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Working in public service/for the government? - Page 2

post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Barrington View Post
Most public sector jobs are amazing from a benefit standpoint. No question there. In two weeks of public sector employment I took four separate vacations, three of which lasted between 3 weeks and a month.

Impressive amount of time off from a two week gig. I'm sure you meant "years" but this also continues the stereotyping of government jobs. Four vacations in two years with three of them being > 3 weeks? Christ sakes.

To the OP, what field and what are your goals. I did a couple of years in a regulatory/enforcement role and it was great for my career.
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post
Impressive amount of time off from a two week gig. I'm sure you meant "years" but this also continues the stereotyping of government jobs. Four vacations in two years with three of them being > 3 weeks? Christ sakes. To the OP, what field and what are your goals. I did a couple of years in a regulatory/enforcement role and it was great for my career.
Hahaha! Nice catch. As a public servant I found a way to collapse time and extend my vacations while shortening my work weeks. As fas as vacation goes, I still got less than most European countries (including productive ones like Germany) so I don't sweat it that much. Some of it was also due to accrued overtime.The North American mold of having 10 days of vacation and taking 5 of them isn't productive, it's just stupid. Furthermore, since many governmental departments do business with each other (as opposed to the public) vacations are usually timed to disrupt operations as little as possible. The myth of public servants always on vacation while work needs to be done is, for the most part, false. The vast majority of the people I worked with during my time in the PS loved to travel but they never did it at the expense of their work.
post #18 of 32
To the posters who say that government employees are not highly paid at the higher level, look at the salaries of school administrators. Its at least 100K in most school districts. Also, they never lose their jobs. Its the teachers who do My dream job is to get into a well paidgovernment job and rise to a management position That's the life!
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blazerd View Post
To the posters who say that government employees are not highly paid at the higher level, look at the salaries of school administrators.

Its at least 100K in most school districts. Also, they never lose their jobs.

Its the teachers who do

My dream job is to get into a well paidgovernment job and rise to a management position

That's the life!

100K isn't a lot of money for a top level job in an industry. Join a Fortune 500 company at the bottom rung and don't do anything stupid and you'll probably be making that by the time your in your mid-30s.
post #20 of 32
you will make100K before 30 in both finance and engineering. You can make 100K first year out of undergrad in finance. You can make 100K in engineering if you got the talent, though very very very few makes 100K straight out of undergrad. in engineering, though most likely if you stick with it, you're making 100K by 30 for sure.
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by clee1982 View Post
you will make100K before 30 in both finance and engineering. You can make 100K first year out of undergrad in finance. You can make 100K in engineering if you got the talent, though very very very few makes 100K straight out of undergrad. in engineering, though most likely if you stick with it, you're making 100K by 30 for sure.

The finance jobs where you make 100K out of university are few and far between. A ton of engineers make 100K by the time they're thirty but then they make the same (or similar salary) until they retire. Most other jobs you can hit 100K by the time you're in your mid thirties usually.
post #22 of 32
I know people who are hedge fund managers and Silicon Valley engineers can make 100K by their early 30s.

But I am talking about people who are not in technical fields or fields that require a lot of math or science. Sure you could become a lawyer and work in a BigLaw basement for the best years of your life, while paying off your 150K in debt.

Now consider this scenario: a 22 year old education graduate joins as a third grade teacher. She then takes all the necessary certification exams while doing her job, and if she is ready to move to a small rural school district, be earning over 100k by the time she is 30. And she will be debt free.

I think public school administrators have the best of the both worlds - public and private sector.
post #23 of 32
So every one of Blazerd's posts has a link to a job search site, but yet his posts are actually substantive?

A contributing member of the community that is also a spammer?
post #24 of 32
I work in local government in planning and economic development and would say that the pay is awful - I earn less now than I did when I came to this position 4 years ago and have been all but guaranteed to receive no raises or promotions until at least 2014! And this is in a quite affluent community and all while I have increased my education and skill that I bring to this job. The benefits are not bad, but aren't anything much better than what my wife received in the private sector. In the end though, while I may earn significantly less than friends in the private sector doing roughly the same job, I am much less worried about job security and work much better hours than they do. In the planning/development industry, putting in your dues in the public sector, especially at the local level, can be quite helpful if looking to make the leap to a private planning, engineering, site selection, etc. firm especially if it's one that operates heavily in the same geographic area since you will be familiar with byzantine permitting systems and the bureaucracies of planning and zoning commissions and all the headaches that those entail. Does working in local government give me a warm fuzzy feeling inside for helping the public? Absolutely not. I've worked at both the state and local levels and neither of them do that. If you want to help people or get that feeling of giving back to the community, go find a nice, well-funded private foundation to work at! I miss my days at the one that I used to work and and would go back to that world in a heartbeat if the right opportunity presented itself.
post #25 of 32
Can a regular BA expect to find jobs in the public sector? Something entry level, like a junior analyst position, or are jobs so competitive that you'd need a master's/relevant work experience? Currently working IT/Help Desk and studying for the LSAT, but I could definitely use a change and want to do something somewhat related to my Political Science degree.

It looks like non-profit orgs have more entry level positions than does the city, at least in San Francisco.
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by skitlets View Post
Can a regular BA expect to find jobs in the public sector? Something entry level, like a junior analyst position, or are jobs so competitive that you'd need a master's/relevant work experience? Currently working IT/Help Desk and studying for the LSAT, but I could definitely use a change and want to do something somewhat related to my Political Science degree.

It looks like non-profit orgs have more entry level positions than does the city, at least in San Francisco.

