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Shopping for a federal job this holiday?

It’s probably safe to say that during the holiday season, the federal government isn’t at the top of many people’s lists of issues demanding their attention. Granted, the current budget drama can make that an exception for some. Still, you get my point.

But if you’re interested in a federal career that deals with protecting consumers, this might be the time to focus on Uncle Sam, who can be a good resource during the holidays.

Before buying toys, for example, the Consumer Product Safety Commission ( ) can be helpful. This year, 2 million units of dangerous toys and children’s products were seized for not meeting federal standards.

The agency has recalls on its Web site and shopping tips, complete with an app for an Android phone. Another resource is

The FBI has its consumer support efforts as well. The San Diego field office of the FBI released “Cyber Scammers Target Holiday Shoppers.” The Federal Trade Commission also has helpful tips. Go to or

On, run by the Federal Citizen Information Center, a division of the General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, there are holiday tips, too.

All of these agencies do their part to assist consumers, and if that’s your career interest, check them out.

Here’s something else for job hunters and shoppers in general: The federal government markets to consumers, too.

Did you know you can buy a flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol? Check out

From the Smithsonian Institution to the National Archives to the National Park Service, shoppers might find a unique item — and those interested in working in sales may find an opportunity.

The Government Printing Office offers all kinds of books for purchase, from various agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management. You might be surprised at the books on healthy eating or geology for kids.

The government also sells off what it doesn’t use anymore. Many times you can buy great vehicles, electronics, office supplies, etc. at great prices through government auctions and sales. Go to

Many agencies use to sell surplus items. Other agencies have different procedures and sites. You can find information on with a search on “Auctions.”

Shopping for a federal career, or just shopping, you might find what you’re looking for on a federal agency Web site.

Dortch is president of the Diversa Group, which specializes in federal employment.



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