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.