US Department of State Foreign Affairs Officer Jobs & Careers in Washington, DC

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10 days ago

Foreign Affairs Officer

Department Of State Washington, DC

WHO MAY APPLY: Open to all U.S. citizens "You are encouraged to read the entire announcement before you submit your application package. Your… Department Of State

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US Department of State Secretary of State John Kerry
John Kerry
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    Foreign Service for 25 Years

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    Current Employee - Foreign Service Officer  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Foreign Service Officer in Washington, DC

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time for more than 10 years


    If you have a strong motivation for public service, there are few places where you can have as much impact during a career. Working abroad, you are part of a much smaller team as compared to DC. Living abroad is great. Whether good or bad, the Department takes care of most of the complicated parts of living overseas. Housing and maintenance of your residence is included. You don't have to get your own visa. There is usually a commissary of food and alcohol so you don't have to do without your favorites from the States. It can be living in a bubble but the lack of hassle is nice.


    It is a bureaucracy. Overseas, the bureaucracy is less but the home office can be insane! Moving from place to place involves far too many steps. Each time it feels like the bureaucracy is doing it for the first time. Despite the process for entering the Foreign Service being so rigorous, there are far too many bad managers. Most career managers are good but people promoted to the deputy chief of mission often have almost no management experience and then are managing 100 people. No wonder they fail. Except at the highest levels, members of the Foreign Service don't make policy. As a result, some find themselves advocating for policies against which they strongly object. One has to make peace with that.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get more management training for mid-level officers. Actively identify bad managers earlier. Doing 360 reviews at the time of assignments is not enough. Ensure that feedback from subordinates is taken seriously. Change the evaluation system so it doesn't depend so much on the quality of the writing of your boss and doesn't overstate accomplishments and their significance.

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