Chad applied for a job in March, and we were really excited about it.  It was working for a big-name company on a big-name project.  The job posting practically looked like it was written for him.  With the exception of some of the preferred software skills, Chad’s resume was a perfect match.  I wanted him to get that job so badly, I could taste it.

We found a contact at the company through a friend of a friend.  She emailed the hiring manager, and he contacted Chad.  We were so excited. Then, all communication stopped.

We finally got a chance to talk to this friend-of-a-friend when we went out for drinks the other night.  She said the powers that be at the company loved Chad’s resume; they were excited about him.  However, they needed someone right away.  And that person needed a government clearance. Which Chad doesn’t have.

Of course, getting a clearance supposedly costs companies $100,000 per person. In a good economy, this is no problem. In a down economy, no one is hiring uncleared people because it takes a long time and is too expensive.  This is pretty career-limiting, especially here in D.C. where every job is defense-related.  Unlike experience with software or knowledge about structural analysis, a government clearance is not something you can get by yourself.  So you can’t get a job if you’re not cleared, but you can’t get cleared until you have a job! 

It makes me want to tear my hair out!

While it makes me happy to know that Chad isn’t being rejected due to a lack of knowledge or skills, it upsets me that something seemingly so small is keeping him at home and out of work!


4 Responses

  1. It must be nice to finally know the reason – but how frustrating! Ug.

    Nothing helpful to say here, just, ug.

  2. Wow, how frustrating…

    I did a quick Google search, it sounds like it “only” costs around $3k (

    I wonder if your boyfriend could negotiate with the company to get a clearance in exchange for a slightly decreased salary? I know you never really want to negotiate a lower salary, but maybe he could suggest his salary is that $3k lower (or however much it is) for the first year, then bump it back up the next year?

    • It seems that in a lot of situations, the time is also a factor. I know someone who took a year to get cleared!

  3. Ahh. It’s like that whole new grad, need experience, but can’t get experience conundrum 😦

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