Fading Desirability of Washington, DC

There are many fine places in our country to choose to live and work if you want to stand out. The Washington, DC area does not happen to be one of those places.

The sequester is a major topic of discussion especially for those who work in or near Washington, DC. Many questions remain unanswered. Will you lose your federally-funded job? Will you be forced to take every Friday off without pay to keep your federally-funded job?

I moved away from the Washington, DC metropolitan area in 2012 after having lived and worked there for nearly twenty years. You may have seen what I wrote about these experiences elsewhere on this website.

Before I left the Washington, DC metropolitan area, there was talk about the uncertain days ahead for everyone who depends upon the federal government for employment. One motivating reason for my choice to leave that area was the unanswerable questions I had about whether it is sufficiently secure to have a life and a career in the Washington, DC metropolitan area where making a living depends so deeply upon the decisions and behaviors of the federal government.

I was never a federal employee. But, for many years I worked inside federal agencies in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. I worked for various companies the Washington, DC metropolitan area who paid contractors like me using federal dollars that the companies received from the federal government for Department of Defense and Department of Justice work that I performed.

From first-hand experience, I know what it feels like to attend employee meetings where the top person in charge of the federal agency says things like this:

“We don’t know if our funding will continue at the present levels. We don’t know if anyone’s job is in jeopardy. We are working hard right now to get answers that we know you want and need. Meanwhile, don’t worry.”

When I first arrived in the Washington, DC metropolitan area in 1995, I saw all around me how it was considered a very desirable thing to be an employee who was paid directly or indirectly by the federal government. By the time I chose to leave the Washington, DC metropolitan area, that desirability had faded. The fade continues.

Share your comments and suggestions on the subject of living and working in the Washington, DC area. I look forward to hearing from you today!

See the growing list of posts in the “Stand Out” series here at Ned’s JOTW website.

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