Those who work as a postal worker for the government of the United States of America may not always want to stay in that position. So, can postal workers transfer to other Federal agencies?
Yes, United States Federal postal workers can move to other Federal agencies by taking these necessary steps to become qualified and be accepted to other positions.
Find other Federal jobs:
- Become qualified for the desired position
- Decide the type of transfer
- Apply and Interview
- Accept new contract/agreement
- Transfer all applicable information
Find Other Federal Jobs
The very first thing you want to do is look for other open positions. Since you are already a Federal employee, you have more options than a regular civilian, because the Federal government often has jobs that are only available to current employees. You will search for these jobs at www.USA.gov. Both types of jobs will be listed there, so if you are interested in applying to opportunities for current employees only, make sure you read the job descriptions carefully.
Checking with your Human Resources department is also another option. It may seem uncomfortable to let your agency know that you are looking into finding another agency to work for but understand that the Human Resources department is there for that very reason. They will keep your request confidential but may have lists of current openings or have contact information for other agency leaders. You have to ask.
Consider what skills you have and what your interests are. Look for positions that are in line with your current situation. If you have an interest in agriculture, seek out opportunities with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Or, if you are good at finances, look for Finance Manager jobs. Those are just a couple of examples. There are fifteen main departments within the government, so you will likely find something that fits you.
Become qualified for the desired position
Once you have found a position that you are interested in, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Are you qualified for this position? Take a look at your credentials versus what is needed for the position. You may need to take additional steps before applying. This could include education, security clearance, and years of experience.
The Office of Personnel Management, or OPM, is the department that regulates much of the employment onboarding, employee benefits, and other employee programs. If you have any questions about the transfer process, and if you would qualify, they would be a wonderful resource to use, as they are going to be overseeing the transfer if and when it happens.
Another thing you want to do is check the security clearance needs for the desired position. If you do not have the necessary clearance already, start working on obtaining it now. You may need to seek the help of your Human Resources or OPM for this part, as well. They will point you in the right direction of where to apply.
There are different types of clearances: Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret. Each clearance is determined by the type of information you would be handling, and what kind of damage that information could cause to our country if it were leaked or placed inappropriately. It stands to reason that the Confidential is the least threat, and easiest to obtain, whereas the Top Secret is the hardest to obtain.
There are also two different classified categories: Sensitive compartmented information and special access programs. These types of clearance are the higher most classifications and are extremely limited. They have lengthy restrictions. If you are starting as a postal worker with a lower security clearance, do not expect to obtain these sorts of jobs right away. It will take years of service to obtain access to information under these clearances.
To obtain a security clearance, you will need to answer a comprehensive survey and provide information for at least ten years of your history. You also have to prove that you will not be persuaded by external entities for access to the information. You are a Federal employee, and if your new desired position has more responsibility, it may come with more risk.
The hiring process is intended to make sure that you are a safe employee, and will uphold your duty of national security. To obtain a higher clearance, you will have to provide both personal work history, family and friend information, and personal finance information. This may seem intrusive at first, but it is to make sure that you do not have connections to anyone who may want to harm our system, and also that you are not in a financial situation that would make you more prone to persuasion.
Clearance is critical, but there are other aspects to consider, like your current education levels. You may need to take classes specific to your desired position or obtain a degree.
Keep in mind that furthering your education is almost always a good idea if you are planning on moving up with any company or organization. The Federal government has programs in place for employees to help with the cost of education, including tuition reimbursement, and discounted tuition at specific schools. The government wants to retain good employees, so use this benefit to further your career!
Can postal workers smoke in their trucks? Read this: https://civilservicehq.com/can-postal-workers-smoke-in-their-trucks/
Decide on the Type of Transfer
Not all transfers/moves are the same. If you are making a lateral move from one agency to another, it means you are in the same supervisory/pay level as your previous position. Lateral transfers can happen both within the same agency, and from one agency to another. This is going to be the easiest way to transfer, because you are likely already qualified, or do not have to do any extensive training to become qualified.
Promotions are when you are advancing your career to a higher pay level, which includes taking on more responsibility. These are the types of jobs that are going to require higher clearances and education, as well as experience.
If all you want is new scenery or different tasks, a lateral move may be for you. If you are looking to take on more responsibility and a higher rank, you are likely to have to work a little harder to move, but it will be worth it!
Another thing to consider when looking for a new position to transfer to is how competitive the job opportunities are. Remember, the Federal government will have jobs that are available to current employees only, and others that are available to both current employees and the general public. If you are applying for a job that is open to the general public, you will have more competition, as the number of applicants will undoubtedly be higher. For these types of jobs, preference may be given to current employees, but it is not guaranteed. You will be applying the same way as the general public. Which brings us to the next step…
Apply and Interview
You are already a government employee, so you should be familiar with the application process. You will have to apply just as anyone else does, even for the positions that are only being offered to current Federal employees. You will have to fill out the entire application, from scratch.
The applications are usually lengthy, so take the time to apply when you are not going to have any distractions. Select a time period where you do not have any pressing matters, as well as a time where you will be awake and alert. You will be filling in all of the details again, which is tedious, but necessary. Being tired, hungry, or pressed for time is a sure way to mess up the application.
