Pros: Consistent work tasks
Cons: Little/no feedback, poor direction, incompetent management, very little opportunity to advance, behind the curve technologically, no opportunity to refine existing skills, rude and inappropriate managers
Be prepared to come face to face with managerial incompetence, government red-tape, and rampant double standards. I suppose that's par for the course for any government job.
The data entry work was tedious and monotonous, like it always is, but the standards were never made clear. The only excitement or surprise inherent in the job is how your numbers were either ahead or behind, based on arbitrary standards that are never communicated.
If you're looking for a place to distinguish yourself, innovate, make friends, or be exposed to new methodologies/technologies, you're looking in the wrong place. Managers regularly take credit for work they had no hand in doing or didn't even know it was being done. They're completely ignorant of the technical goings-on, but they'll happily take the kudos for a job well done.
Innovation is frowned upon and almost punished. I came up with several process enhancements to streamline employee performance metrics, but was told to reverse them - even though mine calculated all metrics more accurately than the manager coded ones. I also overwrote a manager's mis-coding of a validation field that had our error rate skyrocketing well beyond acceptable limits. I was fired two days later.
The place is full of gray drones. If you're interested in talking to human beings with feelings and ambitions, you'll have to cultivate a healthy social life outside of the office. Fraternization often turns into a gripe fest that does little to improve the atmosphere.
Government is perpetually 20-30 years behind the curve in terms of any technological – more... or methodological revolutions, so be prepared to watch your modern skills rust and molder from disuse as you pore over operation manuals for applications from decades past.
The best and worst parts of the job are the same: the work is predictable. If you have zero ambition and aren't interested in any vertical movement internally, then going to work and doing exactly the same thing every day there is for you. Otherwise, you'll find the prospect of dragging yourself out of bed to spend your day, plagued with ennui and talking to cardboard cutout government drones, very difficult to stomach in the long term.
The management style is entirely incompetent. "I don't like it, change it" is about all the feedback you'll ever receive, even if you directly ask for assistance or more in-depth criticism to assist your growth. Management also asked a series of inappropriate questions regarding the frequency I went to use the rest room. Any of my requests for ergonomic accommodation were ignored. Apparently, offended and uncomfortable workers are sufficient to get the job done.
Unless you're wiling away the final few years of your working life, stay away at all costs. Unless you want to get ahead by backstabbing colleagues, never do any real work, and be decades behind the curve, you owe it to yourself to find something better. It's not even worth it as a stopgap job.
Government work just isn't for me. From what I've seen, it ends up sucking the life out of everyone. – less