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Navigating the Federal Job Market James MacDonald Economic Research Service U.S. Department of Agriculture Presentation for the Session on Finding a Job.

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Presentation on theme: "Navigating the Federal Job Market James MacDonald Economic Research Service U.S. Department of Agriculture Presentation for the Session on Finding a Job."— Presentation transcript:

1 Navigating the Federal Job Market James MacDonald Economic Research Service U.S. Department of Agriculture Presentation for the Session on Finding a Job at the ASSA Meetings AAEA Annual Meeting, Seattle, August 14, 2012

2 Applying for Federal Jobs Dual/Parallel Processes – Traditional academic style Process Ads in JOE, AAEA newsletter, etc Interviews at AAEA, ASSA Visits to agency – Official Federal hiring policies and procedures – Follow them both

3 ASSA is the Primary Job Market Enormous, alienating, and efficient – Check for AAEA functions Most federal agencies have adjusted – Some ag econ departments have not – We want vita and job market paper well before We do cold interviews, but not many

4 Once You Get an ASSA Interview Learn about the agency first – Go to the website; ask faculty & friends – Try to envision the nature of the work At your interview – Be prepared to discuss your JMP – Ask about the work How would a month be spent? How do assignments get chosen? How is success measured & promotion attained? – Your goals: what do you want to work on? After your dissertation In five years

5 After Your ASSA Interview Normal agency timing... – Two weeks, and then staggered, for visits Most visits will be like academicseminar/interviews – But, uncertainty abounds – Dont be afraid to call – Dont burn bridges – Do have your official procedure completed

6 Top 10 Reasons To Work at ERS 1. Influence on Policy 2. The ERS Team 3. Modern Facilities 4. State-of-the-Art Support 5. Location, Location, Location -- The Capital City 6. Publish and Flourish 7. Seminars Abound 8. Career Building 9. Competitive Salaries and Benefits 10. Work-life balance

7 But is That What You Want? Whats Not at ERS? Make, and advise on, policy decisions Manage federal programs Super-competitive salaries Free choice of research projects – ERS is food, farm, rural, resource – Youre constrained within them Heres where career-building comes in

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10 Start Early & Be Prepared! Contact information James MacDonald Chief, Agricultural Structure & Productivity Branch USDA Economic Research Service


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