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It took a domestic abuse scandal at the White House to learn that dozens of West Wing officials including senior advisor Jared Kushner still haven't gotten full security clearances but the White House isn't alone pending security clearance checks are holding up jobs across the federal government the bureau's documentation shows that the backlog of pending investigations increased from about a hundred and ninety thousand in August 2022 to more than seven hundred and ten thousand as of February 2022 we found that the bureau did not have a plan for reducing the backlog the build-up of pending investigations means it can take 18 months to approve a top-secret security clearance at wait time burns taxpayer dollars and one official says it can discourage talented people from taking federal jobs of course no agency wants to let the next Edward Snowden through the doors but government contractors argue a more streamlined tech-savvy process can speed up background checks without too much risk even once they're approved security clearances aren't universal background checks need to be refreshed from time to time and contractors transferring from agency to agency might have to go through the whole process again and it could even mean that a contractor sitting at the same desk moving to a different contract has to go through a new process that's preposterous yeah I think that's a very nuanced and subtle word to use for it yes sir standardized clearances that continually update with new information could alleviate that problem but some senators argue it might be better for the government not to have to hand out so many security clearances we have to take a fresh look at the need to make need to have over four million plus people actually have to go through a clearance process of any type you.


What's something you should never reveal about yourself to your coworkers no matter how close you are?
It is not a secret if more than one person knows about it.I am a naturally private person, yet I worked in an office once where one supervisor befriended another just to get her betray confidences to the director, in hopes of being the one on top. It backfired, but it was humiliating for the other supervisor.Even though you may become very close friends with your co-workers, too much fraternizing and cozying-up can lead to upper management percieving a lack of professionalism at the very least. And, of course, the "friend" may stab you in the back when both of you are competing for a promotion.Topics which should be off limits:My crazy college days: Even if it was over 20 years ago, acts of drunken hedonism, vandalism or even worshiping the porcelain god call into question your judgment and work ethicCheating or stealing: A rags to riches story, even if you had to steal food or pawn a computer to survive, will call into question your integrity.Being on welfare: Kudos to anyone who made it through that hardship, got an education and now has a responsible position. Unfortunately, you may have a lot of co-workers who never had to struggle in life like you did. Some may judge you harshly from a narrow lens, especially a supervisor.Recovered alcoholic or drug addict: Again, some may judge you harshly from a narrow lens and feel you cannot be trusted.Marital/relationship problems: This will lead to another perception you cannot handle responsibility. Many years ago, I worked with several gals in a retail store. One would come in every day and complain about having to get high to sleep with her husband. She was in a miserable marriage and needed to vent, but it got her fired.Workman's compensation: Never brag about receiving benefits, calling OSHA on a previous employer, filing grievances, serving as an expert witness against a previous employer or talk about anyone else who has done those things. Do not even speak favorably about anyone who has been a whistleblower. I know someone who has been permanently blacklisted at a large state agency because he or she talked about being an expert witness against a large telecommunication corporation 15 years ago.HR is not your friend: HR exists to protect the best interests of the company. They might appear to be your friend because once they got rid of a bad supervisor. The truth is, if it was easier to scapegoat the victim, they will. It is all about what will cost the company the most dollars, never about justice.This may sound cynical, and there are exceptions to every rule, but in the working world, you are going to be up against the best and the worst of human nature. People need their paychecks to feed their families and maintain their lifestyle. The majority will not risk their jobs to take the higher ground in the support or defense of a co-worker.
How does a civilian get security clearance?
The US Government security clearance process is based on two major principles:1. A "Need to Know"2. A requirement to perform a job on a specific government contract containing classified work.Initial clearances are obtained by developing a business relationship with an agency or a prime contractor performing classified work and then getting assigned to a contract effort which is classified. Thereafter, clearances at certain lower levels can be carried by employees or a company to other contracts at the same level of clearance requirement or even to a different agency within certain time constraints. At higher levels of clearances every employee is "Read On" and "Read Off" each and every contract on a singular basis after extensive background checks and in certain instances a polygraph. The process can involve lifetime nondisclosure commitments by an individual.So you need a sponsor, a prime contractor company or an agency that will process your clearance based on your need to know classified information to participate in classified government contracts. Naturally they must be convinced via your marketing campaign that you can add value to the program involved. If it seems like a "Chicken and Egg" process - it is, but every business working in the venue has to go through the gates discussed in this article and maintain a vigilant program of compliance with associated regulations.SECURITY CLEARANCES IN SMALL BUSINESS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING
What happens after the SSB?
