Develop a career plan.
Think about what you want to do and find out what's required to help you get there. Two great tools that are sometimes used in the USGS are:
Another great resource is the Job Profiles Web site. Here people who actually do different jobs have already conducted the interviews for you.
Assess your skills and interests.
What do you like to do? Are there tasks you beg to do and others you have to force yourself to do? What jobs match your temperament? Some web sites you might want to check out are:
Research occupations that you are or may potentially be interested in.
Interviews are a good source of information, but for general information such as salary trends, outlook, etc., look at the on-line Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Compare your skills and interests with the occupations you're interested in.
Choose your career goal - this is where you start planning.
Both a long-term and a short-term goal should be identified.
Select training programs and other activities that will help you develop in your current job, and help you get closer to reaching that "dream" job.
Three great sources that offer training for government employees are:
Don't forget about your local colleges and universities. If you don't have that degree and it's needed in your future, begin to work on it as soon as possible.
What assistance is available to you?
If the course is job related, your supervisor may be able to fund the course. If not, maybe you can earn a scholarship or grant from a school. Or maybe you have to pay for it — is the investment now potentially worth the benefit in the future?
Network, network, network.
In the USGS, creating job possibilities and getting the mission accomplished are often about networking. Talk to people, let them know what you are interested in doing, sign up for that mentoring program, etc. You've got to "grease the wheels" to make things happen.
Keep your resume’ current.
USA.JOBS is the official job site of the US Federal Government. It is your one stop source for Federal Jobs and employment information.
Check out internet resources, for example:
The IDP is a tool that is highly recommended. It's been around for a long time and can help in completing steps 5-10.