CyberOODA OriginalUncategorized

Not the best use of resources

The next generation reaches out:

Someone you used to work with told me about you and your site and suggested I get your advice. I have a computer science degree from [a selective university]. I thought working for the agency would be more exciting and rewarding than just cranking out code for some corporation. The recruiter that came to our university job fair made it all sound so great. After my initial processing I was assigned to the help desk, which is the kind of work I graduated from after high school. I’ve tried to talk to my boss about taking on more responsibility but he says everyone has to pay their dues. I didn’t want to fight terrorists by resetting passwords. Ideas?

That you can’t trust a recruiter is a given; just be grateful you weren’t joining the Army. ;-)

It would be easy to say that all work is honorable, but with a BSCS under your belt, help desk work does seem to be a step backwards. Your boss’s response is amusing and typical of the very old school that can’t get over the fact that age and tenure have nothing to do with performance and potential.

First things first: peruse the internal ‘Net and find an office and division where you think you might like to work based on the mission statement. Call the appropriate division chief and set up a meeting. Do you best to impress. If s/he has a billet s/he may be able to convince your current ball-and-chain to cut you loose. No guarantee that you’ll like the gig, but at least you are not going retrograde.

Option two: Make nice with the contractors in your shop. Not the low-rent body-shoppers sitting in the help-desk cubes next to you, the folks working on real IT tasks. Update your resume and pass it to them. Odds are they’ll have something for you to do, though it might not be at the same locale. It will probably be for more money, which isn’t a crime. You’ll be collecting a paycheck from “some corporation” but the work will still be for Uncle Sam.

If things were different I’d hook you up with the man who could snap his fingers and make it all happen for you, but as a certain rapper says: “you don’t know me like that.” No offense.

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East.