After getting recommended you get flooded with calls of your friends, proud parents, jealous relatives and long lost acquaintances.Then you fill shït ton of forms, 4 sets of 20 or so pages to be sent to IB/CBI, MH where medicals will be done, commissioner of police HQ of your district (if you're the one who has shifted base like 4 states in the past 5 years, then fill 4 more sets, one copy will be sent to each police HQ you've been to) and MOD HQ.Then you breathe.. Let the feeling sink in that you may be a gazetted class I officer with a shiny crisp uniform, top level security clearance, and the nation of 1.2 effing billion dependson your services.By this time 2 WhatsApp groups have been formed for this ssb, one of recs and another of the ones who couldn't make it. You'd be in both, as you're the friendly kind who treats every one equally, whether rec, s.o or c.o.Then you get grilled, shame (?) yourself in front of few uniformed nurses and uniformed doctors, lying naked a few times to get every single artery counted for before they recommend you again- this time medically.If all goes well in medicals, you go back to where you came from, feeling that- after few months, I'll be in academy sporting a “katori” cut, updating pic of that on social media, a before and after comparison of you're a little extra by nature, whine about losing them curls and locks and again the cycle of calls, comments, and likes will follow boosting your inner self to the max.Then the cruel bïtch will land- merit list!Warning- a little down hill ride ahead.You'll search for your name, going down you'll find some from your batch, your heart will race! You reach the end of it, you use ctrl+f, nothing happens, you ditch it cursing the technology how it fails you sometimes.Then you'll go through it again and again! No your name isn't there!You say to yourself, wait for academy to resume, someone will drop out then there will 2nd merit list and then you'll be called specially.You day dream of that cut, those messages, those stars and stripes..Academy resumes, a month passes by, but no call, no name again.That's how dreams shattered thrice for me.P.S- if you get your name in merit list, the scenarios are there in the above text to read through.Hope it helps.
I am a US citizen. How do I apply for a security clearance in the US?
You get a security clearance when you need one.  I am Canadian but I spent five years in the USA a few years ago working in construction.  We had a project that required a very low security level.  I filled in a few forms, probably a couple of extras because I was a foreign national, provided my fingerprints, references and work / life history.  Tedious but fairly simple.If your job puts you in a situation where you need a security clearance, they will come to you with the forms and processes.  Not the other way around.  If you want to get a security clearance just to find stuff out?  Save your time and energy.  BTW, I saw nothing secure that you could not see with Google maps.  I never did figure out why I needed the clearance.
How did you become an FBI special agent?
Meet the minimum requirements as outlined on Welcome to FBI.govapply onlinebe chosen to move to the next levelanswer a questionairretake a testfill out a Background InvestigationGet selected for an interviewPass the interviewWriting testPass writing testtake physical test (run, sprint, pushups, situps, pull ups)pass polygraph interviewbe granted a security clearanceattend FBI AcademyPass training in legal, defensive tactics, firearms, investigation, crime scene, managing investigations, psychology, ethics, intelligence, counter-terrorism, interviewing/interrogation, physical test (run, sprint, pushups, situps, pullups)Graduate get your Glock, Creds, BadgeDone
How does one prove one’s right to hold a top secret and above security clearance?
Nobody has a right to a security clearance. But I’ll assume you didn’t mean right but perhaps suitability?In order to obtain a security clearance, your organization needs to put you in for one and they are only supposed to do so if you need it for the performance of your job. You must be an American citizen. At the time they submit you for the clearance they will indicate to what level they are asking you be cleared (SECRET, TOP SECRET, etc.). Assuming those basics are taken care of, you will be told to fill out a security questionnaire likely via the eQip online system.Once you’ve completed your questionnaire. The appropriate investigative body (typically the Office of Personnel Management or one of their outside contract investigators) will be tasked with performing the investigation, pulling the appropriate background checks and interviewing yourself and your contacts indicated on the questionnaire. Once that is complete, they will forward their findings to the appropriate adjudication agency for a final security clearance determination.So, on what criteria do they determine suitability? The questionnaire centers on items like foreign contacts and business interests, criminal activity, adherence to any anti-American sentiment or anti-American organizations or militias, and, some would argue most importantly, financial stability. If they find faults in any of these areas, those faults are weighed on a case basis (or in the aggregate if there are multiple faults) to determine if you are trustworthy, responsible, and not vulnerable to coercion. They will then decide to grant or deny the security clearance requested.
What scares you the most about Trump?
