As of 2018, the public sector accounted for 16.5% of employment in the UK, the lowest percentage recorded since 1999. This sounds like a disadvantage when you’re considering a career in the government, which brings us to the question of whether it is good to consider a long-term career in the public sector or not.
Leading employers in the public sector include the NHS, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Justice, and county, borough and district councils. The NHS is the largest employer, especially in these trying times, with a pandemic threatening many lives all over the world.
Many non-medical public sector jobs remain essential during this period. Government workers can keep their jobs, unlike others in the private sector who might have been displaced. That said, let’s take a look at more facts about public sector employment, and assess if they’re a wise long-term career choice.
Perks of Working in the Public Sector
One of the best advantages of the public sector over the private sector is stability. The government will never go out of business, unlike private sector companies that may suffer a financial turmoil anytime, risking their employees of being laid off. Although there are government agencies that may close or change into a new form, their staff will never be out of jobs because the demand for their labour is consistent.
Public sector workers are relatively more secure than private-sector employees during a recession, as well. Government employment was described as “recession-proof” in research in 2011, and another research in 2012 suggested working in the public sector to obtain job security during economically trying times.
Another study found that workers at all levels of government are, indeed, less likely to be displaced during recessions. Thus, if you put utmost importance on stability in choosing a career, definitely consider a public sector job. You can apply through the assistance of a reputable public sector recruitment agency.
A healthy work-life balance is also more attainable in a public sector career. Employees can easily work remotely, and alternative work schedules are possible. Moreover, the benefits beat those of the private sector. Low-cost superior healthcare plans and propitious retirement plans are provided, and employers are generous with time-offs. Local councils may even have their own holidays.
Impacts on Community and Individual Lives
If you’re wondering what makes a public sector career inspiring, learn from the long-term workers themselves. Suzy Walton, a former a senior civil servant in the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Defence, stated that her decades-long career in the ministry was the most rewarding way she had contributed to society and earned a living. She now works as a board member of several non-profit organisations and has no plans to cease making people’s lives better. She added that her long-term career enabled her to influence some government policies, which she cited as another benefit of a public sector career.
Kate Findlay, a management graduate, cited her feelings of personal responsibility for people and communities as her driving force to pick a career in the public sector. She also shared that it would take more than a big salary for her to move away from local government.
Speaking of salary, Erning Han, another public sector worker, has only nice things to say about it. He also named the public sector’s stability and amazing compensation and benefits packages as his reasons for choosing a career in the government.
Considering all the proven benefits of public sector employment, it seems objective to attest that a long-term career in this industry is, indeed, a good choice. If you can be paid well while helping your community and maintaining a healthy work-life balance, would you still look for a career someplace else?