Foreign Service Opening

7lowe7lowe Posts: 178Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Just thought I'd post that the Dept. of State is currently accepting applications for Information Management Specialists in the Foreign Service through 8/12/2011. If you are at all interested and meet the qualifications I'd apply ASAP as the selection/clearance process can take up to a year.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.

For more information & to apply go here:
Information Management Specialist - U.S. Department of State
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  • jamesleecolemanjamesleecoleman Posts: 1,899Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Good looking out!!!
    Booya!!
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  • themagiconethemagicone Posts: 674Member
    Dang is that tempting. With my BS and certs I probably could get a little ways into the selection process. Wouldn't mind traveling the world.
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  • 7lowe7lowe Posts: 178Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Sounds like you meet the minimum qualifications, so give it a shot. I just had a BAS, Net+, Security+, & basically 2 years of help desk experience.

    They also look for people with international or cross-cultural experience. I think what really helped me is that my wife is from another country & I also used to work for a Japanese company.

    Of course, one guy who hired in with me was a patent attorney who has never been out of the country. He has a BS in CS, but hasn't worked in IT for like 10 years.

    In other words, they look for lots of different kinds of people so if you meet the requirements listed & seem like you can work well with others then you probably have a good shot.

    7 (who is about to move to China for the next 2 years)
  • powerfoolpowerfool CISSP, MCSE Posts: 1,626Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Sounds interesting. I think that I may apply just to see how far I get. I have an Active Secret Clearance, which automatically qualifies me for an Interim Top Secret.... The benefits look nice... you would be able to continue to pay your existing mortgage and come back home to it after two years, and your kids could go to school at an English language school overseas. Nice stuff.

    I got to looking at it and there are a lot of interesting things... but I would have to be a much higher grade than what that job is trying to offer.

    The certification list has 11 items, of which you much have one (1) if you don't have a BS or higher... I have six of them, and will have seven soon... plus the BS and graduate certificate and will soon have the MS. This could be a great opportunity... if only I could get my wife to sign on to the idea icon_sad.gif.
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  • themagiconethemagicone Posts: 674Member
    I had an active Secret clearance when I was in AF. But that may be my down fall also, I didn't complete my term as I had an injury and got a honorable discharge. Heck I'll apply anyway.
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  • jahsouljahsoul Posts: 453Member
    powerfool wrote: »
    I have an Active Secret Clearance, which automatically qualifies me for an Interim Top Secret
    It does??? I never knew that. I figure I have it good since being 28, everything from my Security Clearance should just go over to my Top Secret investigation (if I ever get one).
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  • powerfoolpowerfool CISSP, MCSE Posts: 1,626Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I had an active Secret clearance when I was in AF. But that may be my down fall also, I didn't complete my term as I had an injury and got a honorable discharge. Heck I'll apply anyway.

    I was in the same boat with the Navy. The only problem I had was that I was archived in the JPAS system and it took them three weeks to pull me from the archive so I could get the process started again... I assume it must be on a tape in some box that somebody has to find.
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  • powerfoolpowerfool CISSP, MCSE Posts: 1,626Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    jahsoul wrote: »
    It does??? I never knew that. I figure I have it good since being 28, everything from my Security Clearance should just go over to my Top Secret investigation (if I ever get one).

    If you stored it electronically. My first clearance was done entirely on paper. My second was electronic. However, you have to realize that if you are applying for a TS, you have to supply the full ten years of work experience and residential history. So, more info to find... That would be the bad thing for me... as I moved around alot in my younger days, being 30 now. Maybe in three more years the TS would call, as I would be able to leave my information as is, assuming I don't move or change jobs.
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  • 7lowe7lowe Posts: 178Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Also, State does there own clearances. DOD & DOS don't reciprocate. They let one of the guy in my class start even though his clearance wasn't done because they had cleared him before several years ago & he also had a current DOD TS. Then in the last week of orientation, the day before we got our assignments, he found out his clearance was denied and he was out. I'm pretty sure they won't let anyone else start orientation without their clearance now because of that.
  • 7lowe7lowe Posts: 178Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    powerfool wrote: »
    I got to looking at it and there are a lot of interesting things... but I would have to be a much higher grade than what that job is trying to offer.

    Unfortunately, I think they only hire at FS-5. But, note that's greatly different than a GS-5, so make sure you are looking at the right scale. Use the first scale here:

    http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/134927.pdf

    Also, add 16.25% for overseas comparability pay (was supposed to eventually go to 24%, but got frozen last year & some in Congress tried to take it away during the last budget crisis.)

    Also, after 18 months you get an administrative promotion to FS-4.

