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Is Government Work Right For You?

Published on Tuesday, 21 Jul 2015
Is Government Work Right For You?

Are you in the market for a new job? Have you wondered if government work is right for you? There are many reasons to consider government work: the primary advantages include great benefits, solid pay, and decent job security -- a combination that can be challenging to find in the private sector. To help you decide if a government career path is the right one for you to follow, here are some pros and cons to consider.


Plenty of hiring opportunities. Since the government works in the interest of the public, there is almost always an open position that needs to be filled. Rarely will you experience a hiring freeze when it comes to government jobs. 

Jobs for every interest. Government jobs cover a wide range of industries and skill sets, creating positions to fill all types of backgrounds. With so many positions in government, nearly anyone can find something that matches their experience and interests. 

Advancement opportunities. Again, because there are so many positions in government jobs, there are much more opportunities for advancement. Of course, those looking to advance will need to be proactive in their approach, but there are plenty of opportunities to climb the career ladder to reach higher professional goals.

Make a difference. A government job will help you play a vital role in the social issues that really matter. The work you’ll do in government impacts the lives of each citizen, as well as the lives of people around the world. This is an especially important factor for those looking for fulfillment in their careers.

Great benefits and competitive pay. Government jobs typically maintain competitive pay and often have great benefits including insurance coverage, plenty of vacation days, and a generous retirement package. While the average salary may not be as high as in the private sector, these added bonuses are worth weighing in on when deciding if a government job is right for you.

Professional development. Most government jobs offer educational compensation for those looking to enhance and advance their skills through institutionalized training. This is great for those who enjoy improving their qualifications to advance further in their careers.

Job security. Government work is steady and secure - an extremely attractive selling point, especially when times are tough. Private employees have a far greater chance of being involuntarily terminated while civil servants typically have a more stable sense of job security.


Lengthy hiring process. For clearance purposes, the hiring process for a government job requires patience and persistence. It can take multiple interviews and several hoops to jump through, some lasting up to several months, before you actually land a government position.

Bureaucracy exists. Because the branches of government are far-reaching, in order to manage all agencies, employees and programmes, there is a complex system of rules and procedures in place that need to be followed. This also includes plenty of red tape to cut through in order to put certain plans into action. This can be time-consuming, energy-sapping, as well as frustrating. 

Middle-class wages. While many government job salaries are comparable to those in the private sector, you are not likely to become extraordinarily wealthy on your government salary. You’ll likely not have the opportunity for performance-based bonus compensation either. Your government salary will provide you a wage for a comfortable standard of living, but you won’t be swimming in gold any time soon.Revolving door of leadership. With so many opportunities for advancement, often times those in higher positions will be promoted, leaving their position open for someone different to enter. This can be frustrating for employees to have to get routinely used to a new boss and it can even delay parts of the workflow.

Making a difference takes time. Many people go into government to get that much-desiredbalance of bringing home a nice paycheck, getting great benefits, and having the chance to make a difference in the lives of others. While government jobs are intended to help our lives in some way, real, lasting results are sometimes a slow process. The task of getting things done takes patience, perseverance, and a positive attitude.

Government work has many benefits, but it is not the ticket to 100% job satisfaction. Every person is different, as are their career goals. While government jobs may be the right choice for some, it will not be the right choice for others. It’s important to review the above pros and cons carefully to determine if a government job is truly something you want to pursue professionally.

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