Government Career Objectives

Working for government, you can make an agency more responsive to public needs.
Working for government, you can make an agency more responsive to public needs. (Image: Capitol Building image by dwight9592 from

Entering a public service career, you might wish to change government. This is admirable because it is possible to improve the level of services offered to the public. Effect changes by working side-by-side with other government workers and helping your agency reach common goals. Hold yourself to the highest professional standards of government service while finding ways to improve your agency. As you build job skills and a reputation for ethics and hard work, you can advance to an administrative or supervisory position.

Level of Government

One of the first considerations for a government career is which level of government you will join. At the federal level, use as a career guide. This website posts thousands of positions each year. Sort jobs by agency, location, job title, salary and other job characteristics. For state-level employment, search the state website. You can also visit websites of local agencies such as public universities and social services. Local governments, including county, city, town and village entities, also offer government career positions. Compare salaries and benefits available from different government employers before deciding where to apply.

Government Function

Another way to choose which government service career will help you achieve your career objectives is to study the functions of different agencies. For example, the U.S. government is divided into 15 cabinet departments headed by secretaries who report directly to the president. If you like working with plants or animals, you can work for Agriculture Department or the Department of the Interior. To provide medical services, you can work for Veterans Affairs or Health and Human Services. Match career interests, skills, education and work experience with requirements listed in a job posting.

Service Standards

As a federal, state or local employee, you must uphold one or more constitutions. Consult the employee standards of conduct. Avoid conflicts of interest, lying, cheating, stealing, creating an intimidating workplace for protected workers, wasting government funds and supplies and other actions that could damage or terminate your government career. Look for agency documents such as an employee handbook that details your rights and responsibilities, a code of ethics, agency values and mission and a description of programs. Give your best efforts toward your assigned duties. Help the agency improve how it provides services.

Career Development

In many public agencies, workers are required to write a career development plan, or individual development plan, with their supervisor. This plan includes personal goals for the position and for your career path in the agency; it also identifies your training and development needs. The document serves two purposes: It helps you determine what you need to do and learn to grow and advance and it helps your agency track employee development needs.

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