Saturday, July 6, 2013

For all the FSOWannabes...

This song reminds me of the choice/issues facing those lucky enough to get an offer.  Especially when family and friends come out of the woodwork to convince you not to join:


Thomasin said...

I've been following your blog for about a year, and I really appreciate your advice and information on the FSO process ... it's been very helpful. Thank you.

I'm assuming from your most recent post that you have been offered a spot in an A-100 class - if so, congratulations!

I have passed the June FSOT and will be submitting my PNQs within the next two weeks. A few of my narratives will highlight accomplishments in my current job, but I don't particularly want to tell anyone where I work that I'm seeking to join the Foreign Service. So I'm in a bit of a quandary - only someone at work could verify what I write. When you submitted your PNQs, were the people that you supplied as verifiers contacted to corroborate your narrative?

I'm not trying to pull the wool over the QEP's eyes, but I don't want to tip my hand to my current employer. Any advice?

Thanks in advance.

fsowannabe said...

Hi Thomas! Thanks for following the blog for the last year - I can't imagine it's been very satisfying given my sporadic posting. That being said - no, I haven't received an offer for an A-100 class - as awesome as that would be. I heard the song, and the lyrics just reminded me of how, once I passed the OA the last time, all the family-in-law members who once were supportive, weren't so supportive with the reality of Foreign Service life. Luckily, they're ex-in-laws now, so it's not as problematic the next time an offer comes around. And, congratulations for getting past the FSWE! Good luck on the PNQs!

As for employers - you can't really avoid it. I would suggest talking with your investigator - my impression talking to friends of mine that have also gone through the process is that they have some latitude. However, you're not going to be able to avoid having them talk to someone. In my situation, the last time I had an offer, my boss was a friend, someone I trusted completely and who didn't begrudge me following my dream. I was, and am, a lucky bastard on that front.

If there's no choice, give them names of colleagues that are friends, explain to them your concerns, and see what happens. Just be prepared for them insisting on meeting your boss. Anyhow, good luck!

Thomasin said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions.

Basically, I'm not keen to tell my current employer about my quest simply because it's a real long shot (I've read that around 2% of all applicants in any given year are actually invited to an A-100 class), and I want to avoid the questions that will invariably pop up along the way. I'd tell my employer about State if I passed the Orals stage, and I know my boss would be supportive and provide good feedback on my job performance.

It's just the niggling PNQs - it's so early in the process, it's awkward for people to be contacted and then have everything fall through if I don't pass Orals.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you suggest that I talk with my investigator. Could you elaborate on that a little?

Again, thanks so much. I'm sure you have better things to do than answer all the neurotic little questions that come your way from FSO-hopefuls.