HOPEFULLY, BY NOW you have acclimated yourself to working for the government, have made a good first impression, are continuing to improve your skills and expertise, and have built a good relationship with your supervisor. At this point, you want to begin to develop a larger view of things so that you can understand where you fit into the big picture, comprehend how things really work on a broader scale, and figure out where you can go from here. To do this successfully, you need to understand the forces that are at play in the government.
Forces at Play
Early in my career, I focused almost exclusively on simply doing a good job. That was all I really paid attention to at work, although of course I read the newspapers, watched the evening news, and read many books. However, perhaps because I was too young and unsophisticated at the time, I didn’t really pay attention to national politics and how they af-