FedUpward Podcast

Love Rutledge

The FedUpward Podcast gives federal employees and friends of feds strategies and tips for navigating everyday problems. This is a place for federal employees to network, share ideas and get better.

Don't get fed up. Get FedUpward!

All Episodes

Dr. Chaveso (Chevy) Cook, co-founder and executive director of Military Mentors, Army Officer, and mentor to many, joins us on the podcast to offer tips to make mentoring relationships better. His tips apply to military and civilians - anyone interested in getting the most benefit and connection possible from mentoring. Military Mentors, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) and was founded in 2015 to improve the quality of leadership in the military. Military Mentors connects its members and gives them the best tools possible to develop themselves and each other into engaged and self-aware leaders. With Military Mentors, you can safely and privately connect to other service members who share your interest in leadership development. Military Mentors is not simply an internet forum or a message board, but rather a living community of people who care about personal growth.

Nov 29

36 min 36 sec

Meet Mr. Darrell Williams, veteran, coach, federal employee, discusses how to bust your mid-career motivation slump. He recommends finding an accountability partner and figuring our what training or learning opportunities might be hidden in plain sight. The one thing we DIDN'T discuss in this episode that I find motivating is working with younger feds whose enthusiasm rubs off on me. You an find Darrell at the links below: www.allianceseminars.org https://speakerhub.com/speaker/darrell-williams https://www.facebook.com/allianceseminars

Nov 20

18 min 13 sec

Greg Brinkley, former fed and a coach to black federal employees, describes a few of the archetypes he wrote about in Uncivilized: How Government Workers Behave and What to do to Help Them. He delivers advice on how to deal with these folks (trust me, you definitely work with the people he's describing). My personal favorite is the arsonist - the ones who are ready to figuratively burn it all down. You'll recognize the behaviors he outlines in our discussion, and his advice on how to stay motivated and succeed can help all federal employees. Greg graciously offered a code to save $300 on his most recent course for public servants. Use NOMISTAKE at checkout on his site, reachtheapex.org  You can find his book, Unciviliized, at uncivilizedbook.com #notanad

Nov 10

22 min 10 sec

The friendly folks from Consumers Checkbook, a nonprofit that rates local service providers, talk us through their benefits calculator. For some agencies, access is provided for free. If  you don't work for a part of the federal government that offers it, you want to sign up, you can save 20% by using the code "fedupward." For less than $20, you can take the  pain out of deciding which healthcare plan suits your family's needs. Open season starts November 8th. Be ready! Sign up here: https://www.checkbook.org/newhig2/hig.cfm This is NOT an ad. Consumers Checkbook didn't pay me to have them on the podcast. I heard great things about the site and asked them to talk about it so you can take advantage of this tool. 

Nov 2

20 min 40 sec

Matisha Montgomery serves as the Chief Learning Officer (CLO) at HUD. In this episode, she explains what a CLO does, what you should know about learning and development in general, and gives tips on establishing your individual development plan. You can find her here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matisha-montgomery-b214412/ She mentions the IDP templates on the OPM website. You can find them here.

Oct 30

25 min 21 sec

If you haven't joined the FedFam Facebook group, you should. I know, I'm not a huge FB fan either, but this group is SO helpful, supportive and just what you need as a federal employee in need of info. I sat down with Jason Coleman, founder of the group/non-profit, and current federal employee who wants to ensure you have a safe space to ask your toughest questions. https://www.facebook.com/groups/236110660657869/

Oct 24

22 min 48 sec

Mark Sachs is an organizational development expert and coach who works to bring out the best in his clients, many of whom are feds like us. In this episode, he delivers tips for setting boundaries in our professional lives.  You can find his website here.

