I do regret leaving. I left because my agency was moving from 4 days telework a week to a max of 1 before COVID, and I found a private sector job before I could get a transfer. I had very young kids at the time and a 2 hour commute each way to DC. Of course, a year and a half later COVID changed everything, but there was no way to know something like that would happen in 2018. I ended up moving to the west coast, and after seeing more remote options I’ve been trying to get back in. Had two interviews with references checked recently that I’m waiting to hear results.


Good luck!


I left within the last couple of years due to feeling pigeonholed into a very specific regulatory environment that I worked in and a toxic management chain. Leaving to go the private sector was a good move as I got my first management position. I’ve since returned to local government and find it even better than working for the feds. My work life balance is great, I don’t travel as much as I did when I was a fed and I make more money with better benefits than I had as a fed. That being said, I could see myself going back for the right role. I still lurk around usajobs just to see what’s out there and if things grab my interest.


Local govt as in state, city, or somewhere in between?


I work for a district that has city and county owned assets. Weird setup. City retirement.


I’ve been thinking a lot about local government work and might check it out once I achieve my FERS goals as a Fed. A lot of my family members have worked for MD state government and have had good experiences.


I appreciate this insight. I current work for the federal government, and I'm ready to go back to local government. The current job I work is 100% remote with great pay and benefits, but I'm not so sure the lack of work/life balance, inconsiderate expectations of employees, and micro-management (in a nutshell of what I am experiencing) is even worth it anymore. I'd rather just go back to the office where I did not have to deal with this.


Interesting. I had considered local govt but assumed it would be a lot less money. Maybe I'll look into what's available.


It depends on what locality most times. I think it’s also a good thing way to get good leadership experience in a shorter time than it would with the feds.


No and yes. No, because I needed to leave because my Mental health was hanging on by a thread. The new job I left for while it taught me a lot, I left within a year because of how toxic the ceo/leadership. Yes, because of security and stable income. But hoping to get back in sooner than later 🤞🏽


Similar situation - was in TSA. Didn’t want to leave the stability and everything else but TSA was insufferable.


Was in SSA


Note to self - don’t do SSA. It’s ok I’d never do the FPS Contract either providing armed security for you guys. The entire contract has a reputation for being overbearing and making the security officers miserable. I’m currently a DOT Contractor


Tbh, SSA does good work in helping people but the upper management team in my old FO was the worse. The job while it’s a lot becomes 10000000x worse with horrible leadership who doesn’t care about her subordinates. It also kills morale when they can’t get rid of those lazy employees just because they’re long timers 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ they shouldn’t have been long timers at all.


Do you think SSA OIG is an exception?


Exception to what? Would I apply to them? Perhaps. OIG, 1811 is my goal, what agency though? That’s the question I’m sorting out for myself.


If you’re goal is 1811 u should take whatever gig u can get. Anywhere. And work your way to where u want to be. DHS, border patrol and HSI are easiest way in.


I can’t say for sure but I wanted to apply for a position with SSA OIG but it requires travel and I couldn’t do it as a single mom. When they had the OIG agents come to our office it seemed like a good group. There isn’t a lot of vacancies for those positions tho (at least not in our area)


I don’t regret leaving my agency, but I would strongly consider going back to being a fed if I had the opportunity. I do plan to go back eventually, since I worked 9 years early career and a return would likely increase my high 3 dramatically.


Nope! I. No one on the federal side would give me a chance at the job I really wanted and the contract company gave me a chance. Also, when my dad died and I had to move home quickly, there was no way I could do that as a GS. The company had me doing the same job up here within weeks. I've been able to interview for my current job as a fed (a few offers, but declined for various reasons) which is great.


Well I left TSA, I didn’t want to leave the federal system overall but TSA is TSA….it has a rep for a reason…. I’m now a federal contractor doing armed security and quickly getting tired of doing security. I want to do something actually meaningful. I’m thinking 1811 or some other form of “service”


Liver issues and my 2 1/2 hour commute was not worth if to my health


Ending in the fed is more important that staying. Health insurance (last 5 years) and high 3 are the end goals to retire early with good health care.


Yes, I left a WL11 job where I was super proficient at to work for a defense contractor. The money was so great but the job was terrible. I'm back to the gov but I'm not a lead anymore.


Supervising in a fed job is terrible. I was lucky to find a job at my current GS level, but no supervising! Hopefully, I'll be switching to the new role in another month or so.


It can be, my first team was excellent. I still talk to all of them as my friends. 2nd and 3rd teams were some of the worst people I've met.


I will say "it depends". I worked for Finance/Accounting area and did see people left and came back. No need to regret


I’m going to leave after 5 years. You can’t survive with fed job in California


Fax. Get your 5 years. Leave. And go back for 3-10 years b4 retirement.


My life is much better in the private sector, in spite of my benefits being worse.


Nope! Was at SSA for 10 months and jumped. One of the worst jobs of my life.


We had someone leave and immediately regretted it and wants to come back. As a contractor, you're forced to play nice with your feds, even if they are incompetent or just assholes. You also always run the risk of the contract not being renewed each year/POP.




What do you mean by not listening to people trying to keep you in place. I'm a GS14 likely about to shift agencies. My leadership could care less, but I'm concerned about those I work with day-to-day worrying about my departure/trying to convince me to stay. Was your experience similar?


In 2014 I was a pathways intern for NRCS. I left it after about 8 months because the manager I had was terrible and just treated me in the worst way I have ever been treated. The internship was in this small town in central north west Illinois with absolutely nothing to do but work. The mental gymnastics I went through every day to try and get by just took its toll on me and from there I went to work in local government. Some days I look back and wonder what it would have been like to stick it out but deep down I know I did the right thing. Working for state government has been a blessing and I hope to have a long career with it.


I have the same experience. Since management is EVERYTHING I wish they considered how unfit managers lead to low retention and actually did something about it. Being under 30 and trying to shine in a career with the Feds will automatically piss off your supervisors 50% of the time.


Nope. I retired. My pension & TSP are good enough to live on.


To many stupid meeting and I could as a contractor to the government make more pay, get the same benefits(excluding pension but pay made up for that and plenty more), and work the same hours. Only came back to government because of wanting to live in a place and the government converted all jobs from contractor to government.


I regret leaving an FV-G position with the FAA, I’m now a GS-5 with USCIS. The work at USCIS is better, but pay is no where close!


Yes and no. I had the same job for six years, no pay raises and poor benefits. Some of that was the nature of the job (FEMA Reservist/DAE). Towards the end of my tenure, I was being considered for a more permanent role (GS-11) but it would have required (even more) traveling, and I was newly married at the time. Decided to decline the offer and stay home and return to the private sector. I missed the work so I decided to go back to school after I left the organization. Hopefully In the near future I will come back to the world of emergency management (ideally local or state govt, but would consider all possibilities).