FBITP advice (new hire)

Will any current agents and investigators chime in and give any advice with the program and any secrets to succeed?

Work at least 10 hours off the clock every week to show you’re (artificially) meeting your numbers and you’ll be set. A little burnt out. But still set.

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Make friends with your coworkers and your classmates from training. You will constantly feel like you have no idea what you’re doing and having someone to talk to helps.

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I understand why you say this as most F/T DCSA Investigators feel that they need to work off the clock to keep their job and not be threatened by their supervisor. However, that’s the worst thing we can do as Investigators because the companies say that they are basing their production guidelines off of what Investigators say they are accomplishing in a 40 hour work week. If everyone told these companies to pound sand after 40 hours, the companies would have a true measure of what is attainable across the averages from day to day, month to month, and year to year.

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Don’t argue with the trainers. Question if you have questions but accept and move on.

Memorize the oath and privacy act.

Try to get experience with FWS prior to the FBITP.

Get your hands on some of the guides and try to wrap your head around coverage.

Someone told me over 10 years ago that organization is the #1 thing with thia job. They were right. Try not to get frustrated, it takes a solid year to really understand this job. It seems easy but it really isn’t. Even after 10 years- when I interview someone my mind is racing with what else should I ask them.

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It’s not that we “feel” there is a need to work off the clock…the Agency sets up the field Investigator for failure and only way to even come close to succeeding is to work off the clock. Even then the metrics can’t be met. The expectations are unattainable and very unrealistic.

Find a new job! There are better ways to get into the federal government as a stepping stone. DCSA is a terrible agency to work for…it will only leave you burnt out, frustrated, and nothing to show for it. Good luck!

Other than the usual “stay organized” type of advice, I would say try to find a way to mold this job around your life rather than the other way around. There are very few positives that come with the job, so really exploit those. You’ll spend a lot of time typing, so try to switch it up and do it in coffee shops and other places (if allowed and practical). You’ll spend a lot of time driving around, use this time for music, podcasts, audiobooks etc. If your SAC/FM allows you to truly “flex” your time during the day… go for walks, exercise, step away and watch something on Netflix for an hour and come back. Make friends with your coworkers and vent to them when possible, it will help knowing everyone else is having the same struggles as you. That’s about it

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That’s not true at all. I’ve never worked off the clock and my metrics are fine. People who do are ruining it for everyone else.

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Metrics are different for every level of investigator. If you ever feel your expectations are unattainable, ask for a level down. I do believe the metrics of a level 6 (the highest) are quite impossible without favorable assignment practices from managers and workload coordinators. Impossible expectations lead to bad behaviors. We’ve seen it over and over again in all industries.

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Same here - as a contractor and certainly not as a fed.

Connect with your classmates and ask lots of questions. Maintain your integrity above all and you will do great! I would tell you to reach out to me for assistance but we don’t have a way to share contact info on here.