Work flexibility is amazing. The ability to wake up in the morning and decide that day if you telework or go in is nice (assuming you live in a city with an office). No one watches your hours. You are trusted to get your work done.
If you are an RPCV or non-term-limited person, your career options are limited. Also the org cares about certain initiatives and concerns while others aren't as important. For instance, it has pursued cost-recoverability (a good goal) to the detriment of other important goals such as diversity, education, knowledge management, and its mission. It seems more focused on building software than reaching its mission which it can't do by building software alone. Your experience varies wildly depending on where you are located and who manages you such that culture is inconsistent. And there are a lot of people concerned with their position and title in a hierarchy instead of just doing good work. Too many people require that they be involved in decision-making and there are examples of many anti-patterns such as seagull management, loose cannon development, micro-management, and intellectual violence. So it has a stronger allure from the outside than the inside and people easily become disenchanted. Also performance reviews are carried out in an inconsistent matter so your review depends on whom your manager is rather than on your work.
Advice to Management
I don't even know where to start. Shift the org towards spreading practice and away from (or less of ) building software. Create a culture position and a diversity position. Put more people from underrepresented groups in the senior management. Quickly address situations where employees are in bad situations. Remove bad managers or take away their reports. Standardize reviews so that personality is not involved. Make diversity a company-wide goal and priority ASAP.
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ months. I interviewed at 18F in July 2016.
Interviewed twice for two different roles. The first time was about a year ago and the second time was this Summer.
I thought 18F was trying to foster innovation in government, but after the interview process it is clear that it is not. They had a career department of defense contractor interview me the second time. It was someone who had no personality. I can't imagine who would be hiring this kind of person except for a career government contractor doing the same old type of work the same way things have always been done by government contractors. Let me add that when I say no personality, the person could not speak to the organization's culture much less the 18F's innovation culture.
It took at least 3 months for a phone screen. I realize that this is government, but this is supposedly a team trying to break the model. There is no excuse for this. You are only going to get the same kind of people who want to work for the government contractors or government if you treat your hiring process participants this way.
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