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Job Dissatisfaction Rises Among Younger Federal Workers

By    |   Sunday, 27 October 2013 09:04 AM EDT

Younger workers in the federal government, especially those with highly sought-after skills, are becoming increasingly disgruntled with their status and prospects.

Where mid-career employees may be willing to stay put, despite the lack of respect from the public, some millennials are fast souring on federal careers and entertaining private sector offers, The Washington Post reported.

Matt Linton, 33, works as a "digital firefighter" for NASA in California's Silicon Valley defending his agency against computer hackers. "No matter how much you love your job, everybody has their limits, their price," Linton told The Post. "If Congress wanted to force young people out of federal jobs, then they are doing a great job."

It is easier for employees in their 20s and 30s to find private-sector work because they tend to be less encumbered by family responsibilities, and often are earning relatively low salaries making professional risk-taking more attractive.

This souring on federal careers comes just as a wave of executive branch retirements is underway.

Jason Dorsey, 35, chief strategy officer for the Center for Generational Kinetics, a consulting group, told the Post that the recent government shutdown was a slap in the face of younger workers – "the perfect storm in turning millennials off from a career in government."

Statistics are not readily available, but many public employees say there are definite signs of malaise chiefly among young people that is making the private sector more alluring.

NASA's Linton, for example, could earn a higher starting salary in the private sector than he can ever hope to reach working for the government, even though he makes $122,000.

As the shutdown wore on, he began focusing on the fact that he and his wife and daughter were living on his one income, and decided he should at least listen to what private industry recruiters have to say, he told the Post.

Sean Gilfillan, 34, a decorated army officer who served in Iraq, left his State Department job in public affairs frustrated over prospects for advancement and the slow pace of getting things done in government.

"I realized that in the federal government, you don't have control over your own destiny," Gilfillan told the Post. "Even if you are an awesome officer, that doesn't really determine whether you are essential."

Related stories:

What Shutdown? Federal Government is Still Hiring

US Government Work Is Losing 'Cachet'

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Younger workers in the federal government, especially those with highly sought-after skills, are becoming increasingly disgruntled with their status and prospects. Where mid-career employees may be willing to stay put, despite the lack of respect from the public, some...
federal,workers,younger,dissatisfified
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2013-04-27
Sunday, 27 October 2013 09:04 AM
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