Someone convince me why working as a GS-15 in the federal govt working 9-5 with low stress, making $160K with 6% 401K match, defined benefit pension, and healthcare in retirement isn't the way to go

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It is. Go now.

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Refer me to the job if you don’t want it

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I hope you realize there aren’t actually that many GS-15s, it’s not like they hand them out like candy. I worked for the DoD for 5 years and only came across maybe 5 GS-15s in that time.

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Most of us don’t find this line of work life fulfilling so that argument doesn’t really carry water

Also, y’all... SES is the most senior civil position that isn’t political. Not 15

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I have numerous friends working in gov’t across State, DoD, USAID, DOJ and they find their work to be fulfilling and challenging, so I don’t think blanket statements about gov’t work being soul crushing or not fulfilling are quite accurate... it’s probably not that different from a lot of private sector jobs out there

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Corporate drones can lack real drive/initiative as well, whereas public servants can actually care about the mission rather than their bonus check/how they compare to their peers.

It’s fine government doesn’t appeal to you but please don’t paint with such a broad brush. You’ll get paint on your shoes.

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1) CSRS is long gone. There are no pensions. You were lied to. Your 401K will come thru FERS and has a great matching % but is not a pension.
2) GS15 step 10 is $160k. You will never, ever get a pay raise if you’re starting at $160k
3) I’m not so sure about healthcare in retirement

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And where’d you get 160?

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How do you apply to a GS15?

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It’s nice work if you can get it, but depending upon the organization, can be soul crushing

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GS-15 is pretty much the highest non-political level in the government, so it's not a bad level if you aren't into the political kiss ass game

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Good luck finding a 15 slot, and that’s after you’ve been hired. It does certainly depend on the department and office, but 15s are not so common.
13s sure (pretty much any Senior fill-in-the-blank title), 14s are supervisors, like branch chief, and 15s are Directors.

Not sure if self actualization matters to you, but I doubt you’ll be doing any life-fulfilling work. There are more interesting ways to make 160k.

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Wow. We still pay pension? Do tell

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If that’s what makes your juices flow cool.

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SA1, really? My last client had maybe 15 of them in a 100 person division.

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BA1 I’m sure it depends on department/location, but GS15 is literally as high as you can go without being a political appointee. That’s like saying “being a CxO is a pretty sweet job, you should just go do that"

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I’m not suggesting what you’re currently doing is life-fulfilling, only that being a government drone isn’t. There is ZERO incentive to perform, only to survive.

If you’re strictly looking at numbers, and you’re committed to going into a career of mediocrity,
SES make the same salary as GS-15, due to salary cap. SES may get an executive or career-specific bonus though.

smart

SC1, regardless of your take, you're 100% wrong about 1) and 3). Do a little bit of research before stating things as fact.

EY1- locality pay

smart

Sc1 is also wrong on #2. They’d still get annual cost of living increases unless there is a pay freeze.

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The smart play is to get the GS15 and run a (non-conflicting) business on the side. Government does not own your IP like our firms do. Real estate, software dev, consulting, whatever you’re into.

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