I want to apply for federal jobs along with state job and local police department jobs but not sure when to.
Congratulations on your upcoming career change! I know from personal experience how scary and exciting the process is.
Research the local/state Police and Fire Academy hiring process. Some agencies have a fairly short turn around, and others have a lengthy hiring process with multiple interviews and paper packet boards. When I was two years out from Retirement, I started a federal application with an agency that required 5...yes 5! rounds of paper and face-to-face interviews. Another agency I applied for held 2 hiring sessions a year; requiring packets 6 months prior to academy start dates. The overarching point is that I recommend reverse planning your applications based on outside organizations hiring processes and your personal goals.
If you haven't already look into the DOD transition internship programs that allow you to start an internship with a civilian organization to boost your resume and overall chances of being picked up by an agency in a career field of interest. (Link Below)
How much minimum notice does the Army require to process you out?
When I decided to leave the USAF, I had to provide a separation date at least 3 months from the time I submitted my separation request. That posed a serious issue for me as all the positions I was looking at required me to report 2 weeks from when I accepted the job offer. I picked a date when I thought I would somehow be able to report for the first day of work, and then submitted my separation request 3 months in advance. That process was an exercise in faith.
I did accept a position that required me to report 2 weeks later on 10 June. I had a separation date of 19 June. I physically processed out in early June and then went on Leave to cover the time from physically leaving my Duty Station until 19 June. One must have a sizeable Leave Balance to pull that off.
Timing is everything. And despite your best planning, you must have a Contingency Plan.
I live in a very large city. Brand new firefighters are being given the Pink Slip because of City Budget issues. You may have a firm hire date with a Federal or local government agency only to have it rescinded suddenly because of budget or some other issue. Depending on where you are in the Army Out-Processing Cycle will determine if you can cancel your Separation Request. Recognize that, at some point, the Army has someone designated to take your place. At that point, you cannot change your mind even though your personal situation has changed.
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