Oct 20

16 min 25 sec

Looking for something new to expand your skill set, avoid burnout, and bring new solutions back to your agency to solve thorny problems? Have you considered a detail assignment at another agency or department? Career coach Elle O'Flaherty of Interlace Solutions explains how to leverage USAJOBS' new functionality to find details or post your own to draw in new talent.  https://openopps.usajobs.gov/

Oct 12

20 min 2 sec

Most of us are stuck in cubicles (at least when we're physically in the office these days). Workplace expert Mary Abbajay delves into the rules of engagement for surviving cubicle culture.  Mary is the co-host of the podcast, Cubicle Confidential, which you can find here. I found this podcast and really appreciated the kind, yet firm advice Mary and her co-host deliver to solve everyday problems, which y'all know I'm all about. She also authored a book, Managing Up, available wherever books are sold. Get your copy here.

Sep 15

16 min 33 sec

On Thursday, September 9, 2021, the President issued an executive order mandating vaccines for feds...and more. You can read it for yourself here. But what can federal employees expect in terms of implementation? What does it actually mean? Who does it impact? Deborah Hopkins and Katie Atkinson of the Federal Employment Law Training Group dish answers in this episode. They hopped on a Zoom call on the evening of the 10th to hash this out for us and I couldn't be more thankful!

Sep 11

27 min 42 sec

If you're like me, watching events unfold in Afghanistan left you angry, sad, confused, and asking yourself big questions about what contributions you've made over the last 20 years mean now. And the anniversary of 9/11 is coming up and everyone's planning their hot takes. AND COVID is still around and if you're kids are too young for vaccination, you're still stuck at home or losing your mind with worry every time your school sends another notice about potential exposure. Feds, many of us have no safe haven right now. Enter Dr. Amy Grubb. She breaks down the feelings we're experiencing right now and gives them a name - languishing - and tools to help combat the blahs. Amy mentions Adam Grant in this episode - learn more about him and his work here. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/well/mind/covid-mental-health-languishing.html https://positiveorgs.bus.umich.edu/news/adam-grant-writes-about-languishing-in-the-new-york-times/

Sep 7

17 min 53 sec

Listen to my (unedited because I wanted to get this out FAST) discussion with four amazing women in national security and foreign policy who are working hard to support the next generation of BIPOC leaders. They're hosting an amazing event on Sept 8th at 6pm. Register here:  tinyurl.com/climbconference They're supported by a group of sponsors who include: https://www.wcaps.org/ https://www.lcwins.org/ https://www.outinnationalsecurity.org/

Sep 2

17 min 15 sec

What can powerful coaching do for your organization? For you? Well, a lot. Sandi Stewart, an experienced and respected executive coach lays out what coaching is, how feds can benefit from coaching, and explains how creating a coaching practice within your agency or department might be the spark you need to reignite motivation and improve performance.  Buy Sandi's book here. ---------------- SLS Coaching Website: https://www.slscoach.com/ The Chief Human Capital Officers' Council memo on coaching: https://chcoc.gov/content/coaching-federal-government In the episode, I referred to the ICF as the International Coach Federation ... it's Coach-ING Federation. You can get details here on ICF: https://coachingfederation.org/ Department of Interior coaching program (it's a good example to look at if you're setting up a program): https://doiu.doi.gov/fictp/  

Aug 31

22 min 11 sec

https://allianceforcongress.org/ Meet Jeff McNichols, the lead for the Partnership for Public Service's new Alliance for Congress. The Alliance for Congress supports a more effective Congress that better meets the country’s diverse needs and interests. The Alliance will build on the Partnership’s two decades of experience working with the federal workforce and government agencies to increase collaboration, accountability, efficiency and innovation. In working with Congress, the Alliance will promote the importance of public service and stewardship, and champion common sense, nonpartisan improvements to make Congress a more capable and effective institution. This means professionalizing and maintaining a competent, diverse workforce on the Hill supporting our elected leaders. It also means fixing problems, working through the daily issues facing professional staff. Working collaboratively with individuals and organizations, the Alliance will offer insights into why a well-functioning Congress matters, recognize what it does well, elevate new and diverse voices and provide critical resources to lawmakers and staff to help them build an institution that can more fully represent and serve the interests of our nation.

