How do you stand out during the sequester? Do you want to stand out? Or, during the sequester is it better to stay below everyone’s radar?

These are all good questions. Answering these questions may prove to be difficult, however.

The effective start date of the sequester was March 1, 2013. Nobody really knows what precisely will happen now that the sequester is underway. Can anyone answer questions about when the impact of the sequester will be felt? Some reports say that effects upon employment will not be felt until April 1. Does this mean that we all have until April 1 to get ready for the sequester?

If you happen to live in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, the sequester is a major topic of discussion. 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 six months ago after having lived and worked there for nearly twenty years. You may have seen what I wrote about these experiences elsewhere online.

Now that the sequester start date has arrived, I want to share an honest reality with you:

One motivating reason for my choice to leave the Washington, DC metropolitan 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.

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