Why does it seem so hard to get to the Senior Executive Service level in government? I see so many inexperienced people getting hired into SES and then m asking a mess of things but I can’t even get an interview. What is the secret that I am missing?

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Essentially it comes down to people who have been in it before and pre-approved through some Executive Core Qualifications program (ECQ). Those are hard to fill out correctly and be "sufficient". Also a lot of political and networking aspects depending on the SES position being an appointment vs career (possibly SL and/or SES). Long-term SES or others are good at working the process/application to look good on paper without actually being able to do the jobs.

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Limited number roles + pension incentives + silly voters who refuse to fund the functioning parts of gov't to add more roles mean you're stuck with SESs from 4 presidencies ago who won't leave and don't have a reason to

Great question, I found your remark about bringing inexperienced trainees into very senior roles spot on. OJT for a Chief Engineering slot? I came over from Biotech where process experimentation had clearly defined goals and was purely 5S and careful thought applied to change orders before initiation. The Govt is apparently one big experiment. Astonishing how people with little more than participating in a training program make the leap to senior management. Idealistically I think the decision is good It brings diversity to an otherwise stagnant role. Fresh ideas and energy. Unfortunately leadership is not something people are born with. It takes experience and time to develop. Giving these senior management position roles to college graduates with previous industry experience related to summer jobs in retail do not necessarily have the requisite people skills. There's a certain level of purity in this thought It brings inclusion at the expense of everything else. Overall I'm glad this person was moved up and they definitely have the mental tenacity to hang in there as the going has been really really rough. I can make these observations, detached observations as I was hired into a really well paying senior role and I really don't care what happens to this organization as government will be here long after I'm gone. It's just interesting seeing the change. There has to be a way to reconcile, to bridge expectations and reality. I just wish it wouldn't take another 10 years to be realized

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