5 Underrated Skills That Make You Invaluable in Federal Service

5 Skills That Make You A Good Federal Employee

Federal service has its own thrills, challenges, and culture. Civilian Federal Employees are impacted by political decisions and evolving agency landscapes, all while working to create tangible, long-lasting impacts on the country. If you’re a Federal employee, you likely take pride in your dedication to public service. No matter where you are in your career, our list of 5 Underrated Skills That Make You Invaluable in Federal Service can help you add polish to your professional reputation. Consider developing these skills:



Government service can be fast paced. As the environment shifts, you need to be able to keep up. Additionally, many Feds report that mentorship is an important part of their careers. Adaptability is key for career development and will help mold you into a better employee.


Keep your composure the next time you are faced with unclear project guidelines or a budget mishap.


Situational Awareness

Situational awareness is more than knowing how to read a room – you need to be in tune with what is happening in your community and across the global landscape. This will help you anticipate changes that may impact your agency and its projects.


Gain a pulse on the hot topics occurring in the Federal space by subscribing to Federal newsletters.


Attention to detail

In the government especially, dotting i’s and crossing t’s is essential. Even if it requires you to slow down sometimes, taking the time to review your work before you submit it will help you build a more polished and professional reputation.


Pay special attention to your next submission to check for errors and things that don’t add up.



Use your natural curiosity to ask questions and learn about your agency, colleagues, and the specific impact your work has on the organization. Having a broader knowledge beyond the silo you may work in can help streamline possible career advancements.


The next time you’re briefed on a project or initiative, wait for the appropriate time and ask your supervisor or colleagues about the “why” behind the “what” so you can garner context.



As one of Amazon’s leadership principles, frugality is a skill that encourages employees to “work smart” and with resourcefulness. Plus, working in the government means that every dollar saved is a public resource that can be used elsewhere.


Two easy tactics to implement frugality into your workday are: double sided printing and printing in black and white.


As you work on skills to improve your impact in the Federal government, why not improve your benefits packages as well? Take the time to do the math: Feds who switch from FEGLI to WAEPA saved $375 on average. Plus, with WAEPA Group Term Life Insurance, you get portable coverage, premium refunds, and member benefits, all tailored specifically to your needs as a Civilian Federal Employee. See how much you could save.


Additional Resources

Necessary Skills: Being Marketable for Federal Positions (NCDA, 2013)

7 Habits to Help Advance Your Career in Government (Careers in Government, 2016)

Skills for a High Performing Civil Service (OECD Public Governance Reviews)


This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.