I Failed the Foreign Service Exam!

What do I do now?!?

First of all, don’t be so dramatic.

You can still get in, it’s just a matter of how. Please, please do not be fooled by the mystique surrounding the FSO test. Many FSO generalists are worthless. All the real work gets done by specialists and civil servants. (Please note I am a generalist and I am hip shooting; I am merely expressing my deepest knee-jerk respect for the expertise of our non-generalist colleagues.) Get in as a civil servant, take excursion tours overseas, *maybe* get into the Mustang program or even re-take the FS test again. But do NOT let this failure keep you from getting in or bruising your ego. Given all the turkeys who do pass the test, it’s absurd to let this stand in your way of getting in. You can still make a difference as a non-generalist. I know even contractors who are making more of an impact than line and trench FSO’s.

Keep your head up, remain intrepid and fearless. And just remember even Henry Kissinger started out as a lowly private in the U.S. Army. He was never an army officer, or for that matter, even an FSO!


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