Many people still associate working for the government with slow and tedious bureaucracy, conservative working environments bounded by endless rules and regulations, and strict and rigid hierarchies.
What contributes to this negative perspective is the contrast with the private sector, which takes pride in presenting itself as innovative and fast-growing.
Are government jobs truly less attractive to skilled professionals than jobs in the private sector? We strive to answer this with an in-depth analysis.
Security and Stability
Depending on your personal preferences, a stable and safe career can feel either liberating or stifling. While in the private sector a company might see its profits dwindle or undergo bankruptcy due to a financial crisis, leaving people without jobs, there’s hardly a chance for this to happen with a government office or agency.
Although changes occur in the government too, employees typically transition from an agency to another one or are taken under the wing of a bigger office, but the possibility of losing their jobs all of a sudden is dim.
There are many positions in finance, administration and management that in the corporate world come with long hours and stressful deadlines and meetings. A large percentage of government positions, however, are surprisingly flexible when it comes to allowing employees to choose an alternative work schedule or take ample vacation time. This laid-back attitude leads to a healthy work-life balance that few in the private sector can hope for. And this without giving up on benefits.
If you want work-life balance and the benefits of a government job are enough to satisfy your career goals, you can make yourself a viable candidate by obtaining a degree in Public Administration. This a straightforward path for people looking to become governmental employees in advanced finance positions. For example, you can double your odds by taking on an internship with a government agency while you study fiscal management at an online school like Norwich University.
Although many companies in the private sector offer generous benefits, the government does it better. Flexible vacation time, better health care and retirement plans, additional days off are among some of the benefits that government employees can count on. Some might get reimbursement for commuting, conference travel, and other little perks that add up. In the public sector, maternity leave packages are also more generous and overtime is paid more diligently.
While we exposed the benefits, there are certainly downsides too to working for the government, otherwise, the competition for these jobs would be fierce, which isn’t. Career progression is slow and this reflects in salary growth. Employees have little freedom to implement change since everything depends on a paper that must be signed by someone higher in the hierarchy.
Although the negative aspects might deter some professionals from seeking a position in the public sector, the choice comes down to what your priorities are. If you prefer stability and time for yourself and your family, the government allows you to perform your job excellently without exhausting yourself. Meanwhile, the private sector gives you the space to grow as you wish, with no limits on what you can do and earn. What do you choose?