The United States Department of State is comprised of many different sections and agencies. Multiple bureaus deal with intelligence, legislation and international affairs among other subjects, but no employees travel more than officers in the Foreign Service.
Foreign Service Officers are the backbone of the State Department. They are the diplomats who work in embassies around the world, and they are directly responsible for portraying a positive image of America to foreign politicians and citizens. Such high visibility requires great responsibility, and the application process is one of the hardest of any government agency.
In order to be selected for an interview, applicants must first pass a qualification exam entitled the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT). This extraordinarily difficult evaluation is almost impossible to study for, as questions deal mostly with implied scenarios rather than hard facts. For example, there might be a hypothetical situation in which a person must decide how to best motivate consular staff to perform to their best ability.
If the FSOT is completed successfully, the next step is written applications called Personal Narrative Essays (PNEs). This is a series of six short papers that offer potential officers a chance to describe their unique skill sets. Applicants are also asked to provide credentials and information on co-workers, roommates and personal friends.
Finally, if everything goes well, an interview by a State Department board in DC confirms employment. However, this is only the beginning for accepted workers. New staff must immediately relocate to Washington and possibly elsewhere for training, and their names go on a short-list that is sent out to U.S. embassies around the world.
Successful applicants are only offered two locations to choose from, and they normally have little say in the matter. Essentially, a federal unit that needs a new employee takes a look at the new hires and selects an appropriate person. This can be an embassy in Djibouti or a finance advisor in London.
It is here that world moving services can come in handy. Since new employees can be required to live at an embassy across the globe at the drop of a hat, international moving relocation can quickly and efficiently transfer personal items to any country. In these situations, the State Department will most likely subsidize the cost of distant moves for added convenience.