Today, we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
“And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist… and became the most prominent spokesman and leader in the American civil rights movement.
He fought for equality.
He fought for the right to have a dream, and to be able to pursue that dream.
Did you know that being a good leader and achieving success could hinge on having a dream?
Using his dream as a catalyst, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave courage to the oppressed. He also stirred up sympathy and empathy in those who observed the oppression. The strength of his words inspired supporters.
If you don’t have a dream, how will you know where are you headed?
Setting goals and a vision will help drive you forward towards your success—even when the going gets tough.
So, what is your dream?
Do you dream of making a positive impact or leaving a legacy?
Martin Luther King, Jr., did just that. He had a burning desire to not only make an impact, but to serve.
Who is your favorite public servant? What kind of legacy do you want to leave?
Do you dream of job security?
What would it feel like to have substantial job, or even, career security? To not have to worry if you’ll have a job waiting for you if you have to take a leave of absence, or if you get injured? To have a job that is secure, that you are unlikely to lose (barring extenuating circumstances)?
Job security is a very valuable thing! This is true in a strong economy but is even more true in an uncertain economy—and working in the Federal Government is an excellent option for job security.
As a general rule, private-sector employees are at a higher risk for losing their jobs. This can be due to any number of factors such as performance and restructuring. In fact, private-sector employees are three times likelier to be terminated by their employer than Federal Government employees.
If job security tops your list of attributes for your dream career, the Federal Government might be just what you’re looking for.
Do you dream of regular salary increases?
Employees who work for the Federal Government are offered competitive salaries, as well as the added benefit of high—and steady—salary increases. From 1951 to 1991, average state and local government employees received $1.37 in compensation increases for every $1.00 received by the average private employee. AND, since 1980, the pace has increased, with average state and local employees receiving $4.78 for each $1.00 received by private employees, as referenced here.
This is significant! Of course your salary can always be negotiated in private-sector and Federal Government. However, it’s pretty nice to consider a job where you know your compensation will continue to generously rise every year.
Do you dream of paid time off?
Did you know that over the course of their career—on average— state and local government employees and federal civilian employees receive roughly 1.5 years MORE for paid vacation and holidays than private employee?
Having more vacation hours means that federal employees are suitably compensated for their work hours. They are also given adequate time to recharge. When employees are able to do this, they are likely to better function in their jobs.
The Federal Government also tends to offer employees more paid sick and personal days off, compared to private-sector companies.
All of this could mean vacations, better mental health, work-life balance, time with your family, and more.
Do you dream of affordable and reliable health benefits?
Health benefits, within the private-sector can vary greatly. However, employees for private companies can generally expect to pay for more their health insurance than those who work for Federal Government. On top of that, the Federal Healthcare Benefits Program (FHBP) provides the widest selection of health care plans of any U.S. employer.
In addition, most government health care plans offer superior benefits to retirees. This is a huge benefit of working for the Federal Government.
Do you dream of excellent retirement benefits?
Lastly, federal employees often have the option to retire earlier than private-sector employees. They also get access to superior retirement plans through the Civil Services Retirement System (CSRS) or the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS).
Under both of these plans, retired federal employees receive an annuity, which doesn’t replace, but rather complements Social Security benefits. Federal employees also have the option to participate in a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), which offers 401(k)-type investment options.
These types of benefits can lead to a more comfortable and enjoyable life, post-career.
What are you dreaming of?
If you’re looking for a job with stability, fair compensation, and stellar benefits, a Federal Government position could be a right fit for you. There are obviously pros and cons that are associated with any type of job—federal or private—but the pros of a federal job are definitely something to consider if you are in an active job search.
And whatever type of job and life it is that you’re dreaming of, I encourage you to keep moving towards it! Creating a life you love doesn’t always come easy, but it’s worth it. And if you’re looking for a hand to hold, a long-term partner in this career journey, we’re always here for you.
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
— Martin Luther King Jr., 1960.