    Depending on where you get posted you may also get hardship or danger differentials. I'll get an extra 20% hardship when I go to China.

    They also have Skills Incentive Pay (SIP) that you can qualify for after a year (6 months if transferring from another federal position.) Basically, if I get my MCITP:EA, CISSP, or a CS related MS then I get a 15% bonus for 5 years. (There are other certs, some pay 10%, some pay 15%, but these are the most common. And, no, you can't stack them. :)

    The free (and tax free) housing & basic utilities & educational vouchers have to be one of the biggest benefits. I just got my housing assignment for China and was really pleased! And, when my daughter starts kindergarten next year I can get up to like $20k for her education expenses.
  • 7lowe7lowe Posts: 178Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thought I'd bump this as they are once again accepting applications through the end of February.

    USAJOBS - Search Jobs

    One change from my previous statements is that the 2 levels for SIP pay I mentioned have each dropped by 1% (now 9% or 14%).
  • 7lowe7lowe Posts: 178Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I recently found out that another forum member is in the hiring process now after seeing my post last time. They just opened the application window through April 3rd if anyone else is interested.

    Information Management Specialist - U.S. Department of State
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,158Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Man they must really need people because they had a posting in November as well. Putting in for it this time!
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  • Sounds GoodSounds Good Posts: 403Member
    You think someone who doesn't meet the requirements has a chance?

    2-3 years exp
    non-IT degree
    none of the required certs
    no clearance

    no chance
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  • 7lowe7lowe Posts: 178Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    You think someone who doesn't meet the requirements has a chance?

    2-3 years exp
    non-IT degree
    none of the required certs
    no clearance

    no chance

    I wouldn't count on it. If you have a non-IT Bachelor's and 2-3 years recent experience then you'd just need a cert to meet the requirements though.

    You don't need to already have a clearance, you just have to be able to pass the investigation that they will do on you so that you can get one.
  • 7lowe7lowe Posts: 178Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    the_Grinch wrote: »
    Man they must really need people because they had a posting in November as well. Putting in for it this time!

    I've been in for almost 2 years now and I don't really see myself leaving. I am sick of China, but my tour here ends in 6 months and then I'm heading to Fiji for the next 2 years. :D
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,158Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    7lowe wrote: »
    I've been in for almost 2 years now and I don't really see myself leaving. I am sick of China, but my tour here ends in 6 months and then I'm heading to Fiji for the next 2 years. :D


    That is awesome! I wouldn't mind going to China or the Middle East. How was the training they provided? Also, is there a point in your career where you can apply to the information assurance team or whatever they call it?
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  • 7lowe7lowe Posts: 178Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    A lot of the training is only so-so as it is mostly done by contractors who have never actually worked at a post.

    You essentially look for a new job every 2-3 years. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by information assurance team, I'm guessing something like ISSO is in the vein of what you are talking about. Many times you would serve as ISSO in addition to your other duties. Some larger posts have a dedicated ISSO and then there are also Regional ISSO's.
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,158Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Thanks for the info man! I just recalled reading an article about their cyber security analyst, so assumed there was a team. Regardless, sounds like it is a great gig. I finished my app so we'll see if I get the call.
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  • bryguybryguy Posts: 190Member
    Good find... If I were a single guy, I'd definitely look into applying. Good luck Grinch, hope it works out for ya.
  • Sounds GoodSounds Good Posts: 403Member
    What type of work do you do? Is it all cyber security or is it more generalized? Is there a choice?
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  • 7lowe7lowe Posts: 178Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    The site seems to be acting up, and I can't get the quotes or advanced reply options to work, so I'm just going to answer/comment without quoting. Also, the answer to almost any question you can come up with is inevitably "it depends." :)

    Sounds Good - We have to be somewhat security conscious in all we do, but this is a very generalized job. It is probably the most generalized IT job I know of. IMS are basically over all forms of communication. I am currently at a very small post, so I am a sysadmin, phone technician, network admin (in a minor way, mostly physical layer), and ISSO as well as being over comsec, crypto, pouch, mail, & even to a certain extent TV. You have to be somewhat open new challenges.The last few weeks I've even been having to work in SQL which is something I've never done before. The good thing is that there are usually specialists you can reach out to in DC or elsewhere that can help you out. If you go to a larger post you may find yourself doing 1 assignment for like 6 months (they often stick the newbies with the pouch). After a few tours most people get into more of a management position and do less hands on stuff.

