Government contracting has somehow gotten a strange cloak of mystique. Since humans have enacted systems of control, people have contracted. The King held court and those in the court proposed solutions and basically consulted to the rulers of their day in medieval times. Contracting – and outside solutions – is not a wildly new and corrupt phenomenon. Instead, they serve many necessary functions the federal government just doesn’t do.

In the federal government the true force behind the fight are government contractors. They’re a rag tag eclectic group of folks that fills a gamut of functions. Some firms just cover down on jobs and others consult to improve. I feel that often people equate government contractor to a number of different things. When you think of badasses that become contractors and you imagine a ninja, stop. But, these combat and intelligence related contract jobs are proportionally a smaller.

Even when they’re the lesser known and most elite contract positions – they’re still not critical personnel. Every contractor is filling a void.

If it’s a part of your plan, a temporary fix, and/or something you love – do it. Otherwise, if it’s not exciting and interesting (small % and probably mostly reserved for retirees, SOF, and those with niche skills) don’t do it. Embrace your future in the private sector or consider higher education. Don’t get stuck, like so many do, in a contracting cyclical rut.

Instead, if you find yourself in the contracting world. Take a step back and realize that in the contracting world there’s a bit of a meritocracy to it. If you opt to play and participate in the hunting and winning of business. If you can bring in business, you can sign yourself up to be the project manager. You’re free to move upward and onward from there. In D.C., let anywhere you’re influence and relationships take you further than a skill or data alone.

It can happen just like that. There’s a lot of room for what’s called intrapreneurship. But, in this case there’s no product – just your ability to make it rain. More over, you can be the rain maker of your own small business under the larger corporate umbrella – thus, became an entrepreneur without the liability so many have to inherit. If you find and project the business opportunities and have a strong network, you can do very well for yourself. Like it or not, the government is massive and that isn’t changing in the next four years.

Some people feel stuck in a job. Especially if that job isn’t demanding but time consuming enough to inhibit them from whatever else they want. I don’t know what it is that keeps a person from getting what they want. But, it’s not something to emulate. I wouldn’t even want that to rub off. Maybe that’s how people get stuck in a predictable life; that miserable contractor that makes people think the entire government is uncaring, selfish, and inefficient. But there’s a lot of great people in the government who are working hard to serve the public interest or further national security. Every nook and cranny counts.

Don’t hate the players in the contract game, hate the game.