Here is an article in the WaPo about a new effort to get young people to consider working for the government. Here are my reasons why I never did:
1. Low pay
2. High student loan debt that could not be paid off with aforementioned low pay
3. KSAs. Every federal government job requires that you fill out a multi-page application, including a lengthy Knowledge Skills and Abilities form wherein you outline specifically why you have the KSAs for the posted job. Um, helloooo, Uncle Sam! That's called a JOB INTERVIEW.
4. Lengthy turnaround time. I once went through the 4-day (I'm not joking) ordeal of filling out the application and KSAs to be a director of development at the National Institutes of Health. I think I sent it in in March. Needless to say, since I'm not independently wealthy, I had already found another job by the time I received (in JUNE) that little postcard telling me that they'd received my application and could I please check the race box and return it.
JUNE. Like I'm sitting around for three months waiting to hear if I got an interview?!!! I mean, this issue does not require millions of dollars of research or multiple committees studying its origins. It's basic: people looking for work want to work. They don't have months to hang around to see if maybe just maybe they got selected for an interview. And they sure as hell don't spend literally DAYS filling out forms that could be answered by "please see attached resume." The entire process from start to finish tells the applicant: we don't really want to hire you, we don't value your time or your talent, and we don't respect the basic rules of business etiquette. Gee, I can't imagine why I'd rather be in-house counsel at a software company for $175,000 a year...