Monthly Archives: May, 2012

Field offices: Less bureaucracy, but vulnerable to cuts


This column summarizes the relative advantages and disadvantages of working in agency field offices. The mission of field offices usually is to implement and enforce programs, policies and regulations issued by headquarters; provide feedback and progress reports to headquarters on these activities; and work with local media. These roles may require, among other things, trying legal cases, conducting inspection and monitoring activities, running research programs, issuing permits and conducting outreach activities. Field employees often have authority to make decisions faster than headquarters employees because the activities they manage often demand quick responses. As one headquarters media officer who has extensive field…

The highs and lows of a headquarters job


As the saying goes: “location, location, location.” So what are the relative advantages and disadvantages of working in an agency headquarters office in Washington vs. a field office elsewhere in the U.S.? In this column, I’ll describe the relative advantages and disadvantages of working in a Washington-area headquarters office. Some caveats: Conditions vary from office to office. And impressions and perspectives about any particular office would likely differ among staff members, depending on their personal preferences and individual circumstances. The mission of headquarters offices is to design and develop programs, policies and legally binding regulations; monitor implementation and enforcement by…