Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Application Process

While I've been fortunate to not apply for many jobs, it's safe to describe this application process as arduous to say the least.  But based on my research, it will be more than worth the effort.  My research included reading the Realities of Foreign Service Life books, Stephanie Felton's video on being a Construction Engineer, of course reading the State OBO website and various specialist blogs, among other sources.

I first applied for the Construction Engineer Foreign Service Specialist position in the Fall of 2010, was invited for oral assessment in the Spring of 2011, and was unsuccessful at the OA.  I was devastated.

The position opened again in the Fall of 2011 and I decided to apply again.  I just got back last night from my OA trip to DC, and very fortunately I was successful this time.  You can't tell from the font or my wording, but I'm incredibly excited.

I've kept my descriptions above succinct because I could go on for pages and because my candidacy could be terminated if I violate the requirements of the non-disclosure agreement I signed.  If you're interested in more detailed information on the oral assessment, this blog had a great description of the OA process.  (Thanks Chris!)

I've been extended a "conditional offer of appointment", so the application process now moves into its final stages - final one way or the other.  Medical, security, and final suitability clearances are required before I can be put on the Register of Cleared Candidates.  At that point my ranking would be compared with other successful candidates' rankings and the number of openings, and if I'm high enough then I could be invited right away.  That means I'd be offered an appointment and invited to an entry-level Foreign Service Specialist Orientation course.

However, that's likely at least two months from now.  In the meantime, I'll focus on completing my clearances and I'll start preparing the house to be put on the market in the hopes that this works out.  First up: medical clearances.  (Technically, the first up is vacuuming, which I've ignored for several weeks due to studying.  Time for me to vacuum up the third "dog" that's coalesced from the hair of our two real dogs.)

(This post written while listening to AC/DC If You Want Blood.)

A blog? Really?

I'm thinking a blog is the best way to stay in touch with family and friends without potentially-annoying e-mail blasts.  It's also a way to provide more information on Foreign Service Specialist opportunities to The Internet.  The OBO website offers some good technical information, and there are some great blogs that provide some really helpful insights like,, and among others.  This should add another perspective to the mix and will hopefully help encourage interest.  Let's hope it does at least.

Please be patient with my blogging noobness and with the fact that I expect I'll have to be intentionally vague at times.  This is likely to be quite an adventure, though, and I'll do my best to convey the experience.  Thanks for reading!

(This post written while listening to Peter Gabriel No Self Control)


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