Aug 25

14 min 51 sec

Dr. Steve West, a personal friend, amazing man, and Air Force veteran, sat down with me to discuss how federal employees and others can recognize the signs of PTSD and support those who struggle with it. He tells.his deeply personal story in his book, The Bronze Scar, in order to help people understand how PTSD feels. As many of us serve with veterans in federal agencies and departments, as events unfold in Afghanistan, as we approach the 20th anniversary of the September 11th tragedy, his message could not be more important or timely. This is NOT an ad - go buy his book.   The Bronze Scar Website https://www.amazon.com/Bronze-Scar-Understanding-Victims-Support-ebook/dp/B096T4G76W

Aug 18

25 min 21 sec

Ever filled out the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) and wondered what happened with the info? Michelle Amante of the Partnership for Public Service walks us through the work her organization does to use the survey results to help agencies and departments improve. Michelle outlines how the highest rated orgs use the survey feedback to make continuous improvement.  PPS press release on FEVS Best Places to Work Info

Aug 3

16 min 51 sec

Frustrated by the newly implemented guidelines about masking? Me, too, but we know it's needed to keep transmission rates down. I'm mad - mad that I can't work in an environment free from disease risks, mad that my too-young-to-be-vaccinated kids are still limited in so many ways and missing out on activities and experiences.  On a happier note, join me Aug 4-5 at the NextGen Training Summit for government employees. https://www.nextgengovt.com/

Aug 1

4 min 43 sec

Life insurance questions? FEGLI can be confusing and there's a new offering you might not know about - whole life insurance for feds. Brian Sigwart breaks it down for us. He's a Certified financial planner with Cummins and Associates Financial Group. He focuses his practice on educating federal employees how their benefits work. He has been providing financial wellness classes for over a decade at over 25 federal agencies in the DELMARVA area. https://www.caafg.com/Brian--Sigwart,-CFPsup-sup--RICPsup-sup.e637559.htm

Jul 13

16 min 34 sec

Dr. Jean Kanokogi, PhD, Director of Mental Health & Peer Support Services at the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, and a current federal employee, joined me to talk about her work to support feds' mental health. She supports federal law enforcement officer resiliency and creates resources to support their mental health. Learn more about the legislation she's currently championing and her work for FLEOA here: https://www.fleoa.org/member.aspx?id=9940 You can find her recently published book at the link below. Her book, Get Up and Fight, honors her mother, Rusty Kanokogi, who's known as the mother of women's judo. https://www.rustykanokogi.com/product-page/get-up-fight-the-memoir-of-rusty-kanokogi-special-edition-40th-anniversary

Jul 8

23 min 26 sec

Learn how you can nominate your SES for an award honoring his/her service and ability to inspire, get details on the Key Leader Program and Dr. Malone's new book, Leading with Love and Laughter. https://www.american.edu/spa/dpap/roger-jones-award.cfm https://www.amazon.com/Leading-Love-Laughter-Letting-Getting/dp/1523093218 https://www.american.edu/spa/key/

Jul 1

14 min 19 sec

If you are stuck trying to make sense of job classification, need your own position upgraded/changed, or if you need to do that for someone on your team, please meet David Bachrach.  (Nope, this isn't an ad.) http://www.bachrach.us and www.hrlearn.com With an emphasis on bringing clarity to complex situations, David is a management consultant with 20 years’ experience providing HR advisory services to federal agencies.  He spent time working as a govvie at  the Justice Department and the National Gallery of Art. He works the design, implementation and evaluation of alternative personnel systems for federal agencies and he has advice for us on the LEAST desirable tasks of supervisors - the dreaded job reclassification!

Jun 22

32 min 4 sec

Meet Daniel Hulter, the incomparable innovator within the United States Air Force. Daniel tells his amazing story of perseverance and how his experience being different led him to create community space for innovators within the Department of Defense and beyond. Daniel candidly shares his successes and challenges speaking his truth, seeking out like-minded individuals, and what federal employees across government may consider when faced with adverse circumstances. https://agitare.def.org/about-us/our-story

Jun 15

31 min 52 sec

Katie Atkinson, who defends federal employees and teaches classes through the Federal Employment Law Training Group (FELTG), walks us through recent guidelines issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  You need to understand your rights as an employee and/or supervisor as federal agencies and departments set rules for returning the physical office.

