Are you considering joining the Foreign Service? If you are, you probably have a ton of questions relating to testing and what life and work is like in the Foreign Service.
As a Foreign Service Officer with the State Department, I’m often surprised when I talk to people who’ve expressed interest in joining the Foreign Service. Some folks have very little knowledge about the work yet are still intrigued at the idea of the Foreign Service.
Others have ideas that are woefully divergent from the reality. In fact, some people have made it all the way through the testing and background checks only to be completely surprised at what the work is really like. Some newly commissioned officers have even left after just one tour (usually two years of service) because the reality of the work and the lifestyle didn’t meet their expectations. This of course is a costly outcome for both the individual and the U.S. government in terms of money and opportunity cost.
My hope with this blog is to highlight the benefits and drawbacks in a realistic way but to ultimately make a case for why a career in the Foreign Service can be a rewarding, exciting, and enjoyable experience.