Late one night last week, I received a Facebook notification from my A-100 group. One of my colleagues was congratulating folks who were tenured. As I didn’t have access to my work email to view the cable and results of the tenure board, I frantically messaged my colleague to ask if I was on the list. I was!! I was recommended for tenure by the Department of State Commissioning and Tenure Board!!
For those of you not familiar with what this means: Foreign Services officers start as “Entry Level Officers” on a 5 year probationary period and are considered for tenure after 36 months. They get three chances, and if they are not tenured by that time, their limited term ends and they are separated from the Foreign Service.
The qualifications for Tenure seem a little tenuous to those of us who spend our days attempting to be innovative and awesome in Embassies and Consulates around the world. The basic gist is:
“The sole criterion for a positive tenuring decision will be the candidate’s demonstrated potential, assuming normal growth and career development, to serve effectively as a Foreign Service Officer over a normal career span, extending to and including class FS-01.”
So I guess I did that! I am also happy that half of my A-100 colleagues were tenured right alongside me. I’m relieved that it happened and I can stop being on pins and needles waiting for the results to come out, though at the moment, I’m only recommended for tenure – Congress still needs to approve it, which will take a few months. If/when they do so, I’ll be a real career member of the Foreign Service, with all that that entails.
In other news, I’m more than halfway done with French language training, which is hard to believe. I still feel rusty while speaking. It feels like moving through quick sand sometimes to try to come up with the words to complete a sentence in an intelligible way. Most times I fail. Some days are better than others. That being said, I was told I’m progressing as I should and am around a 2/2 level which is limited working proficiency. As in the description of the ILF level, “errors are frequent.” At least I have great classmates!
That is about all that is happening in my life right now. I’m trying to get outside and do fun American things. I’ve been tubing down a river, biked alongside the Potomac, had my family visit me, and spent good quality time with my cats. I absolutely cannot wait until the fall – bring on hot cider, crisp blue skies, colorful leaves, and fall festivals. And of course…learning French…but in less humid, hot conditions!