that’s a good thing. Other times it can feel a bit like “The Brady Bunch,” and you’ll want to follow Marsha’s lead and move into the attic. How your child did on the big test, who left with whom from the Marine House party, who drank too much at the last reception, which couple is having a fight — all this and more is revealed. So keep an eye on how you lead your personal life, and don’t be surprised if the person two cubicles down knows how you spent your weekend. Sometimes this effect is magnified at smaller posts, so it’s something to keep in mind when considering the third tip: Always research your post before you bid. This seems like a no-brainer, but many eager officers have gone off to nice-sounding places only to discover that the reali- ty does not live up to the vision. Ask questions that are relevant to you. If you’re single, is it a place that has activities you like, or does the embassy or city cater more to fami- lies? You’ll hate your tour if there is no social life for you outside of work. What kind of work do you want to do? If your passion is developing small business or micro-finance but 18 F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / N O V E M B E R 2 0 0 6 F S K N O W - H O W Every job has its good and bad aspects, its nuances and culture, its geniuses and oddballs. The State Department is no different.