Every year for the last 37 years, the first week of May brings the holiday of Public Service Recognition Weekhonoring those who serve our nation as employees of federal, state, county, local, and tribal governments.
In his announcement of this year’s PSRW, President Biden said: “This week we recognize the indispensable contribution of our nation’s civil servants. We honor all our public workers who play critical roles in our country and around the world. I have the greatest honor of serving with these workers every day, and I am humbled by their commitment to building a better America. ”
IN The HR department tweeted“This week we recognize the indispensable contribution of our nation’s civil servants. They reflect the full diversity of this country and fulfill the promise of government from and for the people. “OPM recognized another group, tweeting, “Thank you, federal retirees! We build the future of our nation on your proud heritage. ”
If you are a federal employee or an annuity recipient, I hope you have felt respected and valued by those you have served during your federal career. I had a unique idea of federal employees preparing for retirement from the civil service after completing a career of dedicated work in many different agencies and with countless different job descriptions. What I noticed is the sense of pride that most of them have when they look back on their careers. Although many workers are ready to move on to a new chapter in their lives, they almost never regret the choices they made to enter their careers to serve the American public.
Although many federal workers have records at the end of their careers showing steady promotions to higher levels and increasing responsibility, these records do not always show the sense of accomplishment that is felt with each advancement. I love seeing an entry in the duty record of someone who started as a clerk or trainee in GS 2 and after decades of hard work rose to the ranks to become a senior official.
Federal workers have the opportunity to build on their many years of experience to mentor younger workers and set an example for the public. They also have opportunities for advancement and the ability to do many different types of work that require hundreds of different sets of skills, educational background and experience levels.
Federal employees can be recognized for exemplary work by receiving awards for leave, quality improvement and cash bonuses. But a pat on the back by a fellow employee or a word of praise from a manager or member of the public can also make that employee feel valued.
At the end of their careers, federal officials who have prepared well and learned how diligent savings, pensions and social security benefits go together to create a comfortable life after the government. Retirement from the federal service is not only a reward, but also a well-deserved benefit.
Thanks to all the federal workers I have enjoyed working with who have traveled either in my daily life or in the work I have done to help them understand and receive their retirement benefits. I admire your dedication to your goals and the many achievements you have made.
In addition, I received professional, patient and caring assistance from employees of the OPM, the Social Security Administration and the Federal Council for Retirement Savings. In addition, retirees and employees of federal agencies are the unsung heroes of the retirement process. They have faced many challenges in recent years due to staff shortages, complex and changing rules, the effects of the pandemic and the growing number of employees eligible for retirement.
If you are a federal employee or retiree, I hope you will appreciate their work, especially this week.