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Old 07-07-2010, 10:11 AM   #21
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That's what I was told too. I would have to hand in my UK passport and undertake not to use my UK citizenship in anyway. I could rationalize that, but then I started to worry about giving up that personal freedom and I realized that my loyalities were in fact shared between the UK and the US so I felt I'd be applying for the clearance under false pretences and didn't feel comfortable with that.
You didn't mention that in the OP. For me that would definitely be a no-no. I think you made the right decision.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:22 AM   #22
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You didn't mention that in the OP. For me that would definitely be a no-no. I think you made the right decision.
My UK friends were dubious about giving up the UK passport. I'm also eligible for UK SS in 15 years and part of getting the clearance would have been to promise not to take advantage of that. Bottomline I couldn't make those promises in good faith. I would have just been making them to get the clearance and once I'd left the company and lost the clearance I would have applied for a new passport. National security is really important and so is my integrity and I couldn't swear to something with caveats. I would have been really saying "I promise not to use my UK citizenship as long as it's convenient for me and I need the security clearance", and I just couldn't live with that. In the end that was the deciding factor.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:23 AM   #23
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Personally, this decision didn't sound too difficult based on what I've heard.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:37 AM   #24
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I think your university job's benefit's package is probably about $30,000 - $40,000 a year, if you look hard at it. So now the gap is only about $30,000 more to take the other job, with a lot of unknowns.

Since you only have 2-3 years left, stick with the job you know, its not like you'll be working 8-10 more years, right?
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:39 AM   #25
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Personally, this decision didn't sound too difficult based on what I've heard.
It was really hard. My current job is a dead end and the other job was at a fantastic place with lots of cool toys and research. For my career it could have been a real plus. The contractor told me there were quite a few dual citizens working on the program, so either they could legitimately deny their other citizenship or they weren't as much of a stickler for the truth as me. Either way my personal integrity turned out to be most important to me.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:42 AM   #26
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I think your university job's benefit's package is probably about $30,000 - $40,000 a year, if you look hard at it. So now the gap is only about $30,000 more to take the other job, with a lot of unknowns.

Since you only have 2-3 years left, stick with the job you know, its not like you'll be working 8-10 more years, right?
You're right. Part of my desire to ER is that I'm not excited about my job. Two more years and the mortgage will be paid at which point I can ER. The other job might have reinvigorated me, but it could have disappeared in 6 months.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:51 AM   #27
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It was really hard. My current job is a dead end and the other job was at a fantastic place with lots of cool toys and research. For my career it could have been a real plus.
Maybe there's a "grass is always greener" aspect of it to me. I can't imagine giving up a six-figure university job with a high level of job security and out of this world benefits. Not until I knew I never had to work again, anyway, or it was stressful to the point of impairing my health.
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:02 AM   #28
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Maybe there's a "grass is always greener" aspect of it to me. I can't imagine giving up a six-figure university job with a high level of job security and out of this world benefits. Not until I knew I never had to work again, anyway, or it was stressful to the point of impairing my health.
The boredom is pretty stressful....I'm being serious. The strange thing is that if I was ERed I wouldn't be bored as I have lots to do at home
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:07 PM   #29
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The boredom is pretty stressful....I'm being serious. The strange thing is that if I was ERed I wouldn't be bored as I have lots to do at home
Can you take a sabbatical? A paid one, I mean? To reinvigorate your career, and all that? Maybe go to Australia and check out what they are doing there in your research area....

If FinanceDude is right and your university benefits package is worth $30-$40K a year, you are very lucky. Mine is probably worth $10K.
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:15 PM   #30
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Can you take a sabbatical? A paid one, I mean? To reinvigorate your career, and all that? Maybe go to Australia and check out what they are doing there in your research area....

If FinanceDude is right and your university benefits package is worth $30-$40K a year, you are very lucky. Mine is probably worth $10K.
I have 2 months vacation saved up so I could take that, but I just might not come back
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:45 PM   #31
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Those who think of a 45minute commute is a hardship never worked in the northeast.
Amen to that! When I retired I passed on a $100k/year job (to start) because of that very issue, even though the work itself would have been fascinating. Sitting in traffic choking on diesel fumes two hours or more a day is not the way I wanted to live.
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:13 PM   #32
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For a Secret level clearance, I know many dual nationality contract workers. All of them noted this on their clearance application. None of them were required to give up their foreign citizenship. A couple had the foreign embassy hold their passport and collected it when they went home for vacation. When you apply for a secret you get an interim secret clearance in a few months, then maybe 8 or 9 months later you get the final secret clearance. Only a few of these contractors ever talked with a DoD investigator.

A TS is a much more intensive investigation, taking much longer, but that is not what you indicated you'll apply for.

I don't think its the clearance you have to worry about, but how long the company will keep you working on the contract when the gov cancels the contract or when the gov starts playing delayed funding games. Remember, you can be dismissed with no notice. As a contractor you are hired to be fired. On one contract job I was been given 5 min. notice to clear out. I got paid for the time, but had virtually no notice. Other jobs I got 2 months notice.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:43 PM   #33
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If it were me, I'd consider this an easy and overwhelming choice. The University job is what I'd pick and I'm surprised you were even looking at the other one. Perhaps you've been where you are long enough to have forgotten the dog-eat-dog world of high priced consultants. The first to go in downturns. The first pick for scut work. The snarky expectations that you justify that high salary and the constant talk of cutbacks, cancellations or downsizing.

