Is it better to work in the private sector or find employment in the government instead? This is one of the most important questions that new job hunters may ask when looking into their career options. Jobs in the private and public sector both come with their own sets of benefits and drawbacks, and as such, it’s important to carefully consider each factor before settling on a particular profession.
For those who are thinking of working for the government, one of the main benefits that you can enjoy is job security. Unlike jobs in the private sector, government jobs are not as affected by the state of the economy. This means that you will still have a job even during economic recessions, whereas your colleagues in the private sector are more likely to suffer layoffs and lose their jobs.
In addition to having more security, another popular reason for working in the government is the benefits. Of course, those who work in the private sector may also receive benefits, but more often than not, these do not reach the level or scope of those received by civil workers. Attractive government benefits include extended or lifelong health care benefits, paid vacations and maternity leaves, and hefty benefits packages for retirees.
There are also two other lesser-known benefits of working in the public sector: good work hours and solid pay. Contrary to popular belief, government employees actually receive better compensation than their private sector counterparts. Compensation for workers in the public sector is kept at a competitive level to attract high quality professionals. With regard to work hours, on the other hand, government employees usually have to stick only to a regular nine-to-five schedule and there is hardly any need to work extra hours – a really attractive perk for people who wish to spend more time with their families.
Of course, employment in the government does come with a few drawbacks. One of these is less opportunities for promotions. Unlike in the private sector, where you can climb up the corporate ladder and get pay raises at a fast rate, getting higher positions in the public sector usually takes a longer time.
In addition to having fewer chances of getting promoted to a higher position, it may also be difficult to search government jobs and secure them. Available positions in the public sector are very limited and most may require more experience in the field and specialised training (a master’s degree or PhD, for example). Highly specific qualities may also be required for certain government jobs; public offices, for instance, may consider only indigenous members of the Aboriginal community for a healthcare position targeting the group.