Need advice for Job search after two years TS not maintained by employer

Hello everybody -

I was laid off recently after the small federal contracting business I was working for had to make some hard choices in light of some insurmountable market challenges.

I was working at their corporate HQ (non-billable) and they didn’t maintain my TS clearance during the two years I worked for them. I was assured my performance and conduct were not an issue. I am focused on the road ahead and wondering how I should target my new job search, and manage my own expectations, in light of my security clearance history and status.

I previously held TS clearance as a contractor without interruption from 2000 - 2016. During that period I changed employers, and I have no reason to believe my clearance was not maintained. In fact, my most recent five year TS reinvestigation was completed on/around first week of September 2013 without issue. September 2018 appears to be my five year anniversary. The most recent DoD employment to make use of my clearance ended April 2016. However, during Apr 2016 - Apr 2018 my clearance was not maintained by my (now) former employer.

Which brings me to today – I am currently/actively submitting resumes and speaking with recruiters and potential employers. I am taking some time to find the right “fit.” I was recently told by one staffing service that my clearance is not present in JPAS. I’m not certain what that means, exactly, and I was concerned about their potential bias ( e.g. perhaps they are attempting to direct me to non-clearance opportunities and negotiate lower salaries in their own interests). A trusted friend heard my concerns and offered to reach out and independently verify my JPAS and SC status. I was told, with little detail, that reported status seems to be accurate.

So at this point I am wondering if this forum might offer experienced perspectives for my questions:

  1. I am wondering what is the technical phrase for my clearance status? How should I communicate its status during my job search (e.g. perhaps “TS eligible”)?

  2. Does my Sep 2013 five year reinvestigation anniversary date represent an opportunity and deadline to secure a new sponsor for my clearance, before it crosses some sort of threshold?

  3. Is my time well-spent applying for TS opportunities? How qualified / competitive am I for clearance job opportunities, at this point in time?

  4. In the bigger picture – should some portion of my details still be found within JPAS and SC? Does the reported “not found” status mean it’s like I have never held clearance, ever? Is this “not found” status normal?

Finally, I appreciate any insights that might help me target my job search at this point in time, and help me manage my own expectations.

Thanks for your time

The technical term for your clearance is “expired”. You went two years without holding a job that required a clearance. You will have to go back and start over with a new application.

Technically, when you leave a slot requiring a clearance for a company spot not requiring a clearance, they close out the clearance. Meaning you are not then at present “cleared.” But in the following 24 months, should you find a cleared position, the majority of agencies can cross you over, activate the clearance and you once again are cleared and will be required to submit for re investigation on the 5 year timeline for TS, 10 years for Secret (by and large). If you exist in SC, those with access can see you there. If you are indeed within scope of the 5 year, depending on the client you apply with…you MAY cross over. You MAY crossover with simultaneous submission of re investigation paperwork, or you may be to close to being out of scope or indeed out of scope, meaning expired as Ed said. The standard most agencies use is 24 months, but I had a few declined as they were at 22 months and the client felt on that day…it was too close. On other occasions I had a few well beyond 24 months and they crossed them over.

Bottom line, if a cleared agency wants you, they will sponsor you. It makes it easy for them if they can cross you over fast and yes you likely lose opportunity if they have equal or close candidates who are cleared and client pressure to put butts in seats.

Thank you for your time, Ed.

You seem well-informed in these forums. Not seeking assurances but can you offer guesses / perspectives for my other questions?

Thanks again

Thank you AB.

In your experience/opinion - does the reported “not found in JPAS or SC" status mean it’s like I have never held clearance, ever? Is this “not found” status normal with regard to my circumstances? Meaning - should some level of detail exist?

You don’t say what agency held your clearance. If it was DOD, I would certainly expect you to be in JPAS. Other agencies could have you in Scattered Castles (SC).

No, it isn’t like you never had a clearance but the process of getting it back may be the same. If you are looking at TS jobs you could easily go two years or more in the process. Usually less for Secret but it could be out there anyway.

Amber answered most of the rest or this. It IS possible for someone to reactivate your clearance and then do your investigation. It seems to me that this isn’t the norm.

1 Like