If you do a good job for the government you might get a stack of 'atta boys' some cheaply engraved plaques and an endless amount of sunshine blown straight up your butt, however you will not get a raise or a promotion.
There is a significant disconnect between effort and reward.
To promote, one has to wait for a promotional test to be announced. At the lower echelons, this generally happens annually, at the higher levels, every other year.
If you qualify for the test, you put in an application. If you application is good enough you get a testing date (usually 6 weeks later than the notice date, which takes about 4 weeks to arrive). Some tests are oral, some are written, some are two parters, meaning two tests usually given about a month apart.
Two months later (are we counting the timeline here?) a list is generated with everyone that passes being separated into ranks. Employees in the top three ranks are eligible to be hired, but of course they still must wait for a vacancy, put in an application, be interviewed and offered a job. This system works only if the job is in your same Department. Should you want to go to another department there is a whole other rat maze to get through which I am simply too tired to relate at this time.
As you can see, only the infinitely patient or psychotically optimistic can deal with such a system.
I have promoted exactly five times. I wonder what that says about me?
One of my earliest bosses was one of my favorites. She won me over when she told me anyone picking on her employees would get their heads ripped off by her BUT if we lied to her or screwed her over she would, "Kick your ass so hard that I will have shit on my kneecaps."
They just don't make bosses like that anymore.