    bryguy - Family can make the decision tough and it's a personal decision, so I'm not really going to try and convince you. But, let me point out the family doesn't hold you back. In fact, the bigger your family is, the better your benefits are since you housing is based on your family size and your kids get free schooling. We thought long and hard about joining since we have a young daughter, but we decided the opportunities/experiences this lifestyle will allow her outweighs the cons (for us.) By the end of the year, she'll be 6 and will have lived in the US, China, & Fiji, & will have visited Hong Kong, The Philippines, Bangkok, Seoul, Vienna, London, Geneva, Frankfurt, and parts of France & Italy. She's in kindergarten and has well surpassed me in Chinese language ability (not hard to do.)
  • bryguybryguy Posts: 190Member
    7lowe wrote: »
    bryguy - Family can make the decision tough and it's a personal decision, so I'm not really going to try and convince you. But, let me point out the family doesn't hold you back. In fact, the bigger your family is, the better your benefits are since you housing is based on your family size and your kids get free schooling. We thought long and hard about joining since we have a young daughter, but we decided the opportunities/experiences this lifestyle will allow her outweighs the cons (for us.) By the end of the year, she'll be 6 and will have lived in the US, China, & Fiji, & will have visited Hong Kong, The Philippines, Bangkok, Seoul, Vienna, London, Geneva, Frankfurt, and parts of France & Italy. She's in kindergarten and has well surpassed me in Chinese language ability (not hard to do.)


    Have you been in a scenario where you served overseas where your family couldn't accompany you?

    "Many embassies and consulates are in countries where harsh climates, health hazards, and other discomforts are prevalent and where American-style amenities are frequently unavailable. Personal security often becomes an area of concern, particularly in countries where there is political unrest or terrorist activity. For this reason, family members are not permitted to accompany the IMS on assignments to a number of overseas posts. However, careers in the Foreign Service offer special rewards, including the pride and satisfaction of representing the United States and advancing U.S. interests abroad."
  • vayzevayze Posts: 10Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I dont know how I feel about this
  • Sounds GoodSounds Good Posts: 403Member
    which of the listed required certs do you guys think is the easiest to attain?
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  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,158Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I'm cool with being a jack on all trades for a few more years, given the chance to travel and live abroad is a dream. Plus I believe in the mission so that will definitely help. What exactly is "pouch"? If OPSEC allows you to speak about it. My assumption is diplomatic pouches?
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  • 7lowe7lowe Posts: 178Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    bryguy wrote: »
    Have you been in a scenario where you served overseas where your family couldn't accompany you?

    I have not. Only your first two posts are "directed" (meaning you are assigned somewhere without much say) but they do take into account family situations when making their decisions. After your first 2 posts it becomes a competitive open bidding process. You look and see where openings are and bid on them. I've not gotten to this point yet, but it's basically almost like applying for a job. You reach out to posts you are interested in & see if they are interested in you. I think it comes down mostly to your performance history and your reputation.

    I DOUBT I'll ever do an unaccompanied post. Some people choose to because places like Afghanistan, Iraq, & Pakistan have 1 year tours with (I think) 4 R&Rs & something like 70% in hardship and danger pay. Plus, that can help you get to a nicer follow on assignment.

    You do have to serve at "hardship" posts at least occasionally. But, that's a very broad category. Both my current post in China and my future one in Fiji are 20% hardship posts. I'm not sure exactly what they base it on, but my guess is in China it's due to pollution and an isolating language while in Fiji it's due to physical isolation on a remote island with limited access to quailty medical care and potential for political unrest.
  • 7lowe7lowe Posts: 178Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    the_Grinch wrote: »
    I'm cool with being a jack on all trades for a few more years, given the chance to travel and live abroad is a dream. Plus I believe in the mission so that will definitely help. What exactly is "pouch"? If OPSEC allows you to speak about it. My assumption is diplomatic pouches?

    You are correct in your assumption. Not to go into too much detail, but it's mostly paperwork to ensure everything is accounted for and trackable as well as going to the airport/train station/whatever to meet with couriers to make exchanges. Also includes physically sorting through the incoming stuff like a mailman. A lot of people don't like it, but I think it's fun. Makes me feel like Santa Clause opening a big bag and then letting everyone know that they've received something. :)
  • 7lowe7lowe Posts: 178Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    which of the listed required certs do you guys think is the easiest to attain?

    I'm not sure as I don't have any of those. I came in with the IT Bachelor's + experience (I MAY have Cyber Security NSTISSI 4011 Certificate through my school as their program was mapped to give several of these certificates I had never heard of).
  • 7lowe7lowe Posts: 178Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    On an unrelated note, apparently TE is blocked in China. I wasn't able to access it from home at all without VPN. Even with VPN, the Quote and Advanced Reply didn't work. Everything works great from my office. I guess that's part of that 20% hardship too.
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