Moving into different roles / internal permeabiity | EU Training

Moving into different roles / internal permeabiity

charliesanfran_... Wed, 08/19/2020 - 16:08


I am wondering if you can say something to this question:  if I should be so lucky to be successful in the secretaries' competition and receive an assignement, is it still possible to also apply to other competitions, like for the administrators, once they are published?  How about CAST assignments in different roles?  How is the general permeability of the internal job search once one is inside?  

Thank you!



Hello Charlotte,

Somedudereplyingtoquestions Thu, 08/20/2020 - 14:08

Hello Charlotte,

Concerning your 1st question on the eligibility for different competitions – Passing an SC competition and working as an SC in the institutions does not constitute an exclusion criteria to apply for other competitions, provided you meet the eligibility criteria of the notice of competition of the respective competition for which you apply. I have never seen yet a notice of competition that would have an exclusion criteria based on having passed another competition or already having a specific job within the institutions. In practical terms, this means that if you pass an SC-1 or SC-2 competition and you get a job in the institutions in this function group, you can for example still apply for SC competitions for a higher grade, AST competitions, AD competitions or CAST job profiles – always provided that you meet the criteria spelled out in the notice of competition.

Concerning your 2nd question on the general permeability of the internal job search – I can only reply from my personal experience as well as what I have heard from colleagues. There seems to be the general impression that once you land a job in the EU institutions, it will be easier for you to get a higher function group or permanent job position. As usually, this depends.

Internal competitions
It may be true if you have a CAST or Temporary Agent position. In such a case you may be eligible to take part in an internal competition – which may increase your chances of passing a competition, as there may be less applicants than for instance for the AD Generalist competition. However, this is of course no guarantee. In addition, it is worth mentioning that there are also eligibility requirements for those respective internal competitions. For instance, there may be an internal competition for permanent AD positions – but they may be likely only open to AD Temporary Agents and CAST IV staff members. I think one of the past years’ internal competitions may have had such a restriction. If I recall correctly, this year’s internal AD competition is not even open to CAST IV staff members. What does this mean for SC positions? It will depend on respective internal competitions – there may be internal AST competitions for SC staff members.

Certification procedure
There is also an internal procedure for AST staff members to become AD members called (I think) certification procedure – however, this is a procedure strongly limited in numbers. I do not know whether there is such a procedure for SC staff to become AST staff. I think I have not seen something like this yet.

Trying to get another position, once you’re “inside”
In some cases, people try to land a secretarial position within the institutions (whether CAST I or perhaps II, or SC positions) just to “get inside” hoping that this will pave the way for positions that may involve more project or policy related work. This may work but may also not work.

I know personally a few cases from people who started as a Blue Book Trainee, stayed for 6-12 months as an Intérimaire doing secretarial work and then later on landed a CAST III position. I also know cases of people who did a CAST I or II job and/or later on an SC position, but struggled to get another position because their work experience in the past time was limited to secretarial and administrative work and they would compete for policy related job vacancies with people outside the EU institutions who gained relevant project or policy related work experience. I recall one colleague’s specific case who had a CAST I or II position doing secretarial work and having a law degree. This person tried to get a job within the institutions more in line with their legal educational background but did not manage. Eventually, this person left the institutions and has had a very successful career as a lawyer.

To sum up
Whatever decision you may take, it depends on what you would like to achieve for your professional career, the risks you’re willing to take and the opportunity cost of your decisions. Of course you can still gain work experience beyond secretarial or administrative work on an SC or CAST I position. This depends on whether you yourself want this, your unit and your boss, ie whether they are willing to assign different tasks to you which may help you in your professional development.

I hope that answer can be helpful to you. Sorry, it got a bit lengthy.

Dear "Dude",

charliesanfran_125446 Thu, 08/20/2020 - 16:16

Dear "Dude",

Thank you so very much for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully and thoroughly.  This is really, really helpful and very much appreciated!!!

All the Best,