In relatively short time you are FI. Why risk that for high pressure, high uncertainty and a real mess if it blows up on you? Start figuring out what you are going to do in 2-3 years, not hassling your way through those last few years trying not to burn out or crash your plan with early termination.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:39 PM   #34
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I think you made the right choice. Just judging by your avatar, you might have trouble with the anal probe required for TS clearance. I would only make the change if the new job was exactly what I had always wanted to do, not just "more interesting". Also, since the current administration is going to end the wars, there may be cuts in defense spending . Many contractors I've dealt with have a LIFO policy, so you might end up with no job.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:14 AM   #35
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Those who think of a 45minute commute is a hardship never worked in the northeast.
I'm leaning for you to stay in your current job. Besides more money it seems to allow for an easier transition to ER. The new job sounds more stressful.
Above is exactly what I was thinking....
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:31 PM   #36
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For a Secret level clearance, I know many dual nationality contract workers. All of them noted this on their clearance application. None of them were required to give up their foreign citizenship. A couple had the foreign embassy hold their passport and collected it when they went home for vacation.
Foreign preference and foreign influence are the things they look for. Each case is individual, but using a foreign passport without the OK of the US is definitely showing a foreign preference and could easily result in a clearance being revoked. I think my avatar does finally reflect my misgivings about being told by one government to give up any rights I have as a citizen of another country. Maybe I'm too sensitive or a bit paranoid, but watching England play the USA in the world cup I was 100% behind England and willing the USA to loose so how could I say that my loyalties are 100% with the USA. It's at that visceral level that security issues need to be considered.
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:06 PM   #37
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:09 PM   #38
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My UK friends were dubious about giving up the UK passport.
The DoD doesn’t take your passport. Nor do they require you to renounce your UK citizenship. In fact, you don’t own your passport. It is the property of a government. They only allow you to hold it. You can return it to the UK embassy and have them hold it for you or you can keep it in your possession.

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The contractor told me there were quite a few dual citizens working on the program, so either they could legitimately deny their other citizenship or they weren't as much of a stickler for the truth as me.
Wrong. They probably disclosed on the security application their dual citizenship. So DoD was fully aware of it when they granted them their clearance. Do you seriously think an investigation of 10 years of their past would not uncover their dual citizenship? Investigators not that inept.

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The other job might have reinvigorated me, but it could have disappeared in 6 months.
In fact that job could disappear in 1 minute. As a contractor you are employed minute to minute. You have no job security, you are employed at will. Just like a full time employee, only more expensive. I’ve had jobs disappear over the week end and only known about it when I showed up to work.

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Foreign preference and foreign influence are the things they look for.
True, but all you have to do is disclose your foreign relatives / friends on the application. No big deal, since you have to also give local contact disclose. Foreign preference and foreign influence are not the only important factors. They also consider very important your financial profile, any illegal drug use … A lot of other very important things, not just your foreign contacts.

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but using a foreign passport without the OK of the US is definitely showing a foreign preference.
Not true. Your passport use is not showing a foreign preference, nor is approval needed. Especially at the relative low security level (Secret) you've indicated you'll apply for. There is no monitoring of your comings & goings. Your only requirement is to disclose.

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easily result in a clearance being revoked.
Unless you get into a great deal of serious trouble either in the US or overseas to come to their attention, the only time I've ever heard that revocation is a possibility is after an extensive investigation. Think transmittal of material substantially above the Secret level to a foreign government. Then, only after an extensive investigation over many years. Typically a clearance is just not renewed, based on your disclosures. As an example, I know of a Chinese national who made many many trips back home to visit his family. This was considered too excessive and they did not renew his clearance at renewal time, based on his disclosure. They never revoked it.

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told by one government to give up any rights I have as a citizen of another country.
Where did you ever get this idea? DoD doesn’t tell you to give up any rights. They only ask for disclosure, and that you don’t break any US laws.

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loyalties are 100% with the USA.
There is no loyalty test, only your contractual agreement not to disclose information and follow the rules to prevent disclosing information entrusted to you. I believe loyalty tests have been banned.

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It's at that visceral level that security issues need to be considered.
Oh absolutely. By the way, what security issues are you thinking about? Disclosing information to those without a need to know, publishing classified information, selling classified information to foreign governments, deliberately not properly securing information entrusted to you?
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Old 07-13-2010, 02:46 AM   #39
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Now that the decision is taken I would look for strategies to make my job and the commute more interesting, to negotiate for more flextime and home office for one day per week, to make best use of all a university has to offer (free lectures?).
Could you use the other offer as a tool for negotiating your work situation?
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:40 AM   #40
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If you are sure you only have 2 years left... why complicate your life and add risk at this point?

You can take a stab at calculating the benefit (value difference between the two options). Will the potential benefit be worth the risk and hassle?
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