Monthly e-News

Your Next Career Chapter

By:  Kathy Lavinder

Published:  August 2020

 

All transitions can be daunting; none more so than transitioning from the public sector to the private sector. Most people inherently understand that government agencies and for-profit businesses have different agendas, goals, cultures, and expectations. Just how different those are will come into clear focus as you begin your post government job search. 
       
Here are some things to keep in mind: 
 

Continue reading

What Everyone Needs to Know About Money – Before Age 40

By:  Karen Schaeffer, CFP®

Published:  July 2020

 

After 40 years of teaching people how to make smart money decisions, one of the most common reactions from students is:  I wish I learned this when I was younger.  Of course, it’s never too late to learn, but what if we really could roll back time and reach everyone before the big 4-0 milestone?  In a perfect world, these are the money tips that every young person knows and uses:

Continue reading

Communicating With Friends and Family While Working Remotely

By:  Mike Townshend

June 2020

 

Today, out of necessity, a large percentage of our Federal workforce are working remotely, often at home. This way of working has challenged many of us to remain focused on our work, yet responsive to our friends and family as the day goes along.
Interruptions are problematic based on timing and distraction. When friends learn that we are working from home, they often assume that we are now available during the day and expect us to be responsive to their calls, emails, texts, and, even, stop overs. The fact is that any of these will likely be distractions from the work that we need to accomplish, often on deadline.

Continue reading

Optimizing Communications With Work Teams Who Are Working Remotely

By:  Mike Townshend, Organizational Psychologist

Published:  June 2020

 

Today, out of necessity, a large percentage of our federal workforce are located away from the agency’s offices, often at home. This way of working has broken the stereotypes of offices with workers during set hours at desks and toiling away. Agency leaders are finding that mobile workforces are, in fact, productive and agile. 
A fear that many have expressed about adapting to this new world of work is primarily about the effectiveness of Communications while trying to remain productive and feeling that we still belong in the culture of our teams, departments, divisions, and agency.

Continue reading

Boosting Your Physical and Mental Health During a Crisis

Published:  May 2020

By:  Kari Utz-Wolsky, (ISSA) CFT, SPN, SSC; Crossfit level 1; Nutrition & Conditioning Specialist

 

We are all faced with a very challenging reality right now. As we have heard over and over, this is something none of us has ever experienced before in our lifetime. We are bombarded with messages filled with fear, warnings and panic. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, lonely, or depressed, please know that you are not alone. I’ve spoken with many people lately; whether they are single, married, with kids, or without kids, the large majority of folks are feeling very out of control. They say that one minute they seem okay and the next they feel very depressed or angry without any particular trigger. The majority of us have a great deal of fear and uncertainty weighing heavily on our minds. So, let us try to proceed by focusing on what we CAN control.

Continue reading

Financial Well Being

Published:  April 2020

By:  Ray Kirk, Ph.D., Federal Benefits Specialist

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has identified financial well-being as the ultimate measure of the success for financial literacy efforts. Financial literacy efforts traditionally have focused on gaining knowledge and applying that knowledge appropriately to make good financial decisions. Financial well-being is defined by CFPB “as the state of being wherein a person can fully meet current and ongoing financial obligations, can feel secure in their financial future, and is able to make choices that allow enjoyment of life.”

Continue reading

FAQs for Mid-Career FERS Employees

Published:  March 2020

By:  Vanessa Craddock, Federal Benefits Specialist

 

Do you have at least 10 years of government service?  You may wonder what benefits you have earned at this point and what to expect for the second part of your career.  The following are 5 frequently asked questions and answers you may find helpful.

Continue reading

Retirement Countdown Checklist

Published:  February 2020

By:  Maureen Wilkin, Federal Benefits Specialist

When you start planning for retirement in this era of overwhelming technology and data, the last thing you want is another application or program to work through. Take heart.  There is a simpler, tried-and-true method to assist you.  It’s a checklist.

The Retirement Countdown Checklist begins five years before your planned retirement date.  It includes things you should know and should be doing at various points along the way.  Although it is written for Federal Employees and their retirement, the basic planning points might be applied elsewhere.

Continue reading

Your “Personal” Official Personnel Folder

By:  Vanessa Craddock, Federal Benefits Specialis

Published:  December 2019

What is the OPF?
The OPF is the official record which documents your employment history in the Federal government.
Why do employees need a personal copy of their OPF?
The OPF houses the documentation used by HR to make personnel-related decisions affecting your employment. Whenever information is transferred, forms can be lost or misplaced. HR Specialists change over time and your information goes through different hands and locations. Information necessary to process a sudden change in your employment status may be incorrect or missing. When you maintain your own personal copies of your records, these may be used.

Continue reading