If you are looking to move up the promotion ladder in your federal agency, or have a friend, nephew or sister looking for a good steady civil service job with paid holidays, vacation, stability and a pension plan, things are looking up. Ditto if you always wanted to be in the show but found there were too many talented people ahead of you. Regardless of how you voted in the recent election.
Being optimistic about your future job prospects doesn’t mean you liked (or can even stomach) what happened Tuesday. But, hey, stuff happens, right? Remember what your mother said: When somebody hands you a bag full of lemons, don’t throw them at passing cars in rage. Make lemonade. Better yet, get a cute kid to front a lemonade stand and sell lemonade to softhearted neighbors.
The good news on the federal jobs front is this: Had Hillary Clinton won the presidency, only about 4,000 political appointees would have lost their jobs. Even though they were appointed by the Obama administration, history tells us that the new president and his/her team clean house when they move into D.C., even if they are replacing someone of the same political party. But since Donald Trump got the nod there may be lots more changes, not only at the top but also in the middle and top-side of the career civil service. How so? Can he do it?
Not really. But feds can do it to themselves. Consider:
According to one pre-election survey, nearly one-out-of-three government workers responding said they would either quit their federal jobs or seriously considering leaving the career civil service if Trump was elected. That’s close to a million good, steady jobs! So did they mean it? Will they follow through, making upward mobility possible for folks like you? Add to that the number of sports stars and entertainers who said they would leave the U.S. if Trump was elected, and you have lots of top openings in an improving, but still tough, labor market.
While federal and postal union leaders must be gnashing their incisors (all but one endorsed candidate Clinton while denouncing candidate Trump) at the outcome, the leaders of the National Border Patrol Council of the AFGE must be giving each other high fives. The council represents 18,000 border patrol officers. The council’s executive board at the American Federation of Government Employees and the AFL-CIO urged members to vote Democratic.
So what is Trump — the ultimate outsider without federal or military experience — going to do to government? How is he going to shake it up? How much can he do? The short answer is: Who knows? The longer, probably ultimate answer is he’s going to have to learn the art of the compromise, not the ramrod and personal attack. And to realize, and learn from his mistakes when he loses rather than pretending that he won.
So is it gonna be Happy Days? Or Happy Daze?
Bottom Line: As with any new administration, maybe this one more than most, buckle up.