I agree with the answers below, that his followers are the scariest thing about Trump. It is just like Hitler. They refuse to explain themselves. They won’t tell you what they like about Trump, or if they do, and if it’s something trivial, they will not justify their opinion logically. That makes me think they favor myth over science for their decision-making process, they see some goal of purity but have no concept about how to reach it, and that’s where I lose interest. Because without solutions, Trump is just a demagogue. I’m sorry, but I’ve had my fill of conspiracy theories.I categorize because I’m an economist, I try not to aggregate and summarize about society - that gets me in trouble sometimes, and I fear mis-classifying the opposition - so these are my opinions only. Trump’s base is homogeneous, not so much rural as “non-urban,” White, enthusiastic and genuine. They seem to agree about how they want to live, but a lot is complaining.Few Trump supporters are real thinkers, and they will tell you that. People do not attend Trump rallies to question what he’s saying. They go to clap. It is a positive-appreciation loop, self-reinforcing feelgood diss against everything they find wrong with the Liberal lifestyle. But when they go home they return to the same frustrating reality. Stubborn, inflexible about learning new things, blaming brown people for their lack of a job, self-medicating with alcohol and pills, subordinate, depressed, lacking the skills to go it alone, Incidentally, that’s the lower middle class I was born in.Trump incites extremists to act, so that he can say “See, I was right.” That is, he creates his own scenarios - well, he manufactures his own problems with the aid of a Washington bureaucracy - that allow for ego-response. His logic is barely fourth grade level: to Trump every Muslim is a terrorist, and whenever a Muslim breaks the law, he says “I told you so.” How can you argue with that?The latest: he will allow asylum-seekers - Constitution-guaranteed petitioners trying to escape from their countries, which he calls “illegals” - into sanctuary cities. These cities gladly accept refugees, but he’s doing this to separate the rich from the poor, because he is not a man of the people. He is a man of business, the new normal accepts that “business” means “theft” under a system that does not care about the individual, and never did. Why do poor White people, who will never benefit by Trumps policies, insist on supporting him. It is a mystery.When a person of a certain ethnic group commits a crime against a White citizen, Trump encourages a lynch-mob by the White majority, stirs up hatred and divides the haves from the have-nots. He will parade the event on TV, and call it justification for his blatant, one-sided, racist ideology. The turnabout when cops murder Black kids is not lost on the thinking public, however.Trump really is an ignoramus, impossible to work with - he thinks the dark side will get him more votes. He hands out security clearances like candy, like privileges, to his vapid daughter, to his space-holder Barbie spouse, making a mockery of career intelligence officers who have served the country with distinction, who have actually earned them. And he relies on uneducated white males to push his crass exclusionary, un-American ideas on the rest of us. America is a Nation of Immigrants: Love it or Leave it!I have been waiting for three years for this guy to open his mouth and utter one factual sentence for the good of the country. I mean, for all of us. Instead, it’s all his over-inflated ego. What gives him the right to put the entire society in harm’s way every time he opens his mouth.How come Congress didn’t impeach him long ago for obstruction of justice? He fired Comey to get the FBI to stop investigating Russia’s interference in the election. He admitted to that! We know beyond the shadow of a doubt that Russia interfered in our 2022 election, and is already doing so for 2022. We knew that Trump had extensive pre-campaign fiscal interests in Russia - especially those reported (or not) on his tax returns. If there was any possibility that he colluded with a foreign power to get elected, don’t you think we want the FBI to investigate that? Don’t you see, people, that when you feel guilty you act guilty? If Trump was “in charge” of events of his campaign, and he knew he acted within the law, that it was within his rights to do what he did, then Trump should have welcomed every bit of scrutiny around his campaign. He would have been vindicated to think and act clearly, to steer policy, to implement his agenda. For two years (!), the House was Republican. the Senate was Republican, he was adding more conservatives at all Judicial postings, including the Supreme Court. He was essentially given a blank check to form any conservative legislation he could come up with. But you know what, epic fail, huge loser, he screwed it up! Trump was his own worst enemy because he lacked the ability to lead, to compromise, he lacks humility and humanity.Instead, he closes his mind, and jets to his mansion to play golf on the government dime. That’s no way to run a country, acting like a king. Remember we fought and won the first war against a king.
Why didn't Kushner have his attorney fill out his security clearance forms correctly the first time?
I think number one, was that Jared Kushner does not want to fill out the questionaire completely. He knew he had a, ahem, troubled past and that past would flag his application. Two, you have to fill it out, ultimately, yourself. You must certify, under penalty of perjury, it is true and correct. The lawyer could not know for sure what is “true and correct” except by taking Jared Kushner’s word for it. Third, I am not sure it requires a lawyer. The form is straight forward, you tell them what they want to know. There is no negotiation and there is no strategy (unlike tax forms, for instance, where what you do can reduce your taxes.) For a clearance, you tell them what they want to know. Obfuscation is not a legal option. I filled out one and it was a long time ago but it wasn’t that hard. Unless you have a problem!
How should I negotiate salary while switching jobs?
