Members share career advice

What’s one valuable piece of career advice you would like to share with your growing network of Asian American and Pacific Islander employees in the Forest Service?  

APAEA members shared these brief snippets of career advice during our December 2013 election survey. Think of it as “flash mentoring.”    Download Members’ Career Tips pdf

Take the time & effort to reach out to each other. 

 Avoid complacency, and get over your tendency to not want to rock the boat.

Advancement won’t be simply handed to you — neither as an individual, nor as APAs facing systemic bias and unconscious stereotypes. Gifford Pinchot constantly advocated for himself, and he liked to stir things up.

 Everyone should have a resume ready at all times and apply to positions to show your interest for upward mobility, not just when you are planning to leave.

 Get involved with new things

 Always be with a positive “can do” attitude and remember that our Asian heritage speaks a lot of how we take pride in our job and in whatever task is at hand.

 Listen well. I don’t know how it is in the WO office, but on the units, work assignments are given in one sentence. If you’re not listening, you may not know that you were given an assignment, and you may not get told again but the expectation will be there.

 Continually seek opportunities to stay connected to the resource! We live in a digital age where much of the work we do takes place in meetings, on the phone, or in front of a computer. While this is necessary work, our employees need to seize opportunities to be in the field and see/contribute to land management in action. All too often we focus on increasing our knowledge base and professional abilities by executing office work.

Employees shouldn’t neglect the opportunities for learning and growth that only come by being in the field too.

 It’s never too late to ask for career advice. I’m in my 13th year as a USFS and NPS employee and am still learning from mentors and fellow co-workers.

 Be mobile. If you really want to move up, mobility is the key.

 View challenges and problems as opportunities.

 Network, network, network. Get to know your fellow APA employees.

 Don’t be in a hurry, do things you love doing when looking for jobs, be open to working in rural America.

 Don’t put down roots. In order to succeed in this agency you will need to move many times.

 It’s all about networking and connecting with others! — Don’t be afraid to reach out to others for advice and mentors. Also don’t be afraid to help others by sharing your experience. You never know what friends and/or advocates you’ll make in the process.

 Having support and networking opportunities through APAEA is a definite plus that you can contribute to and benefit from

 That it is important to share the positive experiences with other AAs and PIs. Negative can really dissuade qualifited individuals.

 It really doesn’t matter your capabilities and experience in the FS; it’s really who you know to come up in ranks.

 Work hard; do good things; and ask for help. Things do change–one step at a time.

 Take advantage of detail opportunities to gain more visibility and to become more marketable. And network, network, network.

 Always stay connected, even as careers take us further apart. Keep the network strong and grow it continually.

 Don’t be afraid of assignments in really rural places and outside of your comfort zone

 Remember the importance of formal and informal networks.

 Take advantage of details.

 Get engaged in the important issues of the agency. Make a difference.

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