Jun 8

32 min 27 sec

If you're feeling like you might hit your breaking point at work or at home, you need to meet Shana Palmieri. She teaches methods to maintain your mental health, physical health and how to show concern for co-workers without overstepping boundaries. She teaches classes on maintaining your mental health in the federal workplace through the Federal Employment Law Training Group (FELTG). Find her at her next Virtual Training Event – Dealing With Employee Mental Health Challenges During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic on Jul 21 @ 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm. You can sign up here:   https://feltg.com/open-enrollment/   A few other links Shana mentioned in the interview:   'Why We Sleep' by Dr. Matthew Walker  https://www.sleepdiplomat.com/author   Communication Styles - Interpersonal Effectiveness DBT Skills  https://eddinscounseling.com/learn-interpersonal-effectiveness-skills/   Shana's Social Media Links LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/shana-palmieri-lcsw-46760120/   Twitter @PalmieriShana   shana.palmieri@xferall.com https://www.xferall.com/  

May 25

35 min 56 sec

I chatted with Ryan Changcoco, the lead for government programming at the Association for Talent Development (ATD). He described how ATD's tools for talent development, leveraging members from private and public sector organizations, can help federal employees. ATD hosts the Government Workforce Conference (link below) to speak directly to us as feds about up-leveling skills and shaping our organizations. Association for Talent Development site Government Workforce Conference

May 20

19 min 18 sec

Jason Briefel is a partner (non-attorney) at Shaw Bransford & Roth, where he serves as Director of the government affairs practice. As SBR’s Director of Government and Public Affairs he provides legislative and organizational representation to clients of the firm’s government affairs practice, including serving as Director of Policy & Outreach of the Senior Executives Association. Mr. Briefel serves as Editor-in-Chief of the FEDmanager and FEDagent e-report newsletters, and is a regular host of FEDtalk on Federal News Network. He discussed what he includes in the newsletters and FEDtalk that you should know as a fed.

May 12

16 min 51 sec

Rob Seidner of the Office of Management and Budget's Federal Human Capital Team explains what stinks about civil service rules and why... and what you can do to ensure you make the most of it. Rob's worked at the Office of Personnel Management, and currently works as OMB's Senior Career Staffer on federal human capital policy.  

May 8

32 min 19 sec

Meet Razi Hashmi and Rabeah Sabri, the co-founders of Mosaic - the Muslim Federal Employee Association. They launched this week (May 2021) and want to support you in your career. The mission of Mosaic is to establish a professional network of American Muslims in the federal government dedicated to career advancement, leadership development, and diversity and inclusion. Mosaic advances their mission by: Promoting professional development and leadership training; Serving as a gateway for the recruitment of American Muslims into the federal space;  Serving as an advocate of equal opportunity for Muslim federal employees; Gathering and disseminating information to Muslims in the federal government; Providing a nonpartisan platform on major issues of local, regional, and national significance that affect American Muslims in the federal government; and Serving as a venue to grow a greater sense of community among American Muslims in the federal government. Find them and join here: https://www.mosaicfeds.org/about  

May 5

16 min 50 sec

It's Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW), y'all!! To honor amazing feds, the Partnership for Public Service awards the Service to America Medals (Sammies) to deserving public servants working to better the nation everyday. Listen to my interview with 2021 Sammies finalist Mary Gibert from the General Services Administration. She discusses the work she did to prepare the Trump and Biden teams for transition activities, and gives advice for new feds.

May 4

16 min 1 sec

It's Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW), y'all!! To honor amazing feds, the Partnership for Public Service awards the Service to America Medals (Sammies) to deserving public servants working to better the nation everyday. Listen to my interview with 2021 Sammies finalist Mary Frances Matthews of Veterans Affairs. She discusses the work she does, and gives advice for new feds. https://servicetoamericamedals.org/honorees/kenneth-graham/ On Wednesday, May 5, at 12:30 p.m. EDT, the Partnership and Axos will air a virtual event to recognize the 2021 Service to America Medal finalists. Click here to head to Axios.com.

