking good.

The other issue is trying to find a job here in the private sector. Employers aren't stupid. They see the foreign address figure out that I am military and some how I just never get offered a position. It's really hard to prove that kind of discrimination and well its not that hard to blame a manager who may end up having me as an employee for what 1-2 years.

So I am in that stuck stage that I have read about and heard from a myriad of military spouses - so very often we are over educated and under employed. The Girl took six months to find herself a job in Germany and although its not quite in her career field she's happy to be doing something that uses at least some of her skills. It is so frustrating for those who want to work outside the home only to be told that you will always start at the bottom over and over again regardless of what you have been doing for the past six years. I guess I wish I had more of the notion to figure out something I like to do at home but until I find it I'd like find work that utilizes my skills, knowledge and education.

So work in my field may be an elusive animal and I Elmer Fudd waiting to capture my prize.


LorelieLong said...

Don't let 'em get to you. When I got here, I was told finding a job was virtually impossible, esp with my lack of qualifications. It took me 6 months but I found a position that even had room to advance. You'll find something good.

ArmyArtilleryWife said...

Good Luck! Sorry it is such a pain...being a milspouse really does require persistence and thinking outside of the box career-wise sometimes. Hope it works out well.