If you’re got a long way from retirement eligibility, all the talk about the baby boomers’ retirement
gets a little boring. After all, what does it mean to you?
Well, the jobs from which the boomers will be retiring will more likely than not need to be filled. The federal government fills a higher percentage of jobs from among current employees than do most private sector employees. Therefore the boomer retirements could mean a chance for you to move up.
There is an old saying that “success is where preparation and opportunity meet”. We have much less control over opportunity than we do over preparation. The opportunity will arise when jobs open up due to retirement. We don’t know exactly when the jobs will open up, but we do know that, eventually, they will. We just need to control the preparation.
We need to be prepared and competitive for promotion either before the position becomes available, or by the time it becomes available. Being almost prepared, or just beginning to prepare when the opportunity presents itself won’t do us any good.
Here are some suggestions as to what you can do to become prepared:
- Find out the qualifications for the job(s) in which you are interested. Then make sure you meet or exceed them. Job descriptions (which you can view on-line or request from HR) list the qualifications in detail; so do job announcements.
- Prepare one or more federal résumés that highlight your qualifications, abilities and results. FEDweek’s book The Complete Guide to Writing a Federal Resume is a good place to get advice that will make your résumé stand out from the crowd. These days, “résumé” may mean “on-line application”. The skills that help you develop a good résumé; help you with your applications as well.
- Get yourself noticed in your current job. Many agencies have internal promotion procedures that place an emphasis on your current performance.
If you’re a manager, executive or human resources specialist who is concerned about finding replacements for those employees in your agency who you expect to retire, you may wish to start a career development program in your agency, office or group.
Managers have an important role and responsibility in the development of new talent. A career development program can help you fulfill that role.
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