I have 10 years of civil-servant experience working for the Department of Defense/Department of the Navy. In the days of downsizing of the federal government I feel that it is time to begin seeking a job in the private sector. The problem is I don’t feel that my work experience as a GS-9 Quality Assurance Evaluator has made me particularly marketable outside the government. You see the government has its own set of rules its own politics and I’m afraid that even though I am very good at what I do I wouldn’t be able to translate that to the outside. Any suggestions?
The Career Doctor responds:
While it would certainly help if the rules and policies were the same the key is that you have mastered the skills related to quality assurance – and that they can easily be transferred to other jobs and other employers thus your opportunities may be better than you think.
I would assume you also have a large list of companies that produced products for the Department of Defense/Department of the Navy. These companies seem a logical choice to investigate for potential openings since they have to produce products within those set of rules you know so well.
So first you need to determine if there really is a need to leave your current job. Second whether you want to stay in a similar line of work with a defense contractor or take the skills you’ve developed and move into a different industry. Third once you decided these issues you then need to plan your job search including developing a list of potential employers using your network developing/honing your resume polishing your interviewing skills writing a dynamic cover letter etc.
You might want to visit Quintessential Careers: Marketability Test for Job-Seekers to see how prepared you for beginning you job search.