Cubeopolis | lunchiversary

2016 April 12

More than two years ago, I quit my cubeopolis job, with April 4 as my last day. Yesterday, I had lunch with a few friends. Among us all, a Libra, Pisces, Taurus, Sagittarius, Aries, and Scorpio.


And completely unplanned,
I agreed to visit the remodeled U.S. EPA cubeopolis,
which is continuing more remodeling.

12Apr_EPA tag

Unexpectedly, another former cubester friend who left EPA several months ago was in the lobby area as I was entering. (SQUEE!!!) And what a treat that the front security folks also greeted me by my first name. (Good memories!)

Because I was not in a socializing mood, I very surprisingly enjoyed taking a whirlwind tour of the 18th floor with “drive by” catching-up moments with a few former coworkers. And likewise, I crossed paths with several others on my way out of the building.

What did I learn?
I’ll be back (to visit longer).


Cubeopolis | it has been two years

2014 April 4

This date was my last day at a job where I worked 6 years, 8 months,
which is the longest I have worked for someone else
(other than my own consulting practice).*


With the help of a few friends, I cleared out my window-ish cubicle space,
followed the employee separation checklist, and packed and recycled files.
I also packed up tchotchkes for the ride home,

20:45 (Pacific)

… drove over to an Ecuadorian restaurant
for some mezcal, sangria, beer, chulpi, and cheers with friends.


And since then, I have been on – what one of my friends characterized nicely – an accidental sabbatical. More specifically, during these past two years, I have

  • re-established my environmental consulting practice, Resource Catalysts (or R|CAT) – think of power plants, distributed energy resources, environmental regulatory market research, permitting, regulations, and compliance for better air quality – and
  • am establishing my habit coaching practice as a Tiny Habits® Certified Coach with a specialty for An Improv Mindset in the Workspace – think of interactions, workspace, choices, and practices for workspace cultural shifts.

And tonight, I do some improv. (What’s new?)

Indeed, time flies.

*more than 13 years with my business and
3 years, 1 month for the next longest cubeopolis stint.

Start | on becoming a federal employee

The short version of how to start a journey in becoming a federal employee – USA Jobs and patience. Lots of patience.


This post includes select links to information on and a 2013 video of a former Outreach and Recruitment Coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Also, find USAJOBS on Twitter and on Facebook.

Twice a federal employee. I used to work for the federal government. My first stint with the feds was 19-months, and my second time around was 6 years and 8 months. Doing the math, since graduating from college in 1986, I have worked in the environmental field (as evidenced by my LinkedIn).  (Yikes! It will be nearly thirty years of tactics to minimize my taxable income and optimize retirement pursuits.)

Feel free to ask me. With nearly thirty years of work experience, I have opinions about the workplace, and I have many stories about fair and unfair experiences. Because of my work experience and interest in supporting people in their career and professional development, friends often recommend others to talk with me, especially for those interested in the environmental or energy field. When it comes to having worked for the U.S. EPA and other general career questions, often people ask about the following –

  • how to pursue positions with the federal government (and other government agencies),
  • suggestions for a person’s resume “refresh”, and
  • suggestions for enhancing career and professional development

Use USAJOBS resources. While my suggestions for a resume refresh and professional development often vary depending on the person, my where to start with the federal government does not. At least start with completing one’s USA Jobs profile and reviewing information in USA Job –

Also, check out Melanie Wallace talk (~ 22 minutes) about USAJOBS at Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability, where she specifically shares about what the U.S. EPA considers when reviewing profiles –

described as –

The USAJobs and Pathways training, presented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Melanie Wallace, focuses on applying for federal positions, understanding government lingo (GS who, what?), and how to find internships (even ones that lead to permanent jobs). Additionally, Wallace discusses how federal résumés are different from private industry résumés and tackle any questions that you might have about working for Uncle Sam.

When I worked for the government, Melanie was the Outreach and Recruitment Coordinator at the same agency. Although she has since moved on from that agency, her 2013 presentation at Arizona State University is still relevant.

What has been your experience with If you have used resources, how useful is the information? What other advice would you give for someone seeking to work for the federal government?