Working in the public sector is one of the most rewarding career paths. It involves working as part of the government (though it’s not as boring as that sounds!) It refers to everything from doctors and nurses to firemen and policemen. These are upstanding citizens who focus on the greater good. They serve their community and help bring about a social change. They support people and spend their day helping others. We spoke to a variety of people in the industry and asked them why they loved their jobs. We got a fantastic, and varied, response.
One of the things people love most about their public sector job is the security that comes with it. While those in the corporate world are worried about layoffs and redundancies, the public sector is comparably secure. The corporate world buckles under the strain of performance charts and anxiety is rife. In the public sector, jobs are often granted on ten year contracts and career security is guaranteed. It allows you to start a family and settle down, safe in the knowledge your salary is secure.
In a similar vein to job security, another major perk is the public sector pension plan. When you join the ranks as a doctor, fireman or policeman, you embrace a brilliant pension. In most cases, the government provides a healthy private fund. They will even match your personal contributions into your 401(K). Again, it’s this financial security that convinces public sector workers.
Pride and Civic Duty
There’s a sense of pride involved in the public sector that few other careers provide. Working in this capacity allows you to actively help others. You’re involved in shaping and supporting the community around you. It leaves you with a powerful sense of achievement. Others in society look up to you and respect you. They come to you for advice and support. There’s a sense of respect and civic duty here that you won’t find on Wall Street!
The public sector does an excellent job of respecting work/life boundaries. Every position comes with a healthy holiday allowance and respectable hours. In the case of doctors and nurses, some unsociable hours will be required, but that comes with the territory. It’s a very different case in the corporate world where your boss won’t hesitate to interrupt your holiday!
Most jobs within the public sector follow a strict and obvious hierarchy. Let’s take the police force, for example. There is a clear, defined ladder from Officer through to Chief of Police. The same is true for doctors where interns can rise to Chief of Surgery. Milestones are clearly marked and pay rises with every step. It’s a sensible way to move through life with stability at the core.
Give back to society
Many of the people we spoke to talked about giving something back. This structure has always supported the community. Whether it’s hospital care or the police force, the public sector is always there for people. As we grow up and rely on these services, it’s natural to want to give back. It’s the cornerstone of our community and a compassionate way to think about your career.
The greater good
We sensed a very different outlook when it comes to working in the public sector. In many cases, there’s a very selfless aspiration. People in the public sector are looking to contribute to something bigger than themselves. They’re not particularly motivated by millionaire status and ego boosts. They’re looking to make society a better place or help those in need. It’s certainly a more selfless way to think about your role in the world and your career in general.
How you can find your career in the public sector
There is a place in the public sector for everyone. Whether you’re a science ace looking to be a doctor, or a fireman in waiting, there are lots of options. Most start with a degree tailored to the public sector. It could be a course in nursing, fire science or administration. Analyse your talents, experience and passion and decide on the best route for you. In many cases, there is a powerful force pushing us into a particular area. Follow it and see where it leads. Most public sector jobs have natural entry points, so getting a foot in the door should be easy. Build up some experience and you’ll soon secure a bright future.
The public sector is a rewarding and fulfilling environment to work. You’ll benefit from job security and a strong financial future. Best of all, you’ll give something back to the community around you.