Many federal employees are being forced to consider the prospects of private sector employment or retirement due to a variety of reasons these days. Between buy outs, furloughs of varying lengths, downsizing, and retirement, the federal workforce is changing rapidly. So whether it is during the middle of your career or the end, how do you keep an eye on what life could look like when you move on?
Some consult back to their old agencies, some retire and travel, others start businesses of their own or volunteer in organizations for which they feel strongly. All of these endeavors have the same features in that they require time, dedication, capital, and education on the part of the individual. The good news is that federal employment comes with numerous opportunities to learn new skills that might improve your current career while possibly preparing you for your next one.
If you are in a retirement transition phase OPM offers a workforce and succession planning section that outlines a variety of training programs on business efficiency.
There are topics on mentoring, changing workforce requirements that might be relevant to running a small business in the private sector, and even communication training. You can email HR to see if you qualify.
Another opportunity is a recently revamped site called www.benefits.gov. This is administered by the federal government to organize the hundreds of benefit programs available of all kinds. Given that you are currently working for the government not only might you qualify for certain programs that would help your post federal life but you may already be familiar with the agency offering the program. Go through their confidential questionnaire to see the relevant programs to your goals.
Another way to prepare for your future plans is to see if you can adjust your work schedule to allow free time to learn about the industry in which you wish to work. Perhaps your agency will pay for school or training classes? Networking opportunities are always a good idea to meet people already in the profession to which you want to transition. From a financial view there is work involved in verifying you have an emergency cash reserve set up and the capital you need for project development. If you will be working part-time, an analysis can be done to see if your pension, savings, and Social Security are sufficient to cover your basic life expenses.
As always, if you would like to discuss your goals as it relates to this topic or any other topic feel free to give me a call or email.