Career briefs help broaden civil service career options

Robins Air Force Base, Ga. -- Most civil service employees have worked in other jobs before being hired at Robins.

While some may feel their time in off-base employment is useless, recent career briefings at Robins are teaching employees that job experience outside the government shouldn't be discarded.

The briefings, first offered in the maintenance areas of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in November 2007, began increasing in March as Civilian Personnel taught people how to broaden career options.

Phil House, a human resource specialist in the Directorate of Civilian Personnel who works job classification issues in the maintenance areas, said the briefings explain how the civilian hiring system works and how employees can get their prior work experience coded and credited on their career briefs.

More than 400 employees have attended the voluntary briefings in the maintenance area in the past few months, and the information provided has been much appreciated.

Randall Petre, a process analyst in the 402nd Commodities Maintenance Support Squad-ron said the briefing he attended was very helpful.

"People need it," he said. "To be able to update your career brief online is a whole lot easier."

Mr. Petre said now, he'll be able to include his prior military training to possibly further his career.

Gail Trice, a program support assistant in Quality Assurance in 402nd Commodities Maintenance Group's Maintenance Division, attended the career briefing May 20. She said she wanted to learn how to be selected for a job.

"I think anybody who is not familiar with the career brief and wants to know more about it and how to further their promotion potential should take this briefing," she said.

Mr. House said the career brief updates allow people to put past hard work to good use.

"It reminds people that nothing they've done in the past is wasted just because they may be in a different type of job now," he said.

People shouldn't exaggerate their experience level, however, as it could hurt them later if hired into a job they can't do, Mr. House said.

In addition to career briefs helping the employee, management has something to gain as well.

"It ensures that management has the best pool of applicants to select from," he said. "If the best employee for the job isn't properly coded, he's not going to show up (in the system) and management isn't even going to get to take a look at him."

Civilian Personnel recently began giving the briefings to organizations outside of the maintenance realm and will continue to do so into the coming weeks.

Mr. House said organizations should schedule a career fair briefing for their employees through the organization's resource advisor.