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Looking at details for professional growth

A detail is a temporary assignment from one position within the federal government to another, with the expectation that you will return to your official position upon completion.

A detail can be a great way to develop and grow your skills while expanding your professional network. It can also be a way to learn more about a different area of government without permanently switching jobs. Generally, details are from 30 - 120 days, though some may be extended on a case-by-case basis.

Detail opportunities can be found through formal channels or can be crafted by leveraging professional relationships. This spreadsheet includes the names of employees across TTS who have gone on detail.

Within GSA, the GSA Opportunity Network is where details within various parts of the agency are posted; outside of GSA, Open Opportunities lists small tasks, projects and details across the federal government.

Details can also be formed through personal interest and networking. The TTS #alumni Slack channel is an available resource: many alumni have gone on to other federal agencies.

There is no one way to craft a detail opportunity. However, it may be helpful to think through the following:

  • In what areas do you want to get more on-the-job training?
  • In what agencies or parts of government can you receive that training?
  • How can your and TTS’s networks be leveraged to connect with individuals at that organization?
  • Does the receiving organization have a business need? What value will you bring to their organization?
  • How would a detail with the organization align to your professional growth plan?
  • How would it benefit TTS/GSA?
  • Would the detail be reimbursable (the other agency pays your salary) or non-reimbursable?
  • Who could backfill your duties while you’re on detail?

Process

There is paperwork and approvals needed in order to go on detail. There are Handbook pages for the 3 most common scenarios:

GSA also has a policy on Details to the Legislative Branch.