|Sharon Ridings , U.S. Environmental Protection Agency|
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Working for 21 years in the financial industry and six years in the gaming industry took a toll on Sharon Ridings. “I no longer found personal or professional satisfaction in the work I was doing, and I was ready to take a leap of faith,” she says.
When her husband landed a position with a large government agency and they had to move to Washington, D.C., she was ready for a career change herself. She applied for a handful of government jobs and obtained two interviews. “Both went very well, and I was offered positions in both agencies, on the same day,” she recalls. “What I did not know was that this was very unusual. Coming from the corporate world into a government job was supposed to be difficult.”
Now that she has worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a decade, Ridings thoroughly enjoys her job managing training and development for the agency’s 18,000 employees, who advocate for a cleaner planet. She says, “I know that I made the best possible career move. U.S. government agencies are far more collaborative and innovative than most corporate organizations. No matter what federal agency you work with, you have an open door to share information and processes in order to use the available resources well. These are your tax dollars and I think about that every time I design a program or spend a dollar.”
She adds, “This has been the most challenging and most rewarding job and career choice I have made so far, and I know that we are adding value to the overall success of the EPA and other federal organizations. The training that my team and I facilitate assists in the building of critical skills that support the agency’s work of protecting human health and the environment.”
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