Thursday, January 2, 2014

Moving On and Moving Up - Promotions and Relocations

In the course of a professional career, the time will come when current opportunities and experiences in a given position have been exhausted or near so. To keep advancing, a range of positions across a region or even the nation may be necessary to gain the experience and skills needed for higher-level positions.

When to Move On

  • No Promotion In Sight
    • Promotions at current duty stations may not be forthcoming.  Because of high job satisfaction, previous poor market conditions, or prior unstable job history, many older employees delay retirement. They are happy where they are because of their earnings, scope of responsibilities, the achievement of reaching such a position, or the comfort of an established routine. Even if not eligible for retirement, experienced employees may be reluctant to move because of a desire to maintain a stable environment for children and spouses, fiances, job comfort, or sense of place.
  • Achieved Previously Set Goals
    • Over the course of learning and practicing within a position, you will inevitably gain the specific skills and experience that initially compelled you to apply to the job. If advanced responsibilities or new duties are not forthcoming after discussion with your team or supervisor, a new position may hold greater opportunity.
  • Expectations Not Met
    • Similarly, if job duties were misrepresented or co-opted by your supervisor or other workers and negotiation fails, you may not be able to achieve the goals for your position. Unrequited expectations for workplace culture, general environment, or lifestyle opportunities in the area may also be reasons to seek new positions elsewhere.

What May Be Lost

  • Institutional Knowledge
    • Staying in one place for the majority of a career allows you to amass a significant body of knowledge specific to the location. This knowledge may include where and how to access work resources or aides such as tools, records, duties and skills of local personnel. Especially important to the natural resources profession, there may be invaluable geographic knowledge of past projects otherwise impossible to gain because of incomplete, missing, or otherwise inaccessible records.

  •  Home-Ownership
    • The transaction costs of buying homes every few years may limit the feasibility of home-ownership. Renting allows quicker transitions from job to job and limits the losses that may occur when selling below mortgage value in  a downmarket or if a discounted selling price is necessary for a quick sale. For those in public service jobs, federal career relocation assistance programs are not reported to be getting any better.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Land Use and Planning

Conservation of natural resources is most often accomplished through planning for the protection of the resources.  Adoption and implementation of a management plan.  Written or more intangible, a management plan should include recognition of different ecological areas within a land-holding and goals or objectives for each unique area. Federal and state organizations have designated planning processes that include soliciting public comment and addressing concerns.

The American Forest Foundation provides a useful online tool to assist land owners in managing their properties.  My Land Plan is an interactive mapping and decision-support tool helping to identify and organize goals for a property.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

USDA Forest Service Hiring Students and Recent Graduates

The USDA Forest Service is hiring students and recent graduates for permanent positions.  Candidates should apply though position vacancies listed on USAJOBS October 3 through October 9th.  If selected for an interview, Forest Service recruiters will contact you to arrange an in-person, teleconference, or LiveMeeting interviews on October 24th, 25th, and 26th.  In-person interviews will take place at the SAF National Convention if candidates are planning to attend. Job offers will be made Friday afternoon, October 26th.

See the USDA Forest Service Website For More Information

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Michigan Conservation Districts are Hiring

Seven Michigan Conservation Districts are hiring foresters to implement forestry assistance programs. To apply for the following locations, use the contact information provided:

Alcona/Iosco Conservation District 

Contact:Janet Reins – or 989-724-5272


Chippewa/Luce/Mackinac ConservationDistrict

Contact:Kristina Denison - or 906-635-1278


Clare/Gladwin Conservation District

Contact:  Kristina Noble –



Iron/Baraga Conservation District

 Contact:Cindy Ricker – or 906-875-3765

Presque Isle/Cheboygan ConservationDistrict

 Contact:Ralph Stedman – or 989-734-4000


Tuscola Conservation District

Contact:Jim Kratz – or 989-673-8174 ext. 3


Wexford/Missaukee Conservation District

Contact:Theresa Williams –

Friday, June 22, 2012

New Federal Hiring Changes for Students and Graduates

Effective in July 2012, the Federal government has revised and added hiring authorities for current students and recent graduates.  The former STEP/SCEP program is now replaced by the Internship Program. The Recent Graduates Program is new and offers federal employment opportunities to recent graduates within two years of degree completion. Those who have graduated since December 2010 are grandfathered in and also eligible. To learn about the complete range of opportunities, visit the Office of Personnel Management's website: Federal Hiring of Students and Recent Graduates