we bid again

It seems like we just did this. Twice. And yet here we are again. For the third time in the last nine months, we’re looking at a bid list.

Normally, Foreign Services Officers bid on their next assignments about a year in advance. Because my assignment in DC is only a year long to begin with, after only five weeks on the job, I received my bid list today.

Actually, I should rephrase. I received our bid list today. One of the advantages of me doing a DC assignment is that Alex and I are now part of the same bidding cycle, so we’ll be bidding off the same list as a tandem.

We’ll have many of the same restrictions we did the last time Alex bid. We’ll both need to do a consular tour, so anything else is ruled out. Language will also play a big factor as I still need to fulfill my language requirement since I never technically passed French. That means that English speaking posts can also be eliminated. Finally, we’ll need to find a post with not just one job that fits these criteria, but two.

There are quite a few interesting possibilities on the list. Given the number of restrictions we have, we’ve already narrowed the list down from almost 80 positions to fewer than 20. We’ll spend the next week obsessing over the exact order in which they should be ranked, and then, by April 9, we’ll submit the list.

With the roller coaster we’ve had over the past year, we’re excited to get a new assignment, especially since then we’ll know what we’ll be doing for the next three and a half years. That’s the kind of long term planning we one can only dream of in the Foreign Service.

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6 Responses to we bid again

  1. Caitlin says:

    Don’t overlook Juarez – two months in and I’m so impressed with the management, training and housing. It’s a great place for Consular, and tons of volunteer opportunities for PD events and other rotations.

  2. Alex says:

    @Caitlin, you know we actually read all the post reports about Juarez in anticipation of getting the list and decided we would definitely bid it high — sounds like morale is great these days. However, it’s not an option for us this time around. Glad it’s proving to be a great experience for you though!

  3. Daniela says:

    Congrats on getting on the same bidding cycle!!! Getting that out of the way is great! After months of pleading with our CDO (we had the same one), Paul and I were finally able to align our end dates, so we will be bidding more or less together, though I am still directed and he’ll be bidding mid-level. Paul will extend by 5 mo and I will curtail by a couple, which means I will lose my R&R but we’ll be bidding together and that, I think will make things easier down the road. Best of luck to you guys! Hope you get your top posts!!!

  4. Lynne says:

    Good luck! I am actually impressed you were able to find more than 5 possibilities 🙂 Can’t wait to hear where you end up.

  5. Alex says:

    Thanks Daniela and Lynne! We’re actually really surprised by how many tandem options there are! We were expecting to be fighting hard for the one really crummy place that would work, but instead we’re actually going to get to research posts and not even bid on ones that don’t sound like they’d be a great fit for our family. Phew!

  6. Meaghan says:

    Wow that’s exciting! I’m always in awe of how BIG your embassies must be – two consular posts in the same mission would never happen for Canadians because one of you would automatically be reporting to the other (there may be one exception, but I don’t think so…). The US lists always sound so cool! Good luck getting something you like!

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