May 3

13 min 44 sec

It's Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW), y'all!! To honor amazing feds, the Partnership for Public Service awards the Service to America Medals (Sammies) to deserving public servants working to better the nation everyday. Listen to my interview with 2021 Sammies finalist Kenneth Graham of the National Hurricane Center. He discusses the work he does, and dishes advice for new feds. https://servicetoamericamedals.org/honorees/kenneth-graham/ On Wednesday, May 5, at 12:30 p.m. EDT, the Partnership and Axos will air a virtual event to recognize the 2021 Service to America Medal finalists. Click here to head to Axios.com.

May 2

15 min 12 sec

Dr. Theresa Horne - Army veteran, former federal civilian employee, leader, coach, talent management professional - explains how you can get started with a succession plan and what diversity, equity and inclusion factors to consider moving forward. She offers strategies and resources to help you start thinking about how to set your team up for success as it grows and changes. Dr. Horne will speak to these issues and more at the ATD Government Workforce conference May 25-27, 2021. Learn more and register for the event at the link below. https://governmentworkforce.td.org/speakers  

Apr 30

19 min 32 sec

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the largest federal employee union, recently fought to bring union representation back into EPA's physical spaces. Spoiler alert: they won. On the show to talk about recent events and what unions do, is steward Brian Kelly. Find Brian Kelly @AFGE704_EPA To read more about the agreement between EPA and AFGE, visit EPA Workers’ Rights Restored To learn about becoming a union member or how to organize your workplace, visit AFGE National afge.org/member-benefits/join/ twitter.com/AFGENational facebook.com/afgeunion youtube.com/user/afgeonline    

Apr 15

14 min 53 sec

We've worked remotely for over a year now and it's obvious that some level of telework will continue. Enter Alexis Gerst. She's an Air Force officer who saw a need and filled it. Her book, "Leading Remote Teams," chronicles her experience working through the pandemic shifts, bridging generational divides, and keeping her team engaged. Tap into the lessons she learned in this podcast.  Connect with her here: www.alexisgerst.com Her book hits Amazon April 13th, 2021.  

Apr 11

16 min 23 sec

Do you know your rights as a supervisor and an employee after the recent court ruling on performance improvement plans (the Santos v. NASA case)? Deborah Hopkins, president of the Federal Employee Law Training Group, covers what you need to know about the decision ,and about performance management in general.  https://feltg.com/ https://www.govexec.com/workforce/2021/03/landmark-ruling-court-raises-threshold-firing-feds/172797/

Apr 3

19 min 9 sec

I chatted with GovExec's Ross Gianfortune about how he ended up covering government issues, podcasting, what he thinks feds should read and listen to, and how to contribute articles if you're in an op-ed kinda mood.   https://www.govexec.com/?oref=ge-nav

Mar 28

22 min 49 sec

Ever wished you could chat with a federal job recruiter and pick his or her brain for a bit? Kenny Rios, Diversity Recruitment Program Manager at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), chatted with me about cover letters, resume tips and how to get your foot in the door. He delivers no-nonsense advice that we all need.  https://www.intelligencecareers.gov/nga/index.html

Mar 19

25 min

Here's another professional organization that you should consider joining for the networking and development opportunities it offers. I chatted with national president of Federally Employed Women, Karen Rainey, to get her perspective on what she and her team offer. https://www.few.org/

Mar 15

11 min 36 sec

Heard of the Senior Executives Association (SEA)? Did you know you can join as a GS-12 and work on some of the biggest challenges across government with high level executives? Mr. Marcus Hill, the highly respected SEA member and former senior advisor to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, chatted with me about what the organization does, upcoming events, networking opportunities and how to join.  https://seniorexecs.org/ Mr. Hill also mentioned several resources he recommended. School of Greatness Podcast The Effective Executive Leadership on the Line A Sense of Urgency Quiet Strength The Laws of Success Words of Life      

Mar 9

19 min 28 sec

This month I'm continuing to focus on professional organizations that can truly help you move forward in your federal government career. I spent time with #NatSecGirlSquad's founder Maggie Feldman Piltch. We talked about the networking opportunities her organization offers, events, how to make the most out of membership, and the wave of women coming into important positions during this Administration.  To become a member (I'm one), sign up here: https://www.natsecgirlsquad.com/  

