Clearance - Chess Move

johndoeejohndoee Member Posts: 152 ■■■□□□□□□□
Would you take a significantly lower paying job for a higher level clearance? 

(This isn't my exact situation)

Example 1:
You have a secret. But if you accept an offer, you'll get put in for a TS/SCI. That catch is, it's a (significant) pay cut...but you know down the road the TS/SCI will yield a pay RAISE. It's a chess move, not checkers.  Stay a year at the job then be out...

Comments

  • devilbonesdevilbones Member Posts: 318 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Maybe.  If taking the pay cut will not put you in a financial constraint, it could be a good move.  Money is not the only consideration when selecting a position. 
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,544 Admin
    edited September 2019
    Lotsa government positions needing a higher clearance don't pay very well. Only in the private sector will you find consistent high pay for high clearance. If you are moving from gov to private then it might be a good move.
  • mizterkewlmizterkewl Member AgrabahMember Posts: 122 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I had a coworker do this. He wasn't sure about the decision. My advice was, if  it's not going to hurt you financially to take the pay cut. I think the one year sacrifice would be worth it AND hopefully you get cleared in a year.
  • mikey88mikey88 CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others Member Posts: 486 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Money is not the only thing to consider. Are you okay with being re-investigated every 5-6 years with your neighbors/friend/coworker/dog interviewed? How about travel restrictions etc? It's not for everyone.

    If you are in DC area it may be worth it, but def not with a pay cut. 
    Certs: CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others | 2019 Goals: Cloud Sec/Scripting/Linux

  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,544 Admin
    edited September 2019
    They only do the heavy investigation for the initial TS/SSBI clearance and SF-86. After that, they keep track of you financially, legally, and a few other ways for your 5-year renewals. If you step off the straight-and-narrow even once then your clearance gets downgraded. I had this happen to a friend who got into a bar-fight. The legal action against him caused his clearance to be reduced to a point where he was no longer cleared to work on his current project and he was eventually forced to move on to other work. You gotta be a "Clean Marine" to maintain your DoD trustworthiness.
  • mizterkewlmizterkewl Member AgrabahMember Posts: 122 ■■■□□□□□□□
    JDMurray said:
    They only do the heavy investigation for the initial TS/SSBI clearance and SF-86. After that, they keep track of you financially, legally, and a few other ways for your 5-year renewals. If you step off the straight-and-narrow even once then your clearance gets downgraded. I had this happen to a friend who got into a bar-fight. The legal action against him caused his clearance to be reduced to a point where he was no longer cleared to work on his current project and he was eventually forced to move on to other work. You gotta be a "Clean Marine" to maintain your DoD trustworthiness.
    Dang that's crazy! Does that happen with other clearance levels or are they just stricter because it's a TS?
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,544 Admin
    It can happen with any type of clearance. An awarded security clearance is an established level of trustworthiness of your behavior and character. If you violate that trust to a point where you are considered to be dishonest, unreliable, extortable/blackmailable, etc. then you will lose clearance levels/types. Financial and social credit scores, such as those used in China, can be likened to civilian clearance levels.
  • advanex1advanex1 CASP, MCSA 2016, MCSA 2012, CCNA, Security+, Network+, Project+, Server+ Member Posts: 364 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I agree with most others. I'm looking to take about a $50k paycut for an upgraded clearance and being home 75% of the time instead of being gone 100%. Depends on what everything means to you. TS/SCI doesn't necessarily guarantee you more money. More people have TS/SCI's than you think and it doesn't necessarily mean you get a premium.
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  • balancebalance MBA,CISM,CISSP,CASP,CEH,CSM,ITIL V3 Found,Net+,Sec+ Dallas, Fort Worth Texas Member Posts: 39 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Be careful here. 
     
    It will take time to process  .  You could take the pay cut , start the process of TS   and then jump to another position which will hold you open investigation  ( if you could find more pay) .

    Its not a simple yes or no.

    Also, Cleared work pays much less ... you do have the safety net.  If you can jump in and out of the sector, that is the best bet. 
  • johndoeejohndoee Member Posts: 152 ■■■□□□□□□□
    JDMurray said:
    Lotsa government positions needing a higher clearance don't pay very well. Only in the private sector will you find consistent high pay for high clearance. If you are moving from gov to private then it might be a good move.
    Exactly. You know what Grade/Step you are going to be in (or are already in) and how to get to the next level in the government sector. What clearance you have, that more than likely everyone in your office has has nothing to do with promotion. 
  • johndoeejohndoee Member Posts: 152 ■■■□□□□□□□
    edited September 2019
    mikey88 said:
    Money is not the only thing to consider. Are you okay with being re-investigated every 5-6 years with your neighbors/friend/coworker/dog interviewed? 1. If you have nothing to hide, what is the problem?  2. It (can be) periodic now, that for sure in X amount of years I'll have to do a re-investigation is old news. They can do it before that X date. Before, the date was set in stone. 3. I think your years are a bit off, especially depending on level of clearance and sponsoring organization. They have gotten away from the How about travel restrictions etc? It's not for everyone.

    If you are in DC area it may be worth it, but def not with a pay cut. 

    Straight from the horses mouth:

    https://www.opm.gov/faqs/QA.aspx?fid=cb3cafac-1e73-4a6b-bd88-a3adad355390&pid=4541c368-f9b5-4aac-acff-a4ec05e8d38d

    https://www.clearancejobsblog.com/periodic-reinvestigation-deferment-process/
    Here is a short list of countries I've been to in the past 5 years:
    1. Thailand
    2. Indonesia
    3. Germany
    4 Dominican Republic 
    5. Costa Rica
    6. Panama
    6. UAE
    7. Laos
    8. Brazil.

    That is just off the top of my head. I am still eying Egypt, Kenya, and Australia before years end. 

    I said that to say, unless you are talking about Russia or North Korea, 96% of the countries in the world you'll be alright. I know a guy that said his co-worker married someone from Russia. I don't know how factual that is, but I would assume it's an American somewhere with a Russian wife and a clearance. So, I've never heard of travel restrictions. If you go to the Department of State website and read cautionary notices all day you won't travel anywhere. Chicago (a city) is seeing more violence monthly than some of the countries are seeing. Either way, I've never had someone tell me don't go to X, Y, Z country. I also don't know anyone who has ever told me they are going to Russia on vacation with the family. So...some stuff I have to take with a grain of salt...especially with the hypothetical question and lack of background I provided about myself. 
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,544 Admin
    edited September 2019
    When I had a TS, the counties on the US' State Sponsors of Terrorism list were definitely off-limits. There was also a list of another 15-20 counties that required special permission for travel for any reason. It depends on your employer and the project(s) you are working on.

    Also, I had a friend who received his TS in the military and retained it into civilian life. He eventually married an Iranian national (an easy thing to do here in Southern California) and his clearance was yanked because of it. I don't know the specifics of why. (Perhaps Feds unable/unwilling to perform a sufficient background investigation on her?) 
  • yoba222yoba222 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,091 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I would not take a pay cut for a higher level of clearance. In fact, I deliberately walked away from a pending TS clearance. It was for a higher salary, but it was largely because I didn't like the privacy invasion that came along with it.
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