How long will a clearance last after meeting with a background investigaor?

I accepted a job right before graduation last April and need a secret clearance to start working. I took the summer off and then got a temporary job that goes until the end of this month thinking the clearance should be almost completed by then. It’s been transferred twice because investigators were out of state. I just got an email asking me to call them to confirm my work location so an investigator could be assigned to me in the “Near future” I’ve started looking for other jobs but can’t find any that are temporary so my options are:

  1. Wait around and hope the investigation finished very soon because I don’t have a lot of money to pay the bills.
  2. Get a full time job, not tell them I’m being investigated and then leave if my clearance finishes I can start (I’m not sure if the background investigator would contact my boss which could get me fired before I have my clearance?)
  3. Get a full time job and tell the original company that hired me that I’m taking a different position and stop my investigation (Would this hurt my chances of passing a future security clearance if I get a job with another company that needs one down the road? Is there any action the company could take against me - I have’t been paid at all yet but they may have paid for my investigation)

I am in your shoes. I have been waiting on clearances for over 2 years now. I have a full time job, and they don’t know about the clearance. The cleared job is higher pay and is what I want to do. Get a full time job and continue with your life, allow the clearance to continue, once it finally does come through decide at that time if it is worth it to leave for the cleared job.

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What Mike said . . . Don’t put your life on hold waiting for a clearance. If you don’t have an investigator assigned, you’re not close to finished. You’re really only at the beginning.

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Is there any chance that the investigator will contact my full time job during my investigation and cause me to lose that? Also is it ok to wait for the clearance to go through and still not take the job, I already technically accepted the job offer, although I believe it’s at-will employment

Yes, there is a chance that they will contact your current employer. I believe that they contact the HR department who will just verify your dates of employment. Most companies are not going to fire you over this.

Yes, you can refuse the position once your clearance is approved. You will have two years to take another position requiring clearance or you will need to start the process over. You have not actually accepted the position, it was most likely a conditional offer, you gave them a conditional acceptance.

Hey thanks so much for the advice. That makes me feel better I though maybe they would do an in person interview with my boss which I feel like would be much different than just verifying the current dates of my employment with hr.

Also I’m assuming that would damage the relationship with my current company pretty badly if they paid for my clearance and I declined the position but you don’t think that would have an effect on getting a job with any other future contractor and would it hurt me as far as renewing my clearance in the future.

Again, thanks so much, I’ve been really stressed about this right now so I’m trying to make the best decision and this is really helpful information.