My friends often seek my advice on quiting job and negotiating salary. I have helped many! I have quit my job way too many times and my last change was with a 95% hike! So here’s how I go about it.When it comes to salary, most of the times, it’s that one HR recruiter who decides your pay. You have to rip her (almost always, her) confidence apart right in the interview room.How you project yourself :- Wear decent cloths, not superfluous. Business casual is perfect. I don’t wear full sleeves for interviews. Learn to project yourself as I-mean-business guy than I-need-a-job junkie. You said you have good language skills, use every sentence to impress your HR recruiter. Business idioms are best to grab her attention. Use your body language as well. If you are sitting across the table, lean forward, keep both your elbows on the table. Be mindful of your body language. Do these help you get a better salary? No, it’s just for an impression.Skills - most important thing :- If you are unskilled, nothing would save you, Period! You mentioned that you know some advanced technology. Fair enough! Do you have something to show off on your github? Have you created something of your own? Do you have a contribution to some popular tools? Do you have a technology blog? Have you won some tech challenges? Have you highlighted all this, whatever applicable, on the front page of your resume?Remember, only you will see your potential, ie, what you are capable of doing, everyone else judge you by what you’ve already done! Sad truth. So get some shit done! No excuses here.Don’t ask for a job, go sell yourself :- This might sound clichéd, but very important. The difference is, when you walk into the interview room, do you feel you desperately need that job? Failure! You should think why this company should be desperate to hire you. It must be so. To make this point clear - every HR interview begins with a bit of suffocation. And the plot is that the company is selling a job, you are there to buy it. You’ve gotta flip that! You’re selling something hot and the company would benefit from it. Funda of sales! So turn it around!But in the beginning, she is psychologically at a higher level and you’re at bottom - that’s how it’s staged. Rip off your HR interviewer’s confidence. There are many ways. For example, she would probably talk about the work-life balance at her company and how you could benefit from that! You might want to say ‘wonderful!• Don’t! Listen intently, patiently until she stops, then ask her - ‘Every other company has this to offer, tell me something that makes you outstanding? I’m curious!• Say that with wide-open eyes. Your goal is to bring her down! Be cautious to be polite! Research her company's competitors, and find out what, where they lack. Use them against her to put her under pressure. Listen so intently that you should find something to use against her. This will work in your favor.Speak, speak, speak :- HR recruiters follow 80–20 rule. She speaks 20%, you 80%! Use it wisely. Inflate your profile. First bring her down to your level (psychological), then go above her! Ask all sort of questions. You want to know everything about your prospectus employer! Watch her struggle to answer your genuine questions that you would like to know of her company and the opportunities once you join them. You should invoke a guilt in her that this qualified chap has other better options, better companies than the one she represents. The more you put her under pressure, the more you get out of the interview.After this, when she takes the conversation to your salary expectation, be bold and ask, like you’re worth it. Be clear about your expectations. If you're not bold, it’s easy for her to negotiate. You should ask the maximum her company can give the best candidate for the job you’re applying. If she refuses and asks if that’s negotiable, tell her you may consider that. This is only for not getting rejected right away, just in case what you asked for is impossible. But don’t ever settle for less. Your goal here is to get the offer, whatsoever.Negotiation :- If you get an offer letter with less than what you expected, reject it. Don’t give reasons. If you get what you asked for, reject anyway. Your goal here is, get her coming back to you. Tell her, while you were waiting for her offer, you got a better one. But you would still like to join her company (for all that work-life balance and shit), if she could reconsider your package! If she asks you to disclose the new offer, just remind her that all offer letters are confidential. Tell her that you’re still interested in her offer. Now you have turned the game upside down. You are selling yourself, she’s the buyer! Well done!Go shopping :- Once you have an offer, go shopping with it! You’re on the safer side. Ask for more, just walk in the interview room and demand. Be ready to walk away, too. Tell them, buy me for what I sell you for, I’m on my way to glory!I declined my Accenture job offer with one word in the reply email - ‘Rejected.• I got a call from HR in 10 minutes. Now, at this moment, she was asking me to reconsider, and I was to decide. This is how you flip it.However, I had my toughest negotiation with Accenture HR. We were struggling to conclude and I hang up the phone saying ‘You decide the best you can and let me know, you will have my final answer in 10 minutes.• I assumed I was out of the game, but I got an amended offer letter. We compromised - both of us, and I accepted that offer. After few days of my joining, using ‘thank a colleague• portal, I sent her a ‘thanks• to let her know she was impossible!Disclaimer :- Be extremely cautious to be polite and soft-spoken! You by no means offend the HR recruiter. Be curious with every question you ask. Also, this may not always work. If you’re applying a job at amazon and the likes, don’t play this! Be responsible for what you get in return. Reject some offer anyway! Feel awesome that way (like a boss)! She may ask you to leave the room, expect that as well! But try again! If you don’t risk it, you ain’t gonna win it.
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