Congratulations on beginning your career in public service. Working for the good of your fellow citizens can be the most rewarding way to spend your days. As you get started, it’s useful to note how working for the federal government differs from working in the private sector. You want to be aware of these differences and follow these tips so you can get off to a strong start and maximize your contributions:
1. Be Aware of Your Employment Terms
According to GovLoop, most new employees have a one-year probationary period. Be sure to understand your starting classification, how you will be reviewed and how you might advance once you have secured your position.
The Hatch Act, passed in 1939, is designed to keep partisanship out of federal programs. It does this by limiting federal employees’ political activities. It also, according to the Office of Special Counsel, ensures “federal employees are advanced based on merit,” not on affiliation with a particular party. Consult the Special Counsel’s resource page for more info.
2. Balance Leading with Team-Building
You might be drawn to public service because you want to make a difference in people’s lives, and you might have a lot of ideas about how to help. You can demonstrate leadership when you see fit, but you also need to take direction from more experienced team members when appropriate. In a big entity like the federal government, getting real work done demands collaboration. Have patience and look for ways to support the group effort even when that takes you out of the limelight. Your reliability will be appreciated and pay off in the long run.
3. Maximize Your Federal Employee Benefits
Benefits may make up a larger portion of your total compensation than they would in a comparable private sector job. Thus, it’s worth the effort to fully understand the benefits you are eligible to receive and how they correlate with your particular position, age, family status, goals, and preferences.
As you interview and get oriented, take notes about the benefits offered. Then follow up and access the basics, such as health insurance, as well as more specialized possibilities that may become available over time, like the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. If the government will match your Thrift Savings Plan contributions, consider having as much as you can afford taken out of your paychecks. This way, your public service can be both gratifying and fiscally rewarding.
Do You Need Professional Liability Insurance as a Federal Employee?
It’s possible for any Federal employee to face allegations against their conduct at some point. In fact, this possibility is so important that qualifying employees can have up to 50 percent of FEPLI premiums reimbursed by the federal government. Qualified federal employees include supervisors, managers, and people involved in law enforcement.
Available professional liability insurance covers up to $2,000,000 of liability coverage and up to $400,000 in administrative defense coverage. This may help pay for your legal defense. In our litigious society, such coverage is prudent.
Let Starr Wright USA Help You Make the Most of Your Federal Career
While you are just beginning your federal career, Starr Wright USA has been providing insurance protection to government employees for over half a century. We are the leaders in providing professional liability insurance for federal employees and have never stopped innovating.
Keep your good start going by applying online for coverage or by contacting us with your questions.
Article sponsored by Starr Wright USA.
Starr Wright USA, a marketing name for Starr Wright Insurance Agency, Inc. and its affiliate(s) is an insurance agency specializing in insurance solutions for federal employees and federal contractors. For more information, visit WrightUSA.com. Starr Wright USA is a division of Starr Insurance Companies, which is a marketing name for the operating insurance and travel assistance companies and subsidiaries of Starr International Company, Inc. and for the investment business of C.V. Starr & Co., Inc.