I’m currently a contractor for an alphabet agency, waiting to take a CI polygraph, and I have a question. Once I complete the poly and it’s approved, can I then go back on the market and look for a new position? Are there limitations on this? An SCI definitely adds a more value to my earning potential and I’d like to take full advantage of that.
It always pays to keep your resume up to date.
Also helps to interview every now and then just to keep in practice
You never know when a great opportunity might pop up… or when you might suddenly be forced into making a change.
Excellent points, all. Contracting has had some abrupt ups and downs. Honestly it’s part of what’s pushed me toward a more mercenary mindset: not knowing when I could be dropped (for any reason) makes me much more hesitant about settling in anywhere and more concerned about the best deal for me.
While you’re definitely more “marketable”, be cautious of agreements signed with the agency, usually you must be employed with us for XX year(s) or you agree to pay us back the cost of the clearance / investigation etc.
Also in my hiring experiences in the past, I’ve seen resumes etc where people were just awarded a TS/SCI and are already “jumping ship” to get a new job since they are more marketable. You want to talk about questions of loyalty / longevity that will definitely make someone go hmmm
That’s fair with regard to jumping ship. Good point.
As far as the agency agreements, safe to assume you mean a direct position with said agency? I’m an outside contractor and said agency required the SCI after I’d been hired. I haven’t seen any paperwork referencing any deal comparable to what you mentioned. Might this also come up after the SCI is finalized?
I’ve been around the block a few times and I’ve never encountered this kind of language. Repay relocation packages, signing bonuses, yes, but not the cost of the investigation.
Note that the cost of the investigation is paid by the agency, not the contractor, and the official price list for investigations shows very low costs compared to some of the stories you hear.
Why would there be company loyalty when the companies treat employees as expendable tools? We worry about loyalty to the US, not Lockheed Martin.
Oh, don’t get me started on that; I could not agree more. We gotta look out for us.
I was more concerned with any potential legal concerns. I’ve been contracting for a little over 2 years now so a lot of this is very new and even the stuff I’m familiar with is still mostly tangential. This blog has been a really useful find.
+1 to that. My company POC casually threated to fire me over an email miscommunication, a miscommunication which didn’t break any real rules, like security violations. That was five minutes after he complained about a contractor leaving to a different company that has better contracts.
These companies don’t care about the mission or anything else, only the interests of the company. Ironically, this company sends out cheap jackets and coffee mugs with the company’s name on it, so that the contractors provide free advertisement under the guise of a “loyal, friendly, insert other BS trait” company.
Point being, treat it the same. I took this job in a place I didn’t want to live in because I didn’t want to take my brand new clearance and go elsewhere, risking how that would be viewed by future “superloyalmorethananyoneelse” companies. I also bite my tongue when a site lead calls me at 10pm for the fifth time in a month, asking why I’m not at work, even though I’ve been on a 9-5 schedule the entire time…