Bidding Update #2: The Home Stretch

Foreign Service Life
October 29, 2013

Bid List

The end is in sight folks.  Post assignments officially start going out on November 4th and we’re expecting to hear something between the 4th and the 12th.

It’s been a surprisingly stressful process, far more than our first two times bidding.  The difference is that we’re bidding at mid-level now and there’s no guaranteed assignment.  Before it was always 100 assignments for 100 people.  Now there are more bidders than jobs AND there’s this added element of lobbying that I still fail to understand.

My class 2 health clearance really bit us in the butt this time around.  We had a good 20+ options that excited us and more than half got rejected for health reasons (mainly because the post doctors are worried that my compromised immune system won’t fare well against crazy tropical diseases and the like).  And while I appreciate that they take my health issues so seriously, it sure does suck to be the reason that you can’t go to an awesome place in Africa or Asia.

When all was said and done we were left with a list of 8 places that a.) had a job Nick was excited about, b.) were approved for my health requirements and c.) were somewhere we’d like to live.  We submitted those 8 two weeks ago and the Consular Affairs assignments panel has been deliberating ever since.

I desperately want to stay overseas and pray we get 1 of our 8.  If we fail to get any of the 8 then we start the process over again with whatever is still left in the pool (which would most likely be really poor third world countries or DC jobs).  Fingers crossed for success on the first round.  I’m ready for this stupid process to be over.

Rest assured that I’ll announce the news here as soon as we know something, so check back frequently these next two weeks.

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  1. Raen says:

    Are they all normally out by November? Hubby says there’s no guarantee, but this is our first overseas bid, so i’m not sure what to expect…

  2. Sarah Novak says:

    No, it depends what cycle you’re on. We’re on summer cycle, so we find out in November. Winter cycle finds out in Feb/March. If your hubby is in A-100, then your first flag day will come about 6-8 weeks in and you’ll get your assignment then. Is he at FSI right now?

  3. Raen says:

    Ah, gotcha. He’s been in for over a year, DC’s his first assignment. I’m pretty sure we’re on the summer cycle.

  4. Nick says:

    I’m just two months from my first FSOA and curious about your experience with a class two medical clearance. My wife has an issue that seems similar to yours (she no longer takes medication for it but it’s on her record and could theoretically flare up.) What advice would you offer for first going through clearances? What have you done to try to navigate bidding now? From what you write, it sounds like each post is truly considered on a case-by-case basis, albeit with a heavy dose of conservatism?

    We’re by no means letting it stop us with the process, but I am curious and somewhat fearful how it could impact a career in the long-term.

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