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Step 3: Decide if You're Ready

Step 3: Decide if You're Ready

Kyle Stone | GovCentral Contributing Writer

Will you fit in with other government workers? Why are you interested in joining? Are you old enough to get the job you’re looking for? Do you have a criminal record? Are you a US citizen?

Take the time to carefully consider questions such as these. The more you educate yourself on the basic requirements you must meet to succeed as a US government worker, the better you’ll do when you apply. Here’s what you can learn:

● Basic Eligibility Requirements
● Reasons to Join
● Benefits Overview
● Government Worker vs. Civilian Comparison
● Learn about the Federal Hiring Process

Basic Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility requirement can vary from department to department. You should always talk with a recruiter from the specific agencies you want to apply with to ensure you know their requirements. However, our eligibility guide will get you started.

First, ask yourself: do you meet the following qualifiers? If so, you’re probably ready to proceed with your job search:

● 18 years of age
● No history of drug use
● No felony criminal history
● Be of sound mental condition
● Be of good moral character
● Ability to pass a written exam
● Ability to pass a background investigation

Do You Need a Degree?

If you’re considering a government career, but unsure about whether you have enough expertise to make the cut, you will want to take a serious look at your educational background. Would another degree help you reinvent yourself as a stronger, more professional worker? When it comes to increasing your chances of getting hired, nothing is more helpful than a formal education in a government related field. Visit GovCentral’s Degree Center for advice about which degree to pursue.

Reasons to Join

There are thousands of reasons to work for the US government. Many federal employees will tell you that they chose their career in order to answer their calling, or to fulfill civic duties – not because of the benefits, or the pay. Here’s a list of a few good reasons to get a government job:

● Answering the call to serve your country
● Personal satisfaction and pride
● Educational and monetary benefits that can last a lifetime
● Family tradition
● Devotion to a field
● Full-time employment
● Job security
● Personal improvement

Whatever you decide, when you decide to join, be sure you have a good reason to do so.

Benefits Overview

Benefits vary greatly from state to state and city to city. However, all will likely have at least the basic benefits packages available to full time employees:

● Excellent health care coverage
● Competitive Retirement and saving plans
● Paid vacations as well as paid sick days
● Paid holidays
● Travel opportunities (paid for by the government)
● Tuition reimbursement and education funding

Government vs. Civilian Comparison

A government career is like a civilian career in many ways: for the most part, you work a regular job while attempting to keep your life, family, bills, housing, car, etc. in order. You will work with other people, have a boss, and have to exhibit initiative if you want to get ahead.

There are also many unique aspects of working for the government. The work that you do directly effects the well-being of fellow citizens, as well as the United States as a nation. Considering that you are a representative of the US government, you must consistently live up to working and presentation standards, and demonstrate exemplary ethics. Take a look at some of the differences between a career as a government worker and other careers

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