{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Does anyone having any thoughts on joining the Foreign Service? I wonder how impactful the job is at the junior levels, as well as how comprehensive the language training is.", "post_id": "5f67dd9624be90001ae1944e", "reply_count": 10, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "58f80ce1ae9f610010f866bb", "bowl_name": "Federal, Government, and Public Sector", "feed_type": "bowl" }

Does anyone having any thoughts on joining the Foreign Service? I wonder how impactful the job is at the junior levels, as well as how comprehensive the language training is.

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I transitioned from consulting to the foreign service with the State Dept. Your first tour, you won't have much influence. However, you will gain responsibility rather quickly and within 5 years you could have an incredible amount of influence. Language training is incredibly thorough. Some of the more difficult languages require a year of training. Pay, benefits, and pension are great. Don't let base pay deter you as it does not include other variable compensation. It is incredibly competitive. When I read the bios of my orientation classmates I just remember being blown away as the talent here is top notch. State is also the most liberal and diverse government agency. I'd say its worth the jump.

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Thanks, MC1!

I’m former Foreign Service. Language training is usually pretty good, but whether you’ll use it at post is variable. Most people I know can’t actually maintain it, so I see the 9-12+ months of training as not an ideal personal investment unless you plan on living permanently in a place where you’ll use that language. (E.g., my friend who won the foreign language award for Vietnamese 10 yrs ago barely recalls anything at this point...and now works in Silicon Valley)

I guess it does sound like fun to get paid to just hang out in DC for 9-12 months and study French/Arabic/Portuguese. Makes me feel better about taking an $80k paycut, ha! Are folks expected to also take on a full or partial workload during language study? May be different in USAID from State but curious how you saw and experienced it.

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