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United States Department of Agriculture Employee Reviews for Supervisory Public Affairs Specialist

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Supervisory Public Affairs Specialist
in Beltsville, MD

"USDA is HUGE, and a generally great place to work- but a bad boss can be hell."

What do you like about working at United States Department of Agriculture?

"The mission and the difference the department has made to the American people is tremendous. The interaction with people from all walks of life."

Do you have any tips for others interviewing with this company?

"The experience will vary GREATLY with locations all over the country and the world. Learn about the immediate management style where you will be working. The possibilities are endless, but may be limited by local budget, staffing, or a boss that just won't utilize Departmental or governmental opportunities. If you get one who will (like I did earlier in my career at USDA) it can be transformative."

What don't you like about working at United States Department of Agriculture?

"Government is slow to change and adapt. Leadership is more focused on keeping status quo (turf) than embracing change. Micromanagement and/or lack of faith in employees to get the job done well adds stress and slows an inherently already slow process. Government is by nature slow because everyone wants a say- the American people complain about the pace and compare it to industry- but they complain too if government does something without asking them, or worse, not even telling them. All that sharing and communication and sorting out of viewpoints takes time. Industry does not have to do everything by committee like government does so new ideas, and corrections can be done more quickly."

What suggestions do you have for management?

"When you hire the best, don't then treat them as incompetent when they arrive for work. Communicate with employees regularly and sincerely (don't go through the motions in the reviews), it's still micromanagement if you let the employee go for extended periods- while secretly documenting everything you don't like without discussing it until the annual review, or you blow up. This is not all Federal managers, but sadly too many in government."

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