Life after COVID-19: Finding (and keeping) a federal job

A high percentage of the federal workforce is literally risking disease or death daily, as part of their jobs. Every day, 24/7.

They are heroes who’ve always been there, but whom many of us are just noticing for the first time. Most federal civil servants are either working from home or in a furloughed status. But all are getting paid.

By contrast at least 40 million American workers have been fired or furloughed and are seeking unemployment benefits. Many have been helped with temporary loans from the federal government.  But there are some businesses that aren’t coming back — ever. Many of the relatively few companies that offered workers defined benefit pensions have pulled the plug on those programs, cutting off some workers in mid-career. They may have jobs when they come back but any retirement nest egg they have will have to come in whole or part from them.

A lot of feds who, pre-pandemic, were thinking about going into the private sector may have revised plans. Many people in the private sector, who maybe once looked down on bureaucrats, are suddenly anxious to join the ranks. As federal agencies get more authority to dismiss “nonproductive” workers, job turnover could increase. More openings for more outside candidates.

So what’s next?

Spend some time with Kathy Troutman who wrote the book, literally, on getting and keeping a federal job. She’s expanded her decades-old operation from the time people sent in paper resumes to the various avenues available today to find and secure a federal job. Where to start?

Kathy will be my guest today on our Your Turn radio show. It airs live at 10 a.m. EDT on or on 1500 AM if you are in the Washington, D.C. area. The show will also be archived on our home page so you can listen again or refer it to a friend or neighbor. Or listen again yourself. It can’t hurt and it could be the most valuable hour you spend all year.

On the federal job front, news is mostly good-to-super good. Uncle Sam is hiring even now.  And post-pandemic programs, now set in law, mean more good federal jobs in the future — if you know where to look and what to bring with you. I asked Kathy for a short introduction to today’s show and as is her style, Kathy doesn’t “approach” issues — she overwhelms them.

Checkout her preview of the situation:

“The feds are hiring – big time. Between the regular government operations, and all the new COVID-19 oversight programs, and the cliff of retirements, the government is a regular revolving door of hiring! If you ever wanted to work for the U.S. government, now is the time.

“In D.C. alone there are 2,206 announcements on Many of these announcements are for multiple hires! There are 7,702 jobs open to the public today:

  • Total fed employee jobs open today: 16,110
  • Jobs open for competitive service (current feds, [Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998] veterans, military spouses and other hiring authorities); 3,825
  • Jobs open to veterans: 3,677
  • Jobs open to military spouses: 3,046
  • Jobs open to people with disabilities: 2,159
  • Student and recent grad Pathways positions: 247

“What’s new in government regarding federal jobs? Well, there are 497 COVID-19 jobs posted right now on Most of them are direct hire, which means they are hiring faster than usual:

  • Department of Veterans Affairs: 158
  • Veterans Health Administration: 132
  • Department of Health and Human Services: 134
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 36
  • Indian Health Services: 95
  • Defense Department: 138

“Is the government hiring through all of this? The human resources specialists are working harder than ever to review resumes and documents and give the best list of candidates to managers.

“What are the jobs are most prevalent right now?:

  • Pathways Internships for Students and Recent Graduates: 128
  • 0201 Human Resources: 217
  • 2210 IT Specialist: 936
  • 0500 – accounting positions: 1,500
  • 0500 – Budget: 1,650
  • Claims positions (search for the word ‘claims’): 1,224
  • Public Health: 1,471
  • Security: 2,000
  • Safety (including Consumer Safety): 3,644″

So there — ask a simple question, you get Kathy on steroids! But you get the idea, right? Listen to the show today and if you have questions send them to me before showtime at

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Amelia Brust

The origins of lighting candles on a birthday cake are not clear, but a commonly held theory is that the practice comes from Ancient Greece. Round cakes to honor Artemis, goddess of the moon, the wilderness and the hunt. The lit candles on the cake represented the glow of the moon, and the smoke carried peoples’ prayers and wishes to the heavens.

Source: ProFlowers

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Your Turn with Mike Causey


Learn about everything from pay, benefits and retirement, to buyouts, COLAs and pay freezes. Call the show live Wednesdays from 10-11 a.m. at 202-465-3080 with your questions. Dial 605-562-0264 to listen live from any phone. Follow Mike on Twitter and send him an email with your questions and comments. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Podcast One.

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Sep 24, 2021 Close Change YTD*
L Income 23.2215 -0.0094 4.43%
L 2025 12.0371 -0.0091 8.33%
L 2030 42.6114 -0.0422 10.54%
L 2035 12.8142 -0.0141 11.50%
L 2040 48.5542 -0.0585 12.46%
L 2045 13.3168 -0.0175 13.28%
L 2050 29.2066 -0.0408 14.12%
L 2055 14.4012 -0.0223 17.18%
L 2060 14.4012 -0.0222 17.18%
L 2065 14.4012 -0.0222 17.18%
G Fund 16.6687 0.0006 0.88%
F Fund 20.9835 -0.0368 -0.55%
C Fund 67.0131 0.0988 21.56%
S Fund 85.4976 -0.3354 16.31%
I Fund 39.3441 -0.193 11.70%
Closing price updated at approx 6pm ET each business day. More at
* YTD data is updated on the last day of the month.