I wouldn't say that working for the Government guarantees that it will be easier to transfer to another Gov agency. I currently work for another Gov agency and I'm trying to get a job with the PTO. Since the examiner positions are open to all US citizens, I don't see how my current position gives me any advantage at all. The only advantage is that my leave gets transferred, that's it. I even need to submit all the same forms I submitted for my current job. Now if the position was only open to status candidates, that is a different story since only current Gov. employees can apply for those positions. That being said, there are lots of good Gov jobs in the DC area. For example, I met someone that works at the NRC at a conference who said she is a GS-15 and she doesn't supervise anyone. As far as Gov jobs goes, the jobs in DC are probably the best in terms of pay, job security, and stress. The private sector pays more, but the benefits are less. To me, having time to spend with my family is worth more than what the private sector can pay. Plus if you work for the public sector for 10 years, your student loans are forgiven. I have 3 years in, so another 7 years to go!