Feb 28

30 min 43 sec

If you haven't already heard of the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund, you should listen to this episode with Joyce Warner and then head to: https://feea.org/ Don't miss out on the opportunity to apply for scholarship money. Click the link below for application instructions.The deadline to apply is Thursday, March 25, 2021, at 3:00pm Eastern Daylight Time https://feea.org/our-programs/scholarships/

Feb 22

12 min 31 sec

Are you a student looking for paths into federal service? Or have you been in government for years and get asked all the time by your neighbor/friend/relative how to get a federal job? The Gov Geeks, Javier and Karen Lopez, have answers for you. They offer coaching and training services to public servants and in this episode, they outline three main avenues to federal employment. you can find them at the link below: https://www.thegovgeeks.com/ https://www.thegovgeeks.com/podcast/episode/c0d362fa/federal-career-paths-for-students https://www.gsa.gov/shared-services Here's Dept of State's site on the Pathways Intern Program: https://careers.state.gov/interns-fellows/pathways/

Feb 19

22 min 28 sec

Meet Laura Maristany of the Democracy Fund, whose mission includes increasing inclusivity in the offices of folks who represent us on the Hill. She and others created Capitol Strong, a network of organizations offering support to staff members on Capitol Hill to work through issues resulting from the events of January 6th. HR support in congressional offices differs from one office to the next. Laura and team are working to ensure all staffers on the Hill get the support and resources they deserve. https://capitolstrong.org/ Democracy Fund is an independent and nonpartisan, private foundation that confronts deep-rooted challenges in American democracy while defending against new threats. Since 2014, the org  has made grants of more than $150 million in support of those working to strengthen our democracy through the pursuit of a vibrant and diverse public square, free and fair elections, effective and accountable government, and a just and inclusive society. https://democracyfund.org/ Constructive Politics Link  

Feb 15

16 min 30 sec

Have you checked out the resources Blacks in Government offers its members? As Alesia Smith discusses, BIG offers opportunities for mentoring, networking, and leadership. Learn how this organization can help you move up and around in your career. Ms. Smith is a motivated young professional looking to help her peers find the right resources to enhance their government careers. http://www.bignet.org/

Feb 9

10 min 47 sec

Founded during Black History Month back in 2002, AAFEA is here to help you reach your career goals. They offer tons of scholarship, recognition and networking opportunities you can find here: https://aafea.org/ This Black History Month, listen to my interview with Executive Director Ms. Tyra Dent Smith outline what AAFEA does and how they can help you.

Feb 1

14 min 10 sec

I interviewed Becky Brown, fed and owner of Federalisms - a card company that focuses on products for federal employees. We talk through what it's like to get our own businesses off the ground while following the guidelines for federal employees. She's gotten amazing press for her work and sets a great example for those of us working on our entrepreneurial pursuits! https://www.federalisms.com/ On Instagram, you can find Becky here - @cardsforfeds.

Jan 19

16 min 33 sec

I sat down with Lindy Kyzer of ClearanceJobs.com to talk about the impact participation in the chaos of January 6th could have real implications for your security clearance adjudication. While we try to steer clear of over political discussions (which is hard at this point), I want to be clear that I in NO WAY endorse or support feds who participated in acts of violence on January 6th. I wanted to have this discussion to remind all of us who took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States that we need to understand the consequences of certain physical and online activities.  In this episode, I read from the article below: https://news.clearancejobs.com/2011/01/19/allegiance-to-the-united-states-and-security-clearances/  

Jan 11

16 min 12 sec

We've been teleworking (mostly) for months. What happens when - hopefully - COVID infection rates slow down and things are back to normal (whatever that means anymore)? Will we keep teleworking? Change our duty station locations and all live in rural areas that are cheaper while doing the same jobs? See reductions in locality pay? More positions that are exclusively telework? Transformation and government expert Mika Cross makes her predictions in this episode. You can find her at the link below: https://www.linkedin.com/in/worklifechampionoftheuniverse

Jan 8

20 min 29 sec