I applied for a Peace Corps Recruiter position a few weeks ago, and although I didn’t get the job, this question really stuck with me. I’ve been doing some soul searching the last few months since my return about the importance of doing meaningful work with an agency that I not only have a passion for, but adore with every fiber of my being.
Here are the top 5 reasons why I want to work at Peace Corps Headquarters in D.C.
- Peace Corps ranks No. 2 overall among mid-sized agencies in the Partnership for Public Service’s 2015 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government ranking. It’s a great organization that empowers Returned Volunteers to continue public service work. My Peace Corps service was more about building partnerships with my community members and creating sustainable projects but this is the ability to work with individuals at the top and to make a difference for those serving abroad and those returned. There are also many departments and with the 5 year rule, I plan on moving up the ladder and seeing just how much more Peace Corps can continue to teach me, as well as how I can contribute to an agency that works so hard to help communities around the world.
- The 5 Year Rule or 60 months of employment. Peace Corps employees receive time-limited appointments and most employees are limited to a maximum of five years (60 months) of employment with the agency. This idea came about to keep staff with new ideas and innovations to the agency. A guaranteed job for 5 years? Sign me up! Most importantly, after three years of employment with the Peace Corps, you will earn noncompetitive eligibility status, which can help you obtain employment at other federal government agencies.
- Be in a place with people who understand the lingo of “DPT, CD, PCMO, GLOW, ET” and understand the struggles of being a Peace Corps Volunteer. I can go into detail about that awful time I really wanted to quit and leave Ethiopia but decided not to because of a belly aching laugh caused by my neighbor’s kid did that made my heart melt. Or the time that Camp GLOW empowered not only the participants but myself too. Or the days when I was just so thankful and appreciative of having the opportunity to make a small difference in this world.
- Peace Corps benefits. They offer standard federal employment benefits, including competitive salaries, 13 vacation days (extended to 19.5 days after just three years of service), 13 days of sick leave, a wide choice of life and health insurance options, and being automatically enrolled in a three-tier system that includes Social Security, a basic pension plan (Federal Employees Retirement System), and a Thrift Savings Plan. Under the Thrift Savings Plan, employees may contribute up to 10 percent of basic pay into a tax-deferred interest account. The government will match the employee’s contribution, up to 5 percent of basic pay.. Yes, please. Where can I sign up?
- Being surrounded by people who loved their service and still believe that love is the best thing we do. Imagine going to work and absolutely loving the work? Having a passion for it, with people who have made differences in the lives of others and still continue that work in the United States? Being in a place that values my work for Public Service — that’s important to me.
That being said, I am extremely excited to be announcing that I have accepted a marketing internship at Peace Corps HQ. I will be working alongside Peace Corps’ Office of Third Goal and Returned Volunteer Services (RVS) to provide services and information to returned volunteers and writing reports (which I love). I cannot wait to meet the wonderful people who help support the amazing volunteers around the world. Most importantly, there are about 2 Ethiopian guards so I can practice my Amharic and greet them with the shoulder bump! & ETHIOPIAN FOOD!!!