Wildland Firefighter Foundation
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Home / WLF TheySaid / 37-year old cutoff

  • 04/03/2014
  • ember 88
  • 0 Comment

You have to make your own opportunities. This might mean moving someplace you don’t particularly want to go, or taking a job that might not be your first choice. This will get your foot in the door and then you will have more options. I started looking for permanent jobs in the early 90s, when most jobs were not flown as demo and we could not even apply if we were temps; the cutoff age was 35 then. Friends went to the IRS, Post Office, and Peace Corps to get permanent status. I finally got in at 33. I had to uproot a spouse and move to a remote place, but it was worth it.

Since then I have supervised many temps who got on as permanent; most of them went places that they didn’t see as particularly desirable, but it got them their status and they were able to move around. Sometimes this meant living away from their families for a period of time. If you have constraints where you absolutely can’t move, look at your skills/qualifications honestly and ask yourself what you can improve on to make yourself more desirable to hiring managers. Look at your resume: I’m constantly seeing subpar ones even from people applying at the GS-8 level. You have to be proactive; don’t expect the agency to step in.

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