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Author Topic: Getting a Job with the Federal goverment  (Read 7033 times)

louiebstef

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Re: Getting a Job with the Federal goverment
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2010, 06:43:31 AM »
Haus,

Very good observations.  I can attest to many of those difficulties, making 8 deployments in my 22 years.  Like any serious undertaking in life, it tends to have challenges.  I think the best characterization of successful service would be resiliency.  What doesn't knock you out does tend to make you stronger.  The good news is that enlistees can vote with their feet (as you did) at the end of their enlistments.

That said, what I was really talking about was a single enlistment as just one possible alternative for young people.

In terms of serving as a commissioned officer in the JAG Corps, I do have a strong opinion.  JAGs (in general) serve in about the best conditions possible in the military.  Barring any moral objections, a young (or new) attorney that feels that the demands of a JAG would be just "too much" for them should probably not look to being an associate in a large firm either.  I would think 100 hour work weeks are presumably not for those with weak constitutions.
"Why be a lawyer? I'm already an ass.  Might as well go professional!"

louiebstef

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Re: Getting a Job with the Federal goverment
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2010, 06:53:34 AM »
Haus,

Just an aside--I really wasn't taking a potshot at the Corps from a comfy armchair in the wardroom.  I was originally an RP, humped through ITS and enjoyed some of the very same wonderful Corps hospitality that you did. The old-timers didn't nickname it "The Crotch" for nothing, LOL. 

"Why be a lawyer? I'm already an ass.  Might as well go professional!"

Thane Messinger

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Re: Getting a Job with the Federal goverment
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2010, 04:48:02 AM »
In terms of serving as a commissioned officer in the JAG Corps, I do have a strong opinion.  JAGs (in general) serve in about the best conditions possible in the military.  Barring any moral objections, a young (or new) attorney that feels that the demands of a JAG would be just "too much" for them should probably not look to being an associate in a large firm either.  I would think 100 hour work weeks are presumably not for those with weak constitutions.


Quite right. To anyone who thinks "Wow, this is just too much" (with any law job), it's good to heed the word here and by Morten Lund and, yes, me . . . the practice of law, while ego-boosting and sometimes thrilling, is also draining and even consuming, especially if one wants to extract the superstar salaries that endlessly attract students like moths to financial flames.

This is not to be negative . . . that's not in our bones . . . but as a fair, unwavering heads-up.

Thane.

Thane Messinger

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Re: Getting a Job with the Federal goverment
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2010, 04:52:56 AM »
Not every student has the preparation, maturity, or finances to attend college immediately after high school.  The military can be a conduit to provide those very things.


How about mandating two years of military or community service for everyone, and prohibiting college immediately after high school for anyone?

Oops.  Did I just type that?

= :   )

Morten Lund

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Re: Getting a Job with the Federal goverment
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2010, 02:03:03 PM »

How about mandating two years of military or community service for everyone, and prohibiting college immediately after high school for anyone?

Oops.  Did I just type that?

= :   )

Ironically, a permanent draft tends to reduce the value of military service (IMO), for better or worse.  In countries where the vast majority of (male) citizens serve in the military, the experience can be watered down.  There is a certain value to volunteering for something.  I generally see no particular increased maturity in "veterans" from draft countries compared to those from the same country who skipped military service - certainly nothing like the transformation that is relatively common among American servicemen. 

Perhaps it has more to to with American culture than the draft itself, but my experience has been that draftees in universal service systems tend to view it more as just another requirement, like math class, that has to be completed.

Thane Messinger

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Re: Getting a Job with the Federal government
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2010, 03:50:27 PM »

How about mandating two years of military or community service for everyone, and prohibiting college immediately after high school for anyone?

Oops.  Did I just type that?

= :   )

Ironically, a permanent draft tends to reduce the value of military service (IMO), for better or worse.  In countries where the vast majority of (male) citizens serve in the military, the experience can be watered down.  There is a certain value to volunteering for something.  I generally see no particular increased maturity in "veterans" from draft countries compared to those from the same country who skipped military service - certainly nothing like the transformation that is relatively common among American servicemen. 

Perhaps it has more to to with American culture than the draft itself, but my experience has been that draftees in universal service systems tend to view it more as just another requirement, like math class, that has to be completed.


Aloha, Morten & All -

Funny you write this, as it reminds me of a conversation years ago with an orthodox Jewish fellow who had served, cautiously, in the Israeli Army years before.  He recounted adventure after adventure avoiding serious ways of harm.  On the other hand, a recent busines article surmised that the success of Israeli technology firms derives from the Israeli military's unique culture, rewarding competence and innovation and eschewing authority based merely on rank, as in most other militaries. 

One can also look to U.S. history and point to the enlistments in World War II (which were hardly as clockwork as in modern service) as an important ingredient in social and economic growth thereafter.  One might wonder whether the economic expansion of the post-War period (and, while we're at it, the Civil Rights movement) would ever have happened without the defining culture of military service (and loss) among broad swaths of U.S. society during those earlier years.

Like math, what seems to happen is that a few stars are born (possibly more than would be discovered otherwise), many muddle through gaining bits and pieces here and there, and some scrape by or worse.  Perhaps, as with math, the challenge is to have done it.