Make sure that your current employee records will match your new application. If you have moved, gotten married/divorced, or had any other changes, update that information with your Human Resources before you apply. This is the government… They will be looking for details. You do not want to lose the opportunity due to simply not keeping your personnel file up to date.
If you are selected for an interview, start preparing for your interview by researching the job title more thoroughly. Before any interview, it is good to practice your introductions and think ahead at possible questions. Again, you have already been through this process once, so you have an idea of what to expect. Many positions will have several interviews, so just keep one foot in front of the other, and go to the interviews as prepared as possible. This is a great time to double-check your personnel file and security clearance. You will not regret taking the time to go over your checklist.
Accept New Contract/Agreement
Congratulations! If you’ve read this far, it may be because you were offered the position. Or maybe, you are being extra prepared. Either way, this is the time to analyze the job and what that entails, and accept the position, as long as you still want it.
During the application and interview process, it is likely that you have learned new information about the position that you did not previously know. Think about that new information, and decide if it changes anything about wanting the job for you. You are making a commitment, so you want to go into this as knowledgeable as possible. If you still feel confident that you want this position…
Sign the agreement! Okay, not quite so fast. During the agreement stage, you may have room for negotiation. Things to consider negotiating are salary, benefits, telecommuting opportunities, and more. Do not be afraid to ask for something, if you really want it. Or, if you have to have it in order to accept the position. If you need a certain salary to be able to accept the position, tell the hiring manager now.
An essential part of negotiating is understanding what fair market value is. Ask for a salary that is reasonable, but also acceptable for your situation. Research what the fair market value is in your industry, and then compare to the amount that is being offered. Now compare those numbers to the amount that you need to make to live comfortably. If the numbers are dramatically different, save your resource to show that you have done the research and explain why you are asking for a higher salary. Another number to consider while negotiating is how much you absolutely need to make to live comfortably. This is the bare minimum number, so do not start your asking salary there, but do not lose sight of this number. You do not want to sell yourself short.
This is negotiation, so they may say no. Ask for a different, slightly lower number. You can negotiate with grace and tact, without being pushy. If the hiring supervisor states that there is no room for negotiation for this position, leave it alone. If you cannot accept the position without a higher salary, move on from this opportunity, and try for another. Pushing when they have told you it is not possible is a sure way to make an unfavorable reputation for yourself.
Once negotiations are completed, read over all of the fine print, and only then, sign the contract. Due diligence is important. Never sign any document without having a complete understanding, but especially not an employment contract. You are likely going to be spending at least forty hours a week here. That is a huge chunk of time, and it is critical that you understand exactly what will be expected of you during that time frame, as well as how you will be compensated for your work.
There are many Federal jobs that you may have to locate to a new state/area, but not all of them will require a physical move. Relocating also means just moving your desk across the hall to another agency sometimes.
In any event, you are going to have to move some “stuff”. If it’s just to another building, this will be quick and easy. Pack your stuff in a box, say your good-byes to your beloved coworkers, and make the short trip to your new location. If you do have to move somewhere further than another building in the same city, there are a few things you need to consider.
Moving to another city can be difficult and time-consuming. Reach out to your new leadership about help with moving. Does your new position offer move expense reimbursement? How about the time frame in which you have to move? Plan, plan, plan.
Since you are moving for a job, it is probable that there is a time period in which to get the move completed, before you report for duty. Consider hiring a moving company, or enlist the help of a few trusted friends. Also, set up a forwarding address with your post office. Okay, that is probably a no brainer for you, since that is the position you’re leaving. But it is worth mentioning because it is so commonly forgotten in the hustle and bustle of moving jobs and living locations.
This is an exciting period, and to make sure it goes seamlessly, you need to plan well.
Transfer All Applicable Information
This part should be pretty easy. You work for the Federal government and that part has not changed, so you would think that all of your benefit information would stay the same, but that may not be true. Make sure that your insurance carriers know about your change of employment and/or address.
Your Federal Employees Health Benefit (FEHB) medical plan and Federal Employees Dental and Vision Program (FEDVIP) typically get this information from the employer, but it can take much longer, so calling and checking yourself is a great idea. The FEDVIP program is administered by BENEFEDS, so check with them, as well. If you have any health savings plans (FSA or HSA), that is another call you need to make.
If your benefits were specific to a region, and you’ve moved out of that region, you may need to select a new carrier or let OPM know that your new area does not have any providers for your current location. These are things that they can fix but have to be done shortly after the move, typically within sixty days of the job transfer.
There you have it! Now you know that you can transfer to other Federal agencies as a postal worker. Follow those steps, and you will be on your way to a rewarding career!
Can postal workers have two federal positions at the same time?
The Federal law states that an employee should not receive any funding or salary from two agencies at the same time. There may be very specific exceptions, but it is not likely.
How long does it take a Federal employee to transfer from one agency to another?
This depends largely on the type of transfer, and the popularity of the job. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. If there were many people applying for the same position, that would take longer. Also, if you are transferring to an agency where you needed more credentials, obtaining those credentials and getting everything completely filed will extend the waiting time for the transfer.
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Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
Hi! I’m Shawn Chun and I’m so grateful that you’re here.
Civil servants are some of the hardest working, most generous people I know. I have been passionate about all types of civil service career paths for years now and enjoy sharing everything I continue to learn about them.
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