Federal Spotlight Recap: OPM’s Rebecca Ayers and Your Next Career Decision
In her Federal Spotlight interview in November, OPM’s Rebecca Ayers shared her insights on a rewarding career and building a satisfying career in the Federal government. My take-aways from her interview: find something rewarding and work with people who share your passions.
With September upon us—a time when job search activity increases, job market activity spikes, and our Federal government approaches a new fiscal year in October—Ms. Ayers’s words are relevant for employers and employees alike.
If you’re data-driven (like I usually am), it’s great to remember that hosts of studies—many well-documented—reinforce the idea that employees and employers alike benefit when we find our work rewarding. Recent Merit Systems Protection Board data backs up the principle that employees are more engaged, and therefore more productive, when they find their work rewarding. Employees who feel productive report higher rates of job satisfaction—one of the biggest factors that shapes whether we stay or leave.
Positive coworker relationships also contribute to job satisfaction, and a workshop I recently attended by Shane Yount drove home the point that rather than focusing on differences between employees, strong coworker relationships and team bonds can be forged by focusing on the one thing everyone has in common—the organization’s mission. Ms. Ayers mentioned that she finds it rewarding to work with people who share her “motivation and passion for public service.” If employees are all genuinely motivated by the organization’s mission, this also contributes to a positive, engaging work environment where employees are likely to stay.
If you’re on the recruiting or hiring side of the job market, it’s good to remember that we need to seek employees who will find the work rewarding and be part of a team that’s invested in the work. If you’re on the job seeking side, it’s good to remember that title, compensation, or other “convenience” factors (commute, workload, working conditions) aren’t everything—your potential to be motivated by the work and build good working relationships with coworkers matters for whether you’ll like the job and want to stay.
If you missed Rebecca Ayers’s interview, check it out here. It provides a refreshing perspective for employers and employees—private or public sector.