Great work life balance; many opportunities for growth and development; great culture
Commuting into Bethesda everyday, but telework is sometimes an option
Advice to Management
Continue to find creative ways to challenge, motivate and develop leaders
I have been working at National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute full-time (Less than a year)
Flexible work schedule, great work-life balance, very fair front office.
It's a bureaucracy-things move slowly.
Excellent workplace with diversity, great facilities, flexibility and good benefits.
Some bad principal investigators. Paperworks are slow.
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The staff was among the friendliest I've ever personally encountered. For the most part everyone worked hard, and took their jobs seriously.
Whenever the political season makes it necessary for hiring freezes or attrition, the Federal Government makes up for the lack of full-time staff by hiring contract employees. Government workers get massive benefits: health, retirement, transportation, a credit union. Contract employees get paltry health benefits, and nearly half their pay is taken out by the contracting agency.
Government should regulate just how much and for how long contracting agencies can deduct "fees" from worker's salaries, but it doesn't benefit them to do so, and thus far it's not an issue that's been politicized. As a result, you can start contract, and hope to go permanent, but the ability to do so may well have little to do with your--or your manager's--best efforts.
I was an NIH contract employee for well over a year, and my managers were wonderful, and devised many schemes to take me on full-time, but an internal coup felled my department—and my manager—which effectively ended my job.
I don't regret the experience I had there, but the lack of benefits and highly reduced pay due to agency fees meant I lived in poverty for my entire time there. Also, a real up-close and personal view of political back-stabbing: who got fired in my department and how when the political "coup" happened was positively chilling. Other stories I heard about how promotions—and demotions—occurred were equally discomfiting, and far more brutal than any power plays I've seen in business or academia.
Lots of resources for academic research.
Postdocs are not officially employed, so the only benefit we get is health insurance.
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