Working for the Public: Why a Career in the Public Sector May Be Right For You

Working for the public sector is, perhaps, one of the most fulfilling industries that a person can work for. After all, you’ll be working directly for the greater good of the country, and your public service will be affecting thousands upon thousands of British citizens both at home and around the world.

When speak of the public sector, we mean to say the services that are directly overseen by the UK government. It’s a sizable sector of the economy: the UK public sector is run by more than 5.4 million hardworking employees.

But as sizable as it is, the British public sector is always looking to expand. Thankfully, public sector recruitment is a continual process, and while some people might think that the private sector offers more in terms of compensation, the public sector can actually match the financial success that the private sector offers, along with a few more perks:

A Positive Difference in the Lives of Millions

Working for the public sector is rendering public service. As the name suggests, the public sector works on behalf of the public interest, be it in housing, healthcare, education, social care, and many more. All of these industries are concerned with improving the lives of millions of people through continuous improvement in the quality of service.

Financial profit may not be the goal of public service, but when the people you serve are happy, the profits will follow. But beyond the financial rewards, the idea that your work is directly improving the lives of millions is an extremely fulfilling idea, one that is confirmed every day that you work for the public sector.

Flexibility is a Necessity

The 9-to-5 work life may seem like routine to some people, but it can be emblematic of the British ideals of hard work and order. However, in the modern world, technology has allowed workers across all sectors, public or private, to be more flexible with their work hours. The 9-to-5 life may just be a thing of the past, but it only means that employees are giving their 100 percent effort in a time of their choosing.

The public sector is no exemption to this: flexibility of work hours is more than just a perk, it’s a necessity. This is one of the aspects of the public sector that makes it appealing to people from all walks of life, from students looking for work experience to people who are looking to shift to a more satisfying and personally fulfilling industry.

city hall

Continual Personal Development

The public sector is an inclusive industry that welcomes people from all skill levels. This is because the public sector is all about continuous personal development. Most industries within the public sector encourage their employees to acquire new skills, whether it’s through attending training programs offered by the government or through external qualification programs.

Often, these training programs are actually superior to private sector programs, as the public sector is focused on ensuring an exceedingly high standard for the quality of service they render. For the public sector, what matters is the willingness of their employees to affect change. Everything else can be taught and learned on the go.

A Stable Career that Can Last a Lifetime

Because the public sector is backed directly by the UK government, and because most jobs in the public sector cover a public service that affects hundreds of thousands of people, the chances of your job or department going under, being sold off to a private company, or being outsourced to a third-party contractor, are very slim.

Working in the public sector practically ensures a life-long career serving the public interest. It is an industry where job security is a guarantee, and one where drastic changes in your job description will be quite unlikely.

Working for the Public: Public Service at Private Sector Salaries

The public sector has somehow gained a misguided reputation for having underpaid workers. The fact of the matter, however, is that employees in the public sector are actually paid roughly the same amount as employees in the private sector; in fact, in a lot of cases, employees in the public sector actually earn more than a private sector employee who is given the same job description.

Another key difference in the public sector salary system is the clearly defined pay bands which allow employees to see exactly where they are in the department ladder and what they can expect in terms of salary on the next rung. This is the type of transparency that one might be hard-pressed to find in the private sector.

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