Avoid the 10 Worst Government Job Blunders
Kyle Stone | GovCentral Contributing Writer
Now that you’ve landed yourself a sweet government job, you’ve got to worry about your performance. We’ve all heard stories of employees which are qualified for the work that they do, but just don’t have enough composure or self-discipline to deliver quality work, consistently.
The good news is that you can learn from the mistakes of others. Here are 10 blunders which will be especially embarrassing for workers in government fields.
10. Don’t Write Too Much
Keep your project proposals, reports, and communications concise and focused. The more you ramble on, the less your main priorities and good ideas will shine through. Often times, co-workers will be irritated by writing that is especially verbose, even if your reasoning is sound. Stick to the main points, use bullet points, and keep your arguments simple.
9. Don’t Submit Messy Work
Unless you have your own private editor, you should always proofread the work you are submitting to a higher-up. You may write the greatest proposal in the world, but if you fail to present it in a neat, professional manner, you won’t get the benefit of your hard work.
Ten Steps to a Government Job
8. Don’t Fudge Any Details for the First Year
Ideally, you’d never have to skimp on any of your work, but everybody comes to a point where they are completely over-worked, and need to ease up on one aspect of their work. However, if you’re tempted to do this within the first year of accepting a job, you’re probably taking on more responsibility than you can handle. When I say “don’t fudge details”, I mean: financials, milestones, dates, responsibilities, metrics, reports, and deadlines.
7. If You Screw Up, Be Honest About It
Everybody makes mistakes – I’m no exception myself. The problem is that it’s counter-intuitive to give up easily when you may have made a mistake – it’s much easier to ferociously defend yourself. I’ve actually seen somebody collapse into a wild theory about how somebody must have actually deleted an email from their mail list while they were in the bathroom, because they were too stubborn to admit that they had simply neglected it. The outcome is never pretty – suffer the blow to your ego, and be more careful next time.
6. Don’t Have Preconceived Notions About What Your Agency Needs
Especially if you’re just starting to work for a new department, agency, or even boss, don’t over-estimate your ability to read situations. Even if you are correct to pinpoint a lot of different problems in a given proposal, you need to think about how you are doing so – stepping on a long-time employee’s feet as a newbie will make you look like a hot shot, and will not earn you any brownie points.