After the training at Mussoorie, the I.F.S. probationers are attached to the Ministry of External Affairs and have to become conversant in a major foreign language. During the second year they are appointed as Third Secretaries in and Indian Embassy/High Commission where that language is spoken. They spend another two years in the same Embassy as Second Secretaries. After two postings abroad, the I.F.S. Officers are posted in India in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) (Eg. Passport office or Indian Council for Cultural Relations or elsewhere in the Government of India). In the MEA, you will look after India's political, economic and commercial work. In the Senior Scale and the Junior Administrative Grade the I.F.S. Officers are appointed as First Secretaries. In the Selection Grade I.F.S. Officers serve as Counsellors. In very small countries the Indian Ambassador would be in that grade.

In the supertime scale, many I.F.S. Officers become Ambassadors of medium sized countries while others are appointed as Ministers in the large embassies like Washington and Moscow. In the Additional Secretaries Grade, I.F.S. Officers are made ambassadors in relatively big embassies of Deputy High Commissioner in London. The biggest Indian Embassies / High Commissions like Moscow, Washington and London are headed by Ambassadors of the rank of Secretary. At this level, some Ambassadors are non I.F.S. Officers like politicians, retired or serving I.A.S. Officers or retired Defence Chief. There are four to five Secretary level officers in the MEA - the senior most being the Foreign Secretary.
The content of an I.F.S. Officer's work has improved immensely. The is considerable economic work to be done to promote trade and commerce. The career development in the service is extremely professional.