Welcome to our unaccompanied tours (UT) blog, Foggy Bottom Rambles! We can share information, programs, and resources quickly with you and since blogs are a two way street, we (and the other readers) can hear from you. What's in a name you say? This blog reflects how we (back here in DC, Foggy Bottom area) provide information (rambles) to you. Find websites and information, upcoming webinars, programs and events. FLO does not endorse organizations or companies linked-to in this blog, the views they express, or the products/services they offer. Let us know what you think: contribute to the blog or email us at FLOAskUT@state.gov.

Monday, July 31, 2017

FLO Global Webinar on August 16: Building Stress Resilience for Kids

Join the Family Liaison Office (FLO) and the Bureau of Medical Services (MED) Child and Family Program for the webinar, Building Stress Resilience for Kids. Get tips on building your child’s resilience in the face of stress, ask questions, and learn more about MED’s role in supporting families overseas. Also learn about the nature of stress, how it affects children, and healthy ways to manage stress.

When: August 16, 2017 at 10:00am ET
Participate: Go to deptofstatehr.adobeconnect.com/resilience. Enter as a guest and type your first name (for privacy reasons do not include your last name) and your current or future post.
Workbook: Request a copy of the e-workbook in advance; we will refer to it throughout the session. Email FLOAskUT@state.gov.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

How to Improve Resilience in Midlife
By TARA PARKER-POPEJULY 25, 2017 in the New York Times

Photo by Sarah Williamson

Much of the scientific research on resilience — our ability to bounce back from adversity — has focused on how to build resilience in children. But what about the grown-ups?
While resilience is an essential skill for healthy childhood development, science shows that adults also can take steps to boost resilience in middle age, which is often the time we need it most. Midlife can bring all kinds of stressors, including divorce, the death of a parent, career setbacks and retirement worries, yet many of us don’t build the coping skills we need to meet these challenges.
The good news is that some of the qualities of middle age — a better ability to regulate emotions, perspective gained from life experiences and concern for future generations — may give older people an advantage over the young when it comes to developing resilience, said Adam Grant, a management and psychology professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
“There is a naturally learnable set of behaviors that contribute to resilience,” said Dr. Grant, who, with Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, wrote the book “Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy.” “Those are the behaviors that we gravitate to more and more as we age.”
Scientists who study stress and resilience say it’s important to think of resilience as an emotional muscle that can be strengthened at any time. While it’s useful to build up resilience before a big or small crisis hits, there still are active steps you can take during and after a crisis to speed your emotional recovery.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Did You Earn NCE? Organize Your Paperwork Before Leaving Post

If you have earned Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE) and plan to seek federal employment when you return to the U.S., it is important to ensure that you have the correct documentation. Before you leave post, download copies of your documents from HR Online while you still have access to OpenNet. You will need the following: 
  • Standard Form 50 (SF-50) – You need your first and last SF-50s to confirm the length of your appointment, your last pay grade, and that you have worked the minimum 52 weeks on a Family Member Appointment (FMA) or 2,087 hours on a TEMP assignment.
  • Performance Review (JF 57) – A copy of your most recent, signed performance review.
  • NCE Verification Letter – Provided by the Human Resources office at post, the letter outlines the regulations from CFR 315.608, which can be useful for other federal agencies who may not be familiar with NCE. 
These three documents should be scanned into one document when applying for federal vacancies on USAJOBS. For more information on family member employment, go to www.state.gov/flo/employment. Email questions to FLOAskEmployment@state.gov.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Virtual Work Opportunities: Portable Career Employment Options Webinar (MQ708)

Hosted by the Transition Center at the Foreign Service Institute, this tuition-based webinar is designed to help family members consider virtual employment as a portable career option. The course will cover trends in telework, an overview of key considerations when choosing virtual work options, and where to look for telework opportunities. 

Who May Attend: Open to all Foreign Affairs adult Eligible Family Members (EFMs)

When: August 10, 2017 from 8:00 am- 9:15am ET and again from 4:00pm - 5:15pm ET

How to Register: State Department EFMs register through the employee’s CDO/Training Officer or on OpenNet. All other EFMs must submit an SF-182

Questions: Email questions to FSITCTraining@state.gov

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Virtual Internship Opportunity with the Federal Government

U.S. college students around the world may be interested in applying for the 2017-18 Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS) program. Real experience is waiting for students across the federal government, including the Department of State, NASA, Smithsonian, CIA, National Parks Service, and others. For a list of projects and information on how to apply, go to vsfs.state.gov. Apply by July 26.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Visit the OBC and Watch Your Post Video

Are you in Washington, DC this summer? Stop by the OBC to check out the post videos to learn about the realities of embassy/consulate life and culture at overseas posts. They are created by members of the foreign affairs community who are living at posts around the world and provide first-hand perspectives. There are currently 120 post videos available for viewing at the OBC and on Post Info to Go on the Department of State intranet.

Create a video for your post—see the Comprehensive Guidelines for OBC Post Videos webpage. Read the April 2016 State Magazine article, Video Views, by Maureen Johnston, Resource Specialist at the OBC, which includes tips for creating the videos. Email FSIOBCInfoCenter@state.gov with questions.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Latest Worldwide FAMER Overview Report Now Available

Published twice a year by FLO, the Family Member Employment Report (FAMER) tracks Foreign Service family member employment worldwide and is an important tool in the bidding process, helping employees and family members make informed employment decisions. FAMERs provide a snapshot of the overseas employment situation for family members, offering both an overview and specific statistics on employment inside the mission and on the local economy. Note: This snapshot reflects information as of April 2017; check with post for the latest employment information.

Find the April 2017 Worldwide Family Member Employment Overview on FLO’s website. Find post specific FAMERs on the intranet or by emailing FLOAskEmployment@state.gov.

Thank you to the CLOs, Management, HR Officers, and others at embassies and consulates worldwide who worked on this year’s updates!

Monday, July 3, 2017

FLO Global Webinars: Watch Them Online Today! 

FLO hosts a variety of webinars through its FLO Global Webinar series. You can watch past webinars online; check out the list below (click on the webinar title to watch).

Overseas Consular Opportunities for EFMS—Learn about the Consular Affairs Appointment Eligible Family Member (CA-AEFM) and Consular Fellows programs.
Changing Careers—Job search strategist Hanna Morgan talks about how companies are using different strategies to find their next great hire. Learn what you can do to better position yourself.
Find and Create Opportunities for Yourself Anywhere—Colleen Reichrath-Smith, co-author of A Career in Your Suitcase, explains how to find and create opportunities for yourself anywhere.
LinkedIn Made Easy—Viveka von Rosen, one of Forbes’ Top Twenty Most Influential Women in Social Media, offers strategies for how best to use LinkedIn. Find the people you need in your network, whether transitioning to a new career or building your own business.
Parents with Adult Children—Learn about current trends and behaviors associated with adult children living at home including the differences between empowering vs. enabling and guidelines for successful coexistence and launching.
Managing the Stress of Change—Learn effective ways to manage change, including the challenges of change, identifying various aspects of the change process, and describing different ways to modify your stress responses to change.

Reintegration After a Separation—Learn strategies for reintegration after a separation and the support services available to employees and family members. This webinar discusses many aspects of reintegration including relationships, family life issues, and work issues that often arise following a separation.

Parenting During Separation—A discussion on successful parenting during times of separation.