I’m not yet ready to publish a reflection on 2022 as a whole, but as we get ready to welcome 2023, I added up my 2022 solo/sole driver road trip stats and was amazed.
In 2022, I received a promotion as a mid-level officer. It makes my head spin a little trying to figure out how to explain the Foreign Service promotion process to someone outside the FS, particularly to private sector folks who would likely expect diplomats’ promotions to be based on a complex set of 360 reviews, impressive projects, and reputational factors. (Pro tip: They’re not.) I’d like to share 10 things I’ve learned since I joined the Department in 2014 as a Foreign Service generalist about getting promoted (or not!)… I’m going for lay terms, but you be the judge.
I am months behind in my blogging. We are somehow now less than two weeks from the end of 2022 and yet – writing life-posts chronologically as I prefer to do – I’ve most recently only written about my May/June road trip to the west coast.
As I have dealt with personal and family illness, workplace disappointments from Juárez, the January curtailment halfway through my Mexico tour, and confusion from the suicide of an old friend for most of this year, this blog has not been the platform to write about some of the darker grief on my mind. I’ve had good blog posts in draft for months, on topics from our late summer trip to the Balkans, to getting promoted in the Foreign Service, to a follow-up to my wildly popular post about Foreign Service housing, all in various stages from partly-done to mere sketchy outlines.