Security Clearance Stress

I am currently in the interview process with a government contracting company in which I will be subject to have “the ability to obtain a security clearance.” I’ve moved on well through the interview process of the company, but as I have never originally thought of my work carrying me into any type of government-related field, I never appreciated what it actually meant to obtain a security clearance. I am two years removed from college, but while in school I was a casual marijuana user (and only marijuana user) from 2014-2017, smoking 50-100 times. Additionally, I have used marijuana once in the last 6 months, but this is the extent of my drug use.

My question is, do I even bother continuing on trying to get this job? I’d imagine this security clearance would only fall in the “Confidential” category, and this is a position I really want and believe I could flourish in. I would be willing to sign any paperwork necessary to commit to a drug-free lifestyle and would allow myself to be subject to random drug testing. How realistic is it for me to be able to obtain a security clearance?

I predict, unless you have a unique talent or background, you need wait another 6 months minimum. Realistically, your use goes beyond youthful experimentation. It falls into regular use, but normal for college folks. It isn’t a cardinal sin. But I would think most agencies will want 18 months to 2 years with zero use. So yes the one recent use counts. The key to all of this is honesty. Lay it on the line, if the person conducting the BI or the company itself tells you you to pause ( a responsible company would pause until at least 12 months with no use), then definitely wait. In the interim, make sure your finances are 100% squared away and you have an established track record of paying on time, and having all debt in a repayment plan. It isn’t a FICO score per say, but the associated history of following rules, living up to obligations etc.