Thane.

PS:  No comments out there about prohibiting college immediately after high school?   How about comments about prohibiting law school immediately after college?  = :   )

Morten Lund

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Re: Getting a Job with the Federal government
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2010, 04:14:17 PM »

Funny you write this, as it reminds me of a conversation years ago with an orthodox Jewish fellow who had served, cautiously, in the Israeli Army years before.  He recounted adventure after adventure avoiding serious ways of harm. 
...

PS:  No comments out there about prohibiting college immediately after high school?   How about comments about prohibiting law school immediately after college?  = :   )

Fair caveat - I would think that any military experience that involves serious risk would impart learning.  Israel may be an anomaly in this regard - compare to China or most European countries, for instance.  Regular folk in these military operations are perfectly safe (barring a significant conflict), and it is easy to avoid learning anything if one is not motivated.

Prohibiting law school after college?  If that is necessary, then I think the better fix is to make college more useful.  There has to come a point when the coddling stops and the real world sets in, and I am not sure we should seek to postpone that point further than we already have.

louiebstef

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Re: Getting a Job with the Federal government
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2010, 06:49:17 PM »
There has to come a point when the coddling stops and the real world sets in, and I am not sure we should seek to postpone that point further than we already have.

Morten and Thane,

AMEN!

We do have the benefit of hindsight in this discussion.  I think SOME sort of mandatory national service wouldn't be a bad idea.

We should STOP THE CODDLING much earlier in the educational process, maybe even in the home.  Not EVRYONE is a winner.  Yes, Johnny, there really ARE people who lose!  This is a part of LIFE.  We do a disservice to our youth by instilling in them a mountain of unrealistic expectations.
"Why be a lawyer? I'm already an ass.  Might as well go professional!"

Thane Messinger

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Re: Getting a Job with the Federal government
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2010, 07:38:40 PM »
Fair caveat - I would think that any military experience that involves serious risk would impart learning.  Israel may be an anomaly in this regard - compare to China or most European countries, for instance.  Regular folk in these military operations are perfectly safe (barring a significant conflict), and it is easy to avoid learning anything if one is not motivated.

Prohibiting law school after college?  If that is necessary, then I think the better fix is to make college more useful.  There has to come a point when the coddling stops and the real world sets in, and I am not sure we should seek to postpone that point further than we already have.


I can't disagree, Morten. 

I suppose the point made--a bit off the original point, admittedly--is that nearly everyone would benefit from service of some kind (not to mention those who would benefit directly).  Whether one will benefit greatly or modestly, like math it IS something we will use.  Military service obviously adds quite an organizational and hierarchical component, to be sure.  Those who object might work in a school, forest, prison, what have you.  Nothing like getting your hands dirty (or getting yelled at) to add that extra little bit of perspective--and, yes, CEOs should serve as janitors (ground-floor bathroom duty) one day per year. 

As to coddling, as someone who's also been part of the academic-industrial complex, my own view is perhaps a bit counter-revolutionary: it is the schools that are a large part of the coddling, mixed with and exacerbating a social impulse.  Thus, quite right that college is a good place to start.  How about Monday?

All right then.  That was a fun excursion.  = :   )

Thane.

Thane Messinger

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Re: Getting a Job with the Federal government
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2010, 07:53:35 PM »
A counter-counterpoint to ours:  those currently in search of employment are certainly not being coddled.  A douse of ice water of reality after high expectations, to be sure, but it's hardly their fault.  Indeed, one unfairness is that few who benefit from good times have any real sympathy--or even awareness--of just how different the deal is during bad times.  So, those who joined firms in robust times (and who've avoided the thinning recently) are sometimes callous--often inadvertently--towards those whose dreams are being dashed.  It's a hard and harsh line to navigate, to be sure. 

As louiebstef states, Morten and I have a luxury that makes this perhaps a too-harsh aside commentary given the market realities now.

Just wanted to state this to those out there looking for work that, yes, there are many who do know and care.  And, yes, it will get better.  In the meantime, try like hell to figure out what you like (it might not be what you assume you'll like, and it's almost certainly not what everyone else assumes they'll like) . . . and try even harder to find some toehold in that realm.  This might well include a cozy government office (or a not-so-cozy one), but it might also include, say, entrepreneurship.  If ever there were an antidote towards coddling, whining, inactivity, defeatism, you name it, that it is.  Or teach English abroad for a year.  That will change your life, guaranteed.  Or, ahem, if you still can, join the military.  It's not just a job . . . .

Best of luck, sincerely.

Thane.


There has to come a point when the coddling stops and the real world sets in, and I am not sure we should seek to postpone that point further than we already have.

Morten and Thane,

AMEN!

We do have the benefit of hindsight in this discussion.  I think SOME sort of mandatory national service wouldn't be a bad idea.

We should STOP THE CODDLING much earlier in the educational process, maybe even in the home.  Not EVRYONE is a winner.  Yes, Johnny, there really ARE people who lose!  This is a part of LIFE.  We do a disservice to our youth by instilling in them a mountain of unrealistic expectations.