Did you know that the majority of test takers do not pass the test? Further, did you know that practicing for a test greatly improves your odds of passing?
But none of that can begin, without taking the first critical step of introspection — you need to know yourself.
You need to acknowledge what you like, what you do not like, what you can live without, and what you must have. Some of these things you already recognize about yourself, others you will only learn through experience. Know your flexibilities, and those of your partner and dependents if applicable.
Being a diplomat is dependent on this. The Pros and Cons. When I first wrote this draft, it started much differently. The original intent was to break down the pros and cons of joining the Service into separate posts.
It was a disservice. What follows are essential aspects of a career in the Foreign Service you should consider in your decision to join. As you read, determine if the area discussed is a pro, con, or TBD. This is your decision to make. Worldwide Availability This should go without saying, but if you want to join the Foreign Service, then you do so with full knowledge that you are going to be living overseas.
Furthermore, you agree with Uncle Sam to go wherever he tells you.
This is not to say consideration to your preferences are not made, they very much are! Every Officer is given the opportunity to bid on their next post, but if the Department of State requires your particular set of skills in Peru, then guess where you are going.
Some missions are rather large, while others are made up of a small diplomatic staff. You need to be able to adapt to both. Just two examples of what that could mean: In smaller missions, you may be asked to fill the role that in a larger embassy may have been filled by people.
In smaller missions, you may be working in an isolated part of the country and have less access to cultural opportunities, health institutions, schools, etc. Relocation Every years With the Foreign Service, you have the opportunity to live in many different parts of the world.
Time is on your side to both go to remote areas and to treat your new relocation as a regional hub e. For some, relocating to a new post every years is something to look forward to.
You get to see new places, meet new people, and more. But to others, the constant movement can be hard. Some of these might sound great to you, but others might find the above a significant impediment to joining.
Perhaps one post was not a good experience, and you are looking forward to the next one. I recall how much I was looking forward to the end of our post in China.
Not because the country or the people were terrible, I enjoyed those aspects, but it was because of my school experience. Consistently moving may be one of the most difficult and beneficial aspects of being a Foreign Service Officer.
For each post brings new benefits and challenges. At your next post, you could: Be living in an apartment as opposed to a house with a yard; Be living in a mostly winter climate as opposed to tropical; Be living in a country with a culture dramatically different than your own, and have to adapt to it; Be making a higher salary due to danger and hardship pay, as opposed to just the base salary; or Be a quick four-hour flight back to the U.
It all comes down to what you make of it and keeping a positive outlook on the aspects of your life that you can change and those that you cannot. Salary Pay is brought up consistently as both a benefit and a deterrent for joining the Service.
Whether you are a solo Officer, with a partner, or have dependents, the salary question affects you differently.The Department has decided to change the format of the first part of the Foreign Service Exam. Starting with the February FSOT instead of having one topic on which to write, applicants will choose one out of three “short topics.”.
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