Depends what city/state and what agency. Many states have hiring freezes (either semi or full fledged) and federal recruitment is a notorious pain in the ass. Knock on as many doors as possible and try to look for stuff that you might be qualified for in a more business role. A lot of poli sci grads only look for policy analyst jobs so those are often in high demand. Oddly enough, they're also some of the most boring public sector jobs you can find.
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Barrington View Post
Depends what city/state and what agency. Many states have hiring freezes (either semi or full fledged) and federal recruitment is a notorious pain in the ass. Knock on as many doors as possible and try to look for stuff that you might be qualified for in a more business role. A lot of poli sci grads only look for policy analyst jobs so those are often in high demand. Oddly enough, they're also some of the most boring public sector jobs you can find.

Trying to keep my eyes open but I know just about no one working for the govt. Looks like most of the cities around San Francisco are not hiring at all.

How does one look for jobs that aren't posted directly by the city/agency? How do city council / board of supervisor members hire help? Should I just call or email the members directly and attach a resume?

Sorry for the seemingly basic questions. I really just have no idea how to even begin looking and getting my foot in the door.
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by skitlets View Post
Trying to keep my eyes open but I know just about no one working for the govt. Looks like most of the cities around San Francisco are not hiring at all.

How does one look for jobs that aren't posted directly by the city/agency? How do city council / board of supervisor members hire help? Should I just call or email the members directly and attach a resume?

Sorry for the seemingly basic questions. I really just have no idea how to even begin looking and getting my foot in the door.

Try to land an internship with an agency or department you might be interested in. This is often a backdoor for managers to hire people without going through the whole process. Many of the job boards like USAJobs are only useful if you're a veteran or a member of a target population that federal agencies are looking to hire. I don't know anyone who has ever gotten a job off there.

When I was in the PS I was recruited directly out of college so I didn't really apply in a normal manner, per se.
post #29 of 32
I work in a government agency that is funded by the users of the service so not out of general tax revenue. Hope that makes sense.

To those who go on and on about job security in govt jobs better wake up. My organization is financially sound and our "price of service" is amongst the lowest in the world including private sector and again without any taxpayer help. We are a big time rarity. That said we are constantly replacing low end jobs with technology and trimming always.

But governments (federal, state/provincial and cities) are essentially bankrupt especially in the US, Japan and Western Europe. Look for massive layoffs in coming years.

The way they present their books make Enron and Madoff look legit and I am serious. It is a catastrophe waiting to happen.

The OP talked about "improving government operations" and I nearly wet myself. Can't happen due to the primary purpose of any govt entity is to protect itself (and that goes for my employer too, it drives me nuts).
post #30 of 32
I may be wrong but, from previous posts that he has made, I think that Merkur is from Australia and would thus be talking about the situation there. In general, I agree with what others have said concerning the public service "heirarchy" - city council < state < federal. However, there are possibly exceptions to that - working in the lord mayor's office would probably be better than working for the sanitation department in state government, as a wild example. Similarly, working in a callcentre for the federal government doesn't really win you any kudos. In terms of the Australian Public Services (APS), the federal government, it's easiest to move up the ladder quickly and to win the better jobs if you are in Canberra. If you're not, you're cutting yourself out of a lot of jobs. If you get a graduate trainee position (usually advertised around April each year, if my memory serves me correctly), you will start on $40 - 45 000 in most departments/agencies, at the APS3/4 level. By the time the traineeship has finished in 18-24 months, your goal should be to move to an APS5/6 position, which pays from $60 - 70 000 at starting levels for the APS5 and 6 bands, if I remember correctly. These pay levels can also vary to some extent between departments. The ATO, Dept of PM&C and DFaT all pay well, whereas some smaller or less prestigious departments can sometimes pay thousands of dollars less for the same positions (even though you may do more work or have more responsibility than in the more prestigious departments). The work can be challenging and highly rewarding. The trick, if you want to move on from the public service into the private sector at some stage, is to find a role that is not exclusive to the public service but which will hone your skills and knowledge in an area that is prized outside the public service. Tax law could be one such area, for example. I know a number of people who have moved from in-house positions in government to external firms and have been employed specifically for the admin law skill-set that they possessed. Auditor would be another such job - doing in-house auditing work for a government department or agency could set you up well for a tilt at an external auditing/consultancy firm and I know people who have successfully done that, too. The upsides to public service employment are security of tenure, holidays and (usually) superannuation arrangements. At lower levels, the pay is often pretty good for what you do - you can be doing pretty ordinary clerical work in some departments and get $50k after a few years. On the downside, it's pretty hard to move above $100 - 120k per year, as there is a big bottleneck at that level (probably a bit below that, in fact). It's interesting work, the conditions are comfortable, and you only rarely have to work late at night. However, after an initial burst, salary growth can be quite slow compared to the private sector (although it depends very much upon your area of employment, of course). My salary has tripled over the past 7-8 years (due in part to two promotions), which sounds impressive - but a friend of mine in similar work in private practice has seen his salary increase ten-fold in the same time and he is on track to be semi-retired and to become a part-time consultant by the time he is in his mid-forties, all being well. It depends, at least in part, on what you want to do with your life and what your aims are, and that is clearly very subjective. For my part, I prize the additional time that I get with my family over any additional money that I could earn. Despite the fact that I am, to some, a parasite sucking from the taxpayer-funded teat, I really do feel that I am giving something back to society and providing a genuine service to the public and that is worth more to me than a larger pay-